My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Some of the many things about other parents I just don’t understand
February 1, 2012, 7:24 am
Filed under: Parenting

Do the children above not look sufficiently confused? I, likewise, am confused about some things.

As I have spoken of before, I am generally a non-judgmental type. By reading the above, a person might think otherwise. But I am allowed a moment to observe. I reserve judgment, but I will observe. In print.

I don’t like to play guessing games as to “why” a parent might do this or that. Well, actually, I do. It’s a lot of fun.

  1. Weaning from binkies and bottles. I don’t understand this mainly because I haven’t had to deal with this, neither one took a pacifier (much to my chagrin). Ruby never took a bottle. Scout ditched hers on account of the daycare pushing it. But my curiosity stems from: Why is it such a big deal to “wean” a kid from these things? Why all the anxiety over the kid and their soothing techniques? I mean, presumably, they didn’t put their first pacifier in their mouth all by themselves. As parents, we do all sorts of things to comfort our children. My kids both drag along two blankets (two a piece, that is), my oldest sucks her thumb, and I just don’t give it a lot of thought. They will not do these things forever. This one is just lost on me. Photos of Suri Cruise with a bottle hanging out of her mouth, or some other celebrity kid walking around with a nook–seriously, is that a big deal? I genuinely don’t get it.
  2. “I just don’t want to miss anything.” I have heard many parents utter these words, and I just don’t get it. I have a good friend who is like 21 weeks along and she’s already uttered these words. I know a pre-school mom who said this in reference to the fact that she’ll likely only have two kids–as in, I assume, with more kids you’re stretched more and can’t (physically, figuratively? Not sure.) be there for your kids as much. The reason that I don’t understand this perhaps stems from the fact that I was a working mom for the first 18 months with Scout. I’m sure I missed plenty. But I didn’t know what I missed! I didn’t ask the daycare providers for a re-cap: “Gee, did she take her first steps today? Did she sit up by herself for the first time? Did she call you ‘momma’?” Ignorance is bliss. I’ve never been to Disney World either, and I don’t sit around longing for it. I don’t know what I’m missing, and it doesn’t worry me. In the life of my children, I will definitely (and, in some instances, quite appropriately) miss things. There are things that I need to do for them, but there are ways in which other lovely people can be there for them. I don’t get preoccupied about “missing things,” but I do get very worked up about other things. This just isn’t one that I understand.
  3. The backhanded brag. I think having pride in your child, pride in your family, and all that is fantastic. However, I was very much the child of a braggart, and actually it  isn’t that great. I love love love my dad, but he talked about me and my brother incessantly to others. He was very obvious about his bragging, not subtle in any way. It made me cringe. But, whatever, I survived, I’m no worse for the wear. When I go back to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, someone in the grocery store will recognize me and ask me how things are going in Colorado, ask me about my kids, or, years ago, how grad school was going. It’s weird to have other people that you don’t know know your business. Yet, my real hang up is when the parent tries to lob one over the net. Heard uttered the other day (as parent beamed), “A lot of people have been suggesting that I put my child in full-day kindergarten because she’s already so academically advanced.”  So, this parent made it into a conversation about full-day vs. half-day kindergarten. Clever, eh? And on and on. Heard uttered at so many of the kindergarten parent meetings I attended, “What sort of G&T services do you have?” G&T, if you are like me and didn’t know, stands for “gifted and talented.” Now, this is an informational meeting with maybe 100 other parents, and into this meeting you just can’t help interjecting that your child is already in need of these services? Sorry, I just don’t get it. I’m guessing all those questions could have been more appropriately discussed directly with the principal, but I could be wrong. I mean, obviously, my children are utter geniuses. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.
  4. Facebook posts about your child’s bowel movements. This does fall a bit under point #3, but worth it’s own number. This is weirder than a backhand brag, namely due to subject matter. You are publicly discussing your child’s poops, and now you are receiving high-fives from your friends about it. I mean, kudos to the kid, for sure–but does your kid have a facebook account? Is he reading this? In my experience, the time from Scout’s first poop in the toilet to the time when she was fully potty trained was 18 months. Sweet Mary, the thought of posting her highs and lows throughout that arduous process only strikes me as gross. It’s all so beyond my level of comprehension. I might have made many goofy choices in regards to my kids, but a public play-by-play of their potty training days is not one I can add to the list. (Or will add to the list, in Ruby’s case.) However, I did very much like my one friend’s status updates on facebook after all was said and done: “Landfills around the world can heave a collective sigh of relief: Maya is now potty-trained.” (Or something like that.) The joy of a child  who is capable of bathrooming by himself or herself, that, on the other hand, I completely and totally understand.

I digress. This post did sound a bit snarky and judgey. Don’t judge me for my lack of empathy.


2 Comments so far
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Yep, these are great parenting posts. I just had an experience yesterday while walking with my daughter. Two ladies yelled to me in the park asking if I had dropped a binky. I had to stop and think about it because my daughter still uses one at night (only at night). I called back that it wasn’t ours, and one of the women said, very loudly, “I sure hope your kid isn’t still using a binky at 18 months.” Judgement from 200 yards away. And she’s 16 and half months old. Perhaps you’d like to call my kid gigantor as well?

Comment by RFL

I like how you’re saying that your daughter uses a binky–only at night. Spoken like a total parent. My daughter sucks her thumb–but only if she is also stroking the satin binding of her blanket (weird, I know). We all must suffer the judgment of others at some point, better that they are strangers at the park and not your mother-in-law, right? And HA gigantor. That reminds me of that movie “Speed,” which I saw way too many times in my Keanu Reeves-crush-phase. Thanks for taking a look and welcoming me.

Comment by jaymers

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