Back when my daughter was just an infant, I learned about "biters." You know, these are the young kids who, well, bite as a form of communication. As a new mother, I clicked my tongue, and thought, how could parents let their child be that way? Turns out, my daughter Beatrice went through a short stage of biting. Shocking. And my son, Jimmy, bit my mother (in an extreme moment of affection) on the leg. It left marks. He was just under 2.
Here are a few more of my snap judgements, that have come back to haunt me:
Sharing: kids who don't share are mean-spirited. Just turns out they have to learn this necessary trait. It does not come naturally, as I once thought.
Picking up toys: Every well-mannered child should instictively pick up toys after playing. This is just how it goes in our house. Now my 3 year old absolutely refuses. I'm sure this rebellion is just a stage, but my 5 year old never did this...
Sharpies: My oldest sister moved into a new house, which was professionally wall-papered. Her 2 year old got a hold of a sharpie (permenent, of course) and marked up the walls in a few rooms, before being discovered. She did a lot of damage. How could my sister and her husband let this happen?? Why in the world does this toddler even have access to Sharpies?? She is old enough to know better. Well, a few weeks ago, after putting down a fresh tablecloth on our dining room table, and setting the kids up with paper and colored pencils, I started making supper. They were drawing quietly, so I let them alone. When I was ready to put dinner on the table, I asked my husband to help the kids clean up. Should be a simple matter of collecting pencils, and stacking paper. He came into the kitchen, and told me I wasn't going to like the mess. As usual, I assumed he was overreacting. Come on, it'll clean up fast, I coached him. I walked into the dining room, where my 3 year old sat with a thick blue Sharpie. He had drawn all over the tablecloth, and himself. My 5 year old had just sat and watched, facinated. They both knew better...
Being a parent is so humbling.
Oh, this is such a good one. I hope there are lots of comments. Here are a few from my list...
Public temper tantrums: Why did I once fault the parents who I would see dragging a "tantrum in progress" away from a public place, as though the tantrum was the parent's fault?
Kids who behave "strangely": I ate crow for this one today when my 3 yo child was asked by a pool lifeguard to stop leaning on a wall, and not only did he continue doing it, he started smiling a strange smile and sticking his tongue in and out of his mouth. (Okay, I don't care if no one else can yet relate to this one -- you still might one day!)
A child hitting his/her mother: I had actually just shared my shock about a child hitting his mother in front of me when lo and behold my 2 yo hit me. I guess I had it coming!
P.S. Happy Anniversary, StuntMom! I just realized that you were a year old last Sunday. Thanks for keeping us readers entertained, informed and connected.
Hey thanks, I didn't realize it had been a year already.
As for the judging...a friend and reader of mine had a great quote about those that judge, that stuck in my head for months, but it has slipped from my memory, hopefully along with all of my judging too. Karen, can you remind me of the quote?
Funny stories about biting and the like. Maybe it's time to realize that no one has perfect kids, and who would want a perfect pleasing child anyway? How boring! It's the ones that challenge us most that will be able to stand up for themselves in life since they can stand up to us at such a young age.
Was it this?
If you don't judge others, you won't need to worry about others judging you.
Thanks, that was it.
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