Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wanna guess where she gets her temper from, asshole?

Before I became a parent I freely admit to being judgy.  Like super judgy.  Like over-the-top, I think you are a horrible parent because your child is doing X Y and Z judgy.  And while I never actually told anyone I thought they were doing it wrong, I still thought they were doing it wrong.

It was something I struggled with, because when my own children did X Y and Z, that meant that, according to my pre-parenting logic, that I was a horrible parent.

However that changed when my 18 month old got kicked out of daycare for smacking other little kids.  I forgave myself.  (I also resented/still-to-this-day despise his 'teacher.')  (Remember that story?)

His behavior was not something he got from home.  It wasn't something that I could stop just by asking him to or helping him to count to 10.  It was something he'd have to grow out of, which he did.

Likewise, I have also learned many, many parenting lessons with my daughter.  She's tough.  She's stubborn.  And heaven help the person who tries to get her to play in her soccer game instead of playing on the (very visible and very close) playground.

That was me this past weekend.  She was in a bad mood almost from the time she woke up.  And that's fine.  It sucks, but it's honestly not that unusual.  We deal with it and move on.  But this day was worse.  And she was not going to get out on that field.  No way, no how, no bribery on earth was going to make her.  Okay, again.  Fine.  Normally I don't really have a problem with it because I know I can't force her.  Sometimes I forget and need to be reminded, though, which she did with a kick to my shins.  It was effective.  I attempted to let her know that sort of behavior wasn't acceptable by enforcing a 'time out' that never took.  I remedied this by holding her in my lap while she kicked me even more.

(In case you were wondering, her father was filling in for the coach, so he was not available to help.  And her brother was just trying to stay out of the line of fire.)

Obviously (NOW.  Now it's obvious) that wasn't going to work.  I decided in my infinite parental wisdom to take her to the car for a cooling off period, which would have probably been a good idea ages before we got to this point.  As I got up, carefully holding on to my squirming, flailing, fighting, 3 and a half year old daughter I hear an old man next to me wearing coveralls sadly lament how we are raising our daughter.

"No limitations," he smugly pronounced, smirking and all but shaking his head at my inability to properly control my daughter.
At first I was mainly focused on calming the situation down as best as I could and moving away from the crowd.  So it didn't register with me what he had said.

And then, as I was walking with my death grip on my daughter's arm, dragging her through the parking lot because she went limp, with her screams echoing in my ear, I started cursing him in my head because WHAT THE HELL?

Who are you to talk to me?  If we're going to judge people, then I'm going to go ahead and assume that you never had to deal with this, that whoever was unlucky enough to be the mother of your children probably did all the work and dealt with all the tantrums and that is why you are standing their acting superior and telling me that I'm not raising my kid right, you lazy, asshole, sack of shit.

And maybe that's not true.  But neither is assuming you know how I parent after 5 minutes of watching me with my daughter, who was having an exceptionally bad day.

Oh yes, we have limitations.  We have boundaries.  We have proper behavior and the right way to act and all the rest.  But that only goes so far.  Children will push those boundaries.  Children will have a shit day where nothing makes them feel better than screaming at the top of their lungs and lunging at whatever is within their reach.

We all have those days.  But you know what makes an adult?  It's the ability to hold back and not say whatever stupid bullshit comes into your head.

You might want to keep that in mind.


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