October 14th, 2012

planet

mommy judgement of the day: kids who get yelled at too much

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.