Today, I saw my fair share of bratty kids. Not that my migits are perfect, but let's be honest, they are anything BUT bratty. I can tolerate the occasional tantrum, tired moment, boredom, frustration, and even the very occasional brat, but today was the exception of stupid parenting. I NEVER get upset with a child that is acting horribly. I ALWAYS anger at the parent. Today, I just felt bad for the mom. She was way out of her league with one child, and she actually had three. In my head, if you are screwing up one, there is no need to go any further. Tell your husband that your eggs have all dropped acid, and you don't feel like procreating is a wise choice for your family any more.
Where is this coming from? First, sitting in speech therapy for a mere thirty minutes and having to endure this out of control family while Chaz was in his session. Second, and this was the real motivator, another, and much more well read blogger I follow, was harassed by this community of people I didn't even know existed, this past week. While I knew that there were some adults that conscientiously chose to not have children, I had no idea that they had their own forum to bitch and complain about people who do have children. Where the heck do you think you came from you ungrateful group of people who call yourselves the "child free community?"
I know people who don't have children. And as far as I can tell, it's because they don't desire to have them. And that's okay. Being a dick about it? That's not so okay. First, I have kids, and still don't feel it is my place to insult another parent's child rearing technique. (I might slip them a book or mention the book that I have referred to as our "parenting bible.") Here's how that conversation might go....
Exasperated Mom- I just don't know what to do with "little Johnny.!"
Me- Look idiot! It's time you mean what you say, and say what you mean! Follow through with that threat, otherwise, your child will play you like an old fiddle!
*Uh. Maybe I don't say it like that. Take two!
Me- I know what you mean. Some kids are just obnoxious, and you look like a fool for having three of them!
*Cut, cut, cut! I'm pretty sure that's not it either. But I swear it's stored neatly in my head with a smile plastered on my face as the baby is literally placing the entire stack of coupon books in my lap while the mom threatens to not take her bratty middle child for dessert/surprise for acting a fool. Why yes, it seems appropriate to take an over weight six year old for ice cream after yelling at her mother and questioning "why" she needs to put her socks and shoes on in the therapy office.
Exasperated mother- (Looking in my direction as she mutters under her breathe) This is the longest hour of my day.
Me- (Pasted smile never leaving my face, barely looking up to acknowledge her and said NOTHING since she was beyond my patience for the day.)
However, in my defense, I have more than once lent out my parenting bible to friends. I swear that while Geoff and I had read this book years before actually having our children, the principles are simple, and yet, effective. The psychology is broken down, the discipline is swift, and the loving bond is restored immediately, or the lesson is not learned.
Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Ted Tripp. It's in the revised edition lately, and I swear, you won't be disappointed. My children LOVE that they know they are different then those children who are lacking manners, kindness, love, or discipline. Shay will often tell me that "so and so doesn't respect herself enough." That is her way of saying that the other child is acting like she is holding a fart in for too long. *Sorry Mom. I know you don't like the word "fart." However, this is a post of parenting, and you are technically done, so you should have stopped after the title. Or after you had your first, since I was all sorts of f'ed up. For the record, the word "fuck" is not nearly as offensive to my mother as the word "fart." Random, but isn't that interesting?
While talking to my friend about my childhood, she questioned my mom's hindsight to see where she screwed up? I don't know the answer to that. But I can tell you where I get my parenting from. From the fact that I didn't want to have to deal with a child like me. I always knew that when I had kids, I was going to do it differently. I hover. I involve myself. I know what each child is thinking before they think it. My mom was involved. But I literally infuse myself into every second of my kids' lives. I refer to myself as the term, "hover parent."
When talking to an acquaintance at the YMCA this past weekend, she referred to herself as "involved parenting" to her two older high school boys. It's all semantics. However, many years back, I marveled at how her husband told one of the boys, then in middle school, to go into a room down the hall and wait, and the boy did- WITHOUT QUESTION! I never forgot that the child was obedient and respectful for the entire time I saw him. I knew one day, with enough patience, discipline on my end to actual raise my children, and most importantly, LOVE, my children would be kind, loving, respectful children that other people would actually enjoy having around. What I learned was- I am those people. I love being with my kids because they are really FUCKING awesome kids. (And no, I don't really curse. I just thought the word "fart" needed to be balanced out for the sake of the northerners.)
David- "Where do you get your ideas to write on?" I told you, and I meant it. Life. I am motivated by the day's events. As you can tell, the days have not been very eventful this past week ;o) It will be an awesome gift to my children one day. They will know me as a person when they are older. But they will know what motivated me to mold them into what they become, by reading my work.
The blogger I was referring to is named Elle, and her blog is "This is Mommyhood." She is way more crass than I am, yet, she is diverse. I never guest blogged with her, however, she often accepts guest bloggers. I think she is a cool chick. Go check her out. But don't criticize her parenting. She is not a fan of that ;o)