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When Josie was a baby and I'd see someone at the mall formula-feeding a newborn and just get sort of weird and cringe-y about it... I won't say it was a judgmental reaction I was having, I more just felt really sorry about the whole situation because Josie and I had so many fantastic nursing moments, it was so natural, I hated knowing that another baby might not be getting that.

But now it's been a year since I weaned her and I don't really give as much of a crap about that anymore. I figure the news is out about breastfeeding, if someone does formula now there must've been some problem, so I just move on. Hell at least someone's feeding the kid. millions of very smart people were raised on formula, and when you ask an adult "Did you have good parents?" you never hear them say "Well, I was breastfed..." It's just stopped being a major thing with me, now that I'm done with it.

Unfortunately I have a NEW thing to be itchy and reactive about: very small children getting way over-yelled at.

I mean of course I've had to yell at my kid, and yes I have stressed out days when I just want her to GET IN THE DAMN CARSEAT NOW, that's not it. It's situations where I just have to witness a 10-30 minute stream of negativity directed at someone who's very small, and just totally unable to redeem themselves.

I was stuck in a line at the fabric store and this lady just would NOT let up, I was trying to look away and mind my own damn business but it was tough. Okay, maybe her kid got in trouble for something, but after yelling at him she just kept going into full detail about how "every time we go to a store you have to touch everything" and "do you want to get stuck in there with your sister?" (sister looked about 18 months old, and was screaming in the cart) and a myriad of other imaginative punishments until finally this boy, who was probably 4 or 5, just stopped crying, zoned out and stared into space. then his mother carefully examined the backs of magazines or something... I guess being ignored is a real upgrade in that situation, but sheesh.

other bad parenting I got to witness: lady screaming at her child to play at the sprinkler water playground thingy, this girl was about 3, and what made it worse was that this lady was gesturing towards MY KID as the example. "LOOK THAT'S A BABY, she goes in the water, she's still in a damn DIAPER and she's not scared, why are you afraid of everything?!"

oh. my. god. let your kid just BE, let her touch the water, warm up to it, it'll be okay, now of course this child was acting like the water would melt her because she clearly associated this water park with hate. how do you make a playground NOT FUN?

honestly a lot of this bothered me before I was a parent, but I felt like since I'd never "been there" I just didn't understand. you know how parents are always telling non-parents that having children of your own will totally change all your opinions? you'll totally forget your former ways, become obsessed with coloring books and kids-eat-free night and might even vote republican?

But I haven't changed. now I just feel like I have a bit more authority on the issue. maybe we should let non-parents pass a little judgement now and then, kinda good to hear from an unbiased source, right? especially now that I think the whole "my kid my choice don't judge me" mantras I hear are kinda just bullshit. none of us are perfect parents, but some really are better than others.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
litlebanana
Oct. 14th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying you're wrong. But keep in mind, your kid is too young to understand most of the more complex stuff you say to her. By age 4 or 5, they can comprehend threats and punishments much better.

Yesterday I was trying to get Melanie to her dance class on time, and meanwhile, she was doing everything in her power to thwart me. She wouldn't wear the clothes she was supposed to wear, she wanted to bring every toy in her room with her, she wouldn't put her shoes on. And I was like, "WE'VE GOT TO GO!!!" Not getting through. Finally, I started saying we're going to cancel the dance class. Still, she doesn't care. At this point, we had like five minutes to get there, Libby was tantruming, and I felt like I was going to have a stroke. So I started yelling and did what I had to in order to get her in the car. When we were finally in the car and I calmed down, I actually apologized to her and explained why I was so upset, and tried to talk to her like a big kid about why we needed to leave on time and we really could cancel the class if she didn't want to do it. But still, if this had happened in a public place, I would have looked like a monster.

And I am a person who virtually never loses my temper. People I am friends with or work with could not even imagine it.

I do agree with you that the mom at the sprinklers shouldn't have tried to shame her kid that way. But I feel sort of sympathetic to the mom in the fabric store. Because kids can really act up in stores once they're too old for the carts and I've lost it a few times. Plus, I think I posted here about the time when I was in the library and let Melanie touch the books, not really doing any serious harm, and some random lady came up and started yelling at me. So it's like, you can't win. If you yell at your kid, you look bad. If you don't, someone else yells at you.
okoshun
Oct. 14th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Been watching a mom at the hockey game I'm at who's been yelling at, controlling and even managed to wipe all the fun out of the kids winning a box of donuts. So much control over every aspect of their experience. I hope to never be that mom.
mrs_dragon
Oct. 14th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
honestly a lot of this bothered me before I was a parent, but I felt like since I'd never "been there" I just didn't understand. you know how parents are always telling non-parents that having children of your own will totally change all your opinions? you'll totally forget your former ways, become obsessed with coloring books and kids-eat-free night and might even vote republican?

I try not to be judgey. Hell, I don't know what goes on in their house, or what their day's been like or if their kid has been a holy terror for the last week straight...but all the same, Rob and I look at those situations and discuss them and talk about how we would like to handle them. I'm sure we won't be perfect parents, but esh. We both have coworkers with older kids and the stories they tell us about issues they are dealing with...I just don't get it. Why it's an issue, why they handle it that way, etc. So much seems to come down to just wanting 100% control over everything all the time and yet, their kids are within a few years of being legal adults.
that6tall2girl
Oct. 15th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for this. I never feel like I'm allowed to have an opinion when I see bad parenting because I've never been there. It's nice to know that while there are things I won't be able to understand until I experience them, I might be right about some harpies I see with their kids.
smittenbyu
Oct. 15th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
oh goodness...after coming to India for a visit, I am slowly turning into that mom who yells too much. I almost did. D is bored out of her mind is obviously acting up when she can. Instead of addressing that I am just yelling. Shame on me. I swore I would never be that mom but it's such an easy path to fall into. yeeks....I am glad it lasted just 2-3 days before I caught myself and toned it down!
njntrubl
Oct. 17th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
I am judging all of you right now!! LOL ;)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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