Friday, August 28, 2009

And now it's our turn.

Do you remember when you didn't have kids? Do you remember when you used to know everything about raising kids? When you knew what rules your kids were going to follow, how they were going to behave outside of the house?

Isn't it funny how that all changes when you actually have kids? You become that parent that lets their child sass just a little bit, because it isn't worth the argument. The sticky chocolate fingers and vanilla bean frappucinno because they've been good all day seem a little less indulgent.

I used to know it all. My kid was never going to be that kid. The one with a holey pair of jeans, dirty fingernails, pajama shirt and messy hair running around the store making obnoxious airplane noises. Sometimes the Lord teaches us a lesson in humility by putting us in the place of those we have judged. I know I judged one too many parents in my single, child-free days. I apologize to all of those well-meaning, tired parents who just didn't have it in them. I apologize to those parents who really didn't think it mattered if their kid looked like a dork in sandals three sizes too big, a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, T-shirt tucked into their spiderman underwear, Batman pajama shirt with cape and goofy sunglasses on if he was happy.

Yeah, I really sincerely do. And it has nothing to do with the fact that recently we left the house in sandals several sizes too big because they are his rocket boots. The fact that he wore those "rocket boots" to Costco with upside down, red goggle sunglasses meant for babies --his "race car goggles" -- has not influenced the decision to write such an apology. Neither has the fact that maybe we have left the house in pajamas, because it was too much of a fight to convince the kid that he wasn't superman or batman or whatever caped crusader he went to bed as the night before. None of those things have led me to publicly apologize to all of those I have secretly judged before.

Isn't it amazing how much you learn about other parents when you become one?


Elisabeth said...

Oh - I think you read my mind!

And yes, that is my kid with the per-ito (dorito) cheese stained face and red cowboy boots with his shorts and polo shirt.

What can I say? Doritors are a great bribe, and who can deny a cowboy obsessed kid his red cowboy boots (that are 2 sizes too big?)

Vanessa said...

Uh, yeah. Sometimes I wonder if Finley is my "punishment" for judging other parents before I had kids. I love him, but heaven help me, he is very much "two." I'm sure you know what I mean. He's sassy, sweet, knows-it-all, adorable and a hand full, or three. And me, I'm THAT mom. The one who ignores the screaming child in the shopping cart that is "stuck" because when I let him out of the cart he runs away. But hey, I have to eat, and leaving the store every time he acts up isn't going to work.