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I am very strict with Damien, always have been, but I realised too late that I was too anal about our "stuff" and should have relaxed more... I did not spend as much time making happy memories as I could have.
Its a tricky balance to maintain.
I don't believe kids should have "free reign" to go bananas in their home or anywhere else- but stuff can be replaced, tiles can be polished... right?

In the situation you describe above I would have also watched with a loving glow and smiled at my happy children - sounds and looks like fun!
In reality I would have been doing the cooking and swigging wine from the bottle each time I got something from the fridge, shouting at them to get out my way and go play elsewhere.

Honestly I am at times one worse than a soft mom, I tend to jump between the 2 ... no consistency *shakes head*, but on an average I would put myself around a 4 - dh also thinks I am too soft a lot of the time. I think he is a little anal about arb stuff, yet the things I need him to notice and take a stand on go over his head. All in all we also balance each other Ü


Jaaaa - I watch Felix empty the ENTIRE bottle of shampoo into the bath and he's having such fun, but such a huge part inside me says NO! Don't Waste! Don't Mess! Etc etc. Often I try to talk to myself to just let go of all that small stuff more.So I guess while hubby and I are already softies, I just keep encouraging myself to be even more so ;)

As for character and appropriate behavior I am more of an 8, but for having fun and being a kid I am more of a 3. I am more strict about manners and having respect and less strict about black tire marks on our kitchen floor from his tricycle (that he is too big for, but the bicycle stays outside). More strict about following directions out in public (stores, restaurants, movie theatres) and less strict about how often he wants to play with water in the bathroom sink or constructing forts in the family room.

I think y'all balance each other out. Tile can be replaced, but memories cannot. Depending on the tile maybe the scratches can be polished or buffed out.

Bwhahahaha... I have a Marko! Too funny. Clearly I'm, therefore, a bit of a Tertia, however... it relates to me and not the kids. I'm only now starting to relax with the Tweedles, but that's only because I had the Bunny. Tweedles would still be living in an 'army camp' if I hadn't had the Bunny. They're such good boys too, so I regret the 'army camp', but I'm trying to fix that while they're still children (weeellll... teens.... but they're still fixable at that age - you just use a warped sense of logic rather than huggs and kisses and an enormous amount of sugar)... not true... sugar still works.

Somewhere there is gloss tile cover up! Actually I heard car wax might do the trick! And I am sure that Marco has a pot of that somewhere and Adam can help. Rub a Dub Dub!

I'm with Sharon - strict on manners and respect; not really always 100% invested in a perfectly maintained home. I figure when my kids are teens and grown there will be PLENTY of time to renovate and have a showcase home.

I'm pretty sure there's a way to get gloss back on tile. I can't see a plastic bin putting a real dent in porcelain or ceramic. And I agree the older kids could help!

Stop doubting yourself woman, someone has to stand up for the airy fairies :-)

I'm about a 2. Life is way too short to worry about arbitrary rules.

I suspect that had Marko actually been home, things would have gone differently. It feels very different to just walk in and see something damaged and react than to have been there. He might not be able to visualize now entirely not obvious it was to you that the toy box wasn't damaging the floor. If not (i.e., if he thinks on some level that you just LET them damage the floor while smiling on), then it's understandable that he was kind of frustrated. But if you didn't realize, you didn't realize. And they are FLOORS, things that you are supposed to walk on, run on, play on, etc., not Ming vases. I totally see your point too.

Ah well, your kids are great, etc. etc., so if scratched floors are your worst problem, your life is pretty good.

I'm pretty strict. Maybe a seven? I was a teacher for a lot of years and it made me strict.

On temporary things (chalk on sidewalk, shampoo in bathtub) I was a softy; on permanent things (people's feelings, scratched hardwood floors) I was a Marko. It's important kids learn that things can be irreparably damaged, and that "things" are sometimes directly attached to feelings. Was the tile one of those things? Naw, I'm probably with you on that one. And definitely with you on the yelling-ness.

When my children were still small I got to a point where I accepted that this floor covered in lego, this garden full of sandpit toys, this wall with crayon drawings and this couch with sticky fingerprints and godknowswhatelse on it are all souveniors of this life as it is now. I promised myself then, that one day when I'm big, I mean when the kids are big, we will have "nice" stuff again. The effort of fussing over keeping nice things nice now is too much for me.
All that said, I still believe manners matter and I'm pretty strict about that.

The tiles - it's just stuff. And, even though it's just stuff, as you said, if anyone realised they were being damaged, the game would have been moved somewhere else. And agreed, kids must learn to respect property and care for it, but I'm sure the thought of damaging stuff on purpose does not cross their minds and they seem to have had an awesome time. So the man must be upset but then get over it because being all alone with your perfect stuff does not work so well when you need a hug and a house full of laughter. G & I are probably also between a -2 and a 4 respectively. I mildly groan when the dogs trample our old oak floors full of scratches but then again, the deep grooves from the time I moved the piano myself are far worse... dude whatever, it's just stuff in the end, when I am on my deathbed I'll remember the happy walks we had with our pups, not how nicely manicured my floors looked every day.

Oh... those scratches on floor will remind you of the good times your kids spent when you grow old..... Those are memories.... It's their happy childhood that counts right....

Oh, my, they look like they're having the best time. Max is totally squishable! Hmm. I'm fine with 'making a mess' (non-permanent damage); my husband is not. My older son likes to take all the condiment bottles out of the cabinets and line them up on the chair, and then when he's done I have him put them away. My husband won't let him take them out, because once he knocked one over and broke it and the house smelled like soy sauce for two weeks (yes, I mopped). I wish we could be on the same page about this; it's just stuff, messes clean up -- except for the permanent marker on the gilder chair, which I went ballistic over, I guess because it had sentimental value -- but I try so hard to not go nuts over it. I'm not strict about a lot -- only if he's hurting someone else or potentially could.

Hee! When I saw those photos, I thought, "Wow, that bin will scratch the floor!" and then I thought, "Oh, wait, they have tile, it will be fine."
So I think it's the fault of whoever put glossy tiles on a floor.
I am pretty much a grump about maintaining things, but what a memory. What photos!

I think it's fine to be a 3 and a 7, as long as your 3 doesn't run to rescue the kids from his 7, or his 7 doesn't squelch your 3.

In our family, I am the 7, and my husband is the 3, or I as I like to call us, "Mean Mommy" and "Fun Daddy." Everything works fine as long as Fun Daddy doesn't undermine Mean Mommy, i.e., Mean Mommy gets onto Kid, Kid runs to Fun Daddy, Fun Daddy is all "Poor Kid, isn't Mean Mommy soooo mean? Fun Daddy thinks Mean Mommy is very mean." That is NOT. COOL.

Also, Mean Mommy needs to put aside her "Oooh, don't run outside in the rain with Fun Daddy, you'll get dirty!" or her "What in the HELL did Fun Daddy put on you today?" Because questioning Fun Daddy's fashion sense and playfulness? Also, NOT COOL.

Are you SURE they are scratched and not just scuffed? That seems ridiculously fragile for tile.

Oh boy, we have that here too. It can be so HARD to not get mad at your partner when their idea of parenting is much stricter or lighter then your own. I tend to be way, wayyyyy mellower then my husband (no yelling or at least mostly no yelling) but when I am around rude kids I sometimes think they need a sterner parent which makes me hypocritical.
I agree 100 % with the above commenter who said you can't undermine the other parents way of parenting. . which is also hard.
Thank you for writing about this! Its so good to read everyone comments and feel better about our family dynamics.

I'm more of a 7. Noises drive me nuts - like the noise my son makes when he is playing fighting. Dh doesn't even hear it!

I think I am more like a 3 about some things, more like a 7 about others. Temporary messes--food on the floor, toys strewn around, etc.--I accept as a part of life, and in general our house is set up without many decorations, very kid friendly. Like another poster, I will have nice stuff later. But, I still get irritated about the permanent damage, like scratches to the floor or table. These things are costly and/or time-consuming to replace and we don't have a lot of time or money.

Sometimes I am 7-ish about doing things that are a little unsafe, and I am trying to change that because it sucks the fun out of things. But I am 2-ish about things like sitting down to eat and asking to be excused, because they are too little to get it.

I think I average out at a 5, but not because I am well moderated, more that I swing back and forth :)

Our kids do the same thing with boxes and pushing the little one around. Sometimes I make them stop, sometimes I don't. Often thinking about the floor scratches!

I'm 3 on some things (dog hair on floor) and 7 on others (food left on kitchen counter). DH is the opposite (7 on floor, 3 on food). But as for kids and household destruction ... well, honestly I don't let them destroy the house if they/we are aware it's what's going on, but I do pretty much expect the children (and the dogs) to destroy the house and see this as the cost of having them. Any area I don't want destroyed I pretty much insist that they must stay out of unless strictly supervised on special occasions. When the little one moves out (kid, not dog), we'll paint and otherwise fix the place up, though the dogs will still I hope destroy it.

Or, in short, you are right, Marko is wrong. There you have it.

Umm...I'm more of a Marko, I must confess. I stress over my things getting damaged- my hubby less so. But it's not like you realized what they were doing was hurting the tile! Argh...he'll get over it. I usually do.

I am sort of strict with my daughter when it comes to certain things and not so strict when it comes to others......Homework is a STRICT issue, as is manners, etc. but then the little things I kind of don't see.....like she will leave stuff on her computer stand FOREVER and I wont see it.....but then my DH does and has a fat moan....I like a neat home, but I don't think one needs to live in a "musuem" especially when you have kids and animals and when it comes to that, I am very, very easy going and don't always see the "harm" in certain things.....like for instance I would also not have seen the harm in what your kids were doing, but then my husband would go anal about it too :)

So, on the strict side, I am there, say about a 6, but on the material side....I don't see the "wrong" stuff.....if my house looks tidy, I am happy, I don't see the small nitty gritty stuff like the hubby does :( and sometimes that is an issue :)

Too hard on yourself! You are just more playful. Why what other book club mothers do matters?

I haven't got kids, so I've got a different perspective on this.

When I was growing up, my parents believed in letting me play, and not worrying about keeping the house spotless. They also didn't make me do many chores around the house. I have a million happy memories from my childhood, but this approach caused problems when I went off to university and moved into a shared house. I had many arguments with people about me not doing my share of the housework, simply because I had no idea how to keep the house nice when there wasn't someone there to tidy up after me and do everything I didn't feel like doing! It took me a long time to get used to living in the real world!

When I have kids, I will be tougher on them than my parents were with me.

So keep a balance of the Tertia and Marko approaches- your kids will thank you in the long run.

I would guess I am about a 5 on your scale (Brian is about a 9...or 11). Saying that, I would have let them play...until I noticed the scratches but I would not yell at them (or my spouse...I am not a yeller...I must be well & truly provoked to yell...). They are just children and don't know/think about such things. I agree with you about the yelling. I read a poem somewhere that said the only time you should yell (at your spouse) is if the house is on fire...I think that's good advice.

I would have told the children to stop and drink some more wine.

I think I may be a little more on the strict side but honestly... seeing the looks of joy on your kiddos' faces, I probably would have let them do it too. I agree with what some others have said... tiles can be replaced (one day when the kids are grown).

put a towel under the box so the floor doesn't get screwed up. problem solved. shag your hubbie an extra time. problem solved x 10.

With my daughter, I'm about a five. Luckily, neither my husband nor I give much crap about our stuff.

However, I teach American high school English. With them I'm about a 20. I make their parents look like the freakin' tooth fairy.

Hmm, a 3 or 4. I like to "let them be" as much as possible. Mud is ok, messes are ok, the wood floors are scratched up... all ok. I enjoy cleaning them down bc it means they were off relishing childhood. I was more Marko pre-kids, but I see things differently now. Except tub crayons. No way, I draw the line at tub crayons.

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