Parenting is Pitchy

By Jen Piwtpitt - 11:37 AM

A tried-and-true fan of American Idol, I've been a devoted viewer since its debut in 2002.  I could sing you any Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood song (just not in their range).  And when many spectators abandoned ship when things got more than a little jankity, I remained an unwavering fan, even all throughout the 3-ring circus that is the judges table.  

And while I certainly haven't been on board with all the hoopla that the producers subject us to (I'm speaking to you, Jimmy Iovine, cause like, why are you here again???), I still watch it every single week.  Because everyone (or at least lots and lots of us) loves a good musical performance.  And this little singing show has already made history.  

Believe it or not, it's also given me a wider perspective on my life and approach to parenting.

Things I've Learned About Parenting
By Watching American Idol
  • People come from all walks of life.  So do parents.  Some are born naturals.  Others have to work at it, seasoning their talents with extra spoonfuls of hard work, several mistakes, and handful after handful of life experiences.  It's okay, kids are resilient.

  • Some sounds are musical velvet for the ears.  Other times, you have to endure the sounds that are more like screechy scratchy nails on a chalkboard.  And the chalkboard is holding a microphone.  And wearing sparkly hosiery. 

  • Hollywood and fame pale in comparison to the glamour, pizzazz, and fab-a-rrific lifestyle that is being a mommy.

  • Your "Bottom 3" will vary, depending on the ages and habits of your children.  If they're still in diapers, it will have a lot to do with what they ate for dinner.

  • Sometimes you gotta temporarily lower your standards and just try to enjoy yourself in the moment.  And most likely, a commercial break is on its way any second, and you can fetch yourself a glass of liquid patience.
  • Men, in fitted t-shirts with British accents and great hair, who know a lot about what songs belong in cruise ship repertoire, will always make even the worst of situations a little bit better.

  • Persistence is key to getting the outcome you desire.  Except if it requires dialing a 1-866 number a bajillion times.  Because we really don't have that much time on our hands.

  • Ryan Seacrest can really be a tool.  He'll prepare you for your child's worst tantrum.

  • You don't have to get the most votes (or even win) to be completely awesome.  There is no First Place.  Except when you can't find your phone or money.  Because then, first place is your kid's pocket.
  • In life, people will judge you.  Maybe even criticize you.  But don't worry.  You may benefit from some really great advice or a new idea that will save you some of the only remaining brain cells you have at the end of the day. 

When you're a parent, there will be days when you feel like an absolute fool.  Maybe even receive boos and hisses.  Sometimes your children will cause this.  Other times, they have nothing to do with it and the crazy is all you.  But you can always blame them.      

Some days, you may feel that you're not doing it right.

Other days you'll just wanna laugh and dance.  Go on and prance, strut, and shake it down.

Just don't get sooooooo crazy that you make others question your sense and sensibility.

When you're feeling unstoppable, dial up your inner diva and give yourself a "Hell Yeah!"
 Or when you just need that opportunity to reinvent yourself, you can do that too. 

But before you just put it all out there for the world to see, do a quick once-over and make sure you've practiced your routine.
And just when you think you can't possibly endure more, sure enough, 8-9 months later, another one comes along.  SEASON, that is.  Ha, I got you there!  ......... No, I am NOT pregnant.

Seriously, no.

This was originally published on Must Love Leftovers.

Karen is just a wife, a mom, a laundress, an (undiscovered) karaoke junkie, a frequent loser at fantasy sports, a cereal pourer, a storyteller, a finger puppet model, a really good (magna doodle) artist, a contributor to the 401K funds of Starbucks employees, a willing participant in any kind of taste test involving someone else’s cooking, a non-listener of knock-knock jokes, and a writer who may or may not make a valid point.

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