Because of my secret knowledge of how I am just really lucky that my kid knows that there is a different kind of behavior for being in public than there is for home, I try to be pretty reluctant to judge. I don't really think any worse of mothers who breast or bottle feed, or have a few drinks or take antidepressants during pregnancy, or work full time or choose to homeschool (although we all know that THOSE mothers should be locked up *wink*). But sometimes there are mothers that you just want to kick in the vag because of their ability to overlook the completely OBVIOUS ways that they are contributing to their child's bad behavior.
Lila and I had the honor of being a flower girl and bridesmaid (I hope I don't have to tell you who the flower girl was because it would be really bizarre if it was me) at the wedding of one of my long-time friends. Lila's job was simply to prance down the aisle with a little boy who we will call "N". Lila was not going to be a problem. She follows direction well and is smart enough to understand what people are telling her to do.
Not so with all children. Before I even met him, I heard "cute" stories about him from his family at the bridal shower and from my friend. Everyone thought it was "cute" when N purposely punched his Daddy in the nuts. It's so adorable how he still talks like a baby and refuses to put words together into sentences, just like he did when he was 18 months old! He's not ready for preschool yet because he's so "gifted" that he isn't interested in learning colors or shapes or counting, and there's no reason to push him. And isn't it just so grown up the way he demands what he wants and never takes "no" for an answer? Maybe he'll be a CEO or a Diva when he grows up! Let's just say that I wasn't expecting a victorian gentleman.
His behavior at the rehearsal dinner wasn't as bad as I had been warned to expect. His mother held his hand and walked him through it a few times, and when the time came for he and Lila to practice alone, he simply took off running and then refused to stand anywhere near the groomsmen. Not a big deal, since 3 year old boys tend to be overly rambunctious and it was getting close to dinner time. But I did find it strange that his mother gave him one ring pop after another in an effort to get him to "settle down and pay attention." And did I mention that this was about 30 minutes before the rehearsal DINNER?
We went over to a super causal restaurant/bar nearby for the rehearsal dinner. As everyone was getting seated, I was chatting away with one of the other bridesmaids when I happened to look directly in front of me and saw something interesting. N was licking Sweet N Low off the table. At the restaurant. First off, I will barely let my kid TOUCH restaurant tables if I can help it. Because of this I immediately looked for his mother to let her know that somehow her kid had torn open a packet of aspertame and is licking it off the table, but when I realized that she was sitting next to him crumpling a little pink packet and then stroking his head my eyes nearly burst out of my head. "He's been such a good boy today, I can't say no to him," she said warmly.
"SERIOUSLY?" I whispered to the other bridesmaid as motioned my eyes in their general direction. She was as amazed as I was and told me she could not believe that this was okay. I mean, it wasn't SUGAR, right? It was only a disgusting cancer-causing artificial sweetner being tongued from a petri dish of a table in a bar/restaurant (and who are we kidding? The word "Tavern" is in the name of this place - it was a BAR that also serves food) by a 3 year old, so no issue.
Although pretty much everyone else in the wedding party stared in wonderment at this kid making out with the pile of sweetner on the (bar room) table, the mother and her immediate family seemed completely oblivious to fact that this might be somewhat questionable. And I really think that this would not be blog worthy if I hadn't heard the ongoing conversation she was having.
She was telling Ben how he is such a delightful kid, most of the time. She talked about how "strong willed" (code for completely out of control) and "free spirited" (does not care if it's okay) he is, all the while while telling him how he seems to want to destroy everything he gets his hands on and has caused quite a huge amount of property damage by crushing, stepping on, and in every way decimating anything that is of any value. Of course, then she went on to say that he "doesn't mean it" and there's "no point in punishing him for it because he's just being a boy."
SERIOUSLY? You really don't think that some of this might have to do with the fact that you have no ability to teach this kid limits or tell him that something is not okay? Because I am pretty sure that there is no way a kid will suddenly decide that he doesn't want to set things on fire if someone doesn't let him know that FIRE WILL KILL YOU. I'm just saying. Breaking things is fun. Being wild and insane is fun. Licking sugar off a (did I mention it was a bar?) table is only a kid's version of body shots. So why would a kid EVER potentially turn into an adult who does not want to smash and burn things or eat chocolate pudding of bathroom floors on a daily basis (which is the only logical conclusion to the sweetner incident).
I realize that I sound like one of those preachy asshole judging moms who acts disgusted at the idea of not breastfeeding until high school, but I want to murder people who are oblivious to their influence as parents or simply choose to allow to let their kids act poorly because of whatever wacked-out child-rearing philosophy they read about in the trendy parenting book of the month.
Kids definitely need room to be themselves. They need to know it's okay when they screw up, but that they will be guided to behave properly. They need to know that there is a world outside their homes where certain rules apply and the best way to teach them those rules is to put in the effort to show them. As much as your kid may protest and tell you they don't want to be your friend anymore, they will know that you love them because you gave them a sense of right and wrong that applies in most situations where contrary to the wishes of Mama, people will have some basic expectations of them.
Ok. My rant is over.
Now on to Sunday Stealing:
Sunday Stealing: The 99'er Meme: Final Part
Cheers to all of us thieves!
76) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?
77) How did/could someone win your heart?
Leave me alone. That seems to make me like you more.
78) In your world, what brings on more creativity?
79) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
To start my blog *wink*
80) Why did you break up with your last ex?
Wasn't this question asked last week? I moved to AZ.
81) What would you want to be written on your tombstone?
I saw one that said "I Told You I Was Sick". I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.
82) What is your favorite word?
FUCK. It isn't but I sure say it a lot.
83) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: delusional.
My entire life?
84) What is a saying you use a lot?
85) Are you watching Idol this season? If yes, how do you like it?
No. I don't even have a smart assed comment for that because I am so offended.
86) Were you surprised that House got canceled?
Ok. I am done with the TV questions. Doesn't anyone read anymore?
87) What is your current desktop picture?
88) If you could press a button and make anyone in the world instantaneously explode, who would it be?
Any of the current Republican Nominees. Hopefully during a photo op.
89) What would be a question where you'd not tell the truth?
Is there anything you could give a shit less about?
90) One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by WEEPING ANGELS. The Weeping Angles aren't really doing anything, they're just standing around your bed. What would you do?
Go to the emergency room to find out if someone put LSD in my drink.
91) You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What is that power?
I would be SUPER MOM.
92) You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
*wink* it would be dirty.
93) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
My recurrent bouts of Major Depressive Episodes. So that would be about the last 30 or so years.
94) You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. (let's say that you are both single and available) Who might it be?
Marky Mark while he was with the Funky Bunch. Or 65 Comeback Special Elvis.
95) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
To the town in Italy where my Grandfather came from.
96) Do you have any relatives or friends in jail?
Hahahaha. Not anymore, but in my day I received a good amount of prison pictures in the mail.
97) Who's winning the U.S. Republican presidential nomination? Why?
Mittens is the safest bet and the only one who is moderate enough to pick up non-affiliated voters. But it doesn't matter because they're all apeshit crazy.
98) Who's winning the next U.S. Presidential election?
It doesn't matter. Seriously. The system is so broken that no matter who wins it will be more of the same bullshit.
99) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?
Shut the fuck up and let me take my nap.