I’m not entirely sure why, but this topic has been eating away at my already overstimulated brain. Maybe it started with Meredith’s post over at Pile of Babies concerning the flack she’s gotten over not sugar-coating motherhood. Maybe it was this photo that popped up in a ridiculous baby product list.
More likely is the fact that PMS is in full swing for the first time in over two years.
Whatever the reason, there are lots of things that make me wanna facepalm when I see parents who aren’t as snotty as I in the mall. Without further ado, I’m gonna let Judgy McBitcherson rear her ugly head for a short spell and blow of a little steam.
THINGS OTHER PARENTS DO THAT DRIVE ME BAT-SHIT INSANE (in no particular order):
The Baby Bikini: There is a very small part of me that simply thinks dressing your small child in a triangle top bikini just looks stupid, but every time I see a tot in a sexy two piece, I want to wring her parent’s neck. What the hell are you thinking dressing up a BABY in suggestive swimwear for? Why not just slather on some self tanner, pierce her navel and throw on a few coats of mascara while you are at it? I’m not referring to modest little tankinis or even when babies just wear the cute little swim bottoms and go topless. I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at a wee one in the buff (though I may giggle and reminisce about my own kids’ tiny, naked baby bottoms). It is the moment when a child is thrust into a grown-up, sexualized, slutty bikini that gets my panties in a bunch. Kids (little ladies especially) are growing up way too fast, and if there is any possible way I can hinder that progression as a parent, you bet I’m going to do it. Please, people. Let them be little as long as possible.
Helicopter Parents: I’m sure that lots of people think that I’m the mom at the park who isn’t paying close enough attention to her kids at the park. In reality, I am watching them like a hawk. I am not one of those parents who hover over their children and try to protect them from every tiny scrape, bump or tiff with another kid. Nathan, however, totally is and it drives me bananas. When Finny gets into it with another child at the park; over whose turn it is to bounce on the bridge or whose sand-hole is in the other’s territory, I stand back. I just about “accidentally” elbowed an obnoxious dad at the zoo last weekend when he repeatedly scolded Finny that his daughter’s turn to go down the slide. Please, just let them figure it out amongst themselves!! I intervene if there are babies involved, since Finn isn’t going to teach himself how to show the proper amount of restraint with them, but other than that, I let ’em have at it, just short of fisticuffs, anyway. I’m not going to be around the kids when they go off to school. I’m watching my two little hawklings – and I’m there to help them process it after it happens (and doll out the law when they’ve been especially bratty). Oh, and Zoo Dad? Go pound some lettuce up your ass and visit the giraffe feeding experience.
Backpack Leashes: My thought is this; if your kids can’t behave well enough to be taken out in public without a six-foot lead, maybe you should consider staying home. I’ve heard otherwise fabulous parents say that the exception to the “No Leash Rule” is at the airport, and that may be so. I haven’t been inside an airport since Finn was eight weeks old, so I’ll reserve judgement until I return from our Disney trip this summer. Outside of air transportation, I cringe when I see some poor toddler being dragged around tethered to his mother’s wrist. Besides reminding me of that SNL skit where four-year-old Mike Meyers is chained to the jungle gym at the playground, it makes me wonder why parents put their children on leashes… I love my dogs to pieces, but they don’t understand English quite as well as my 16 month old.
Effing Ruffles on EVERYTHING: Why, oh why has this ever become an acceptable practice?
Preschoolers in Jammies at Walmart: Maybe the child is in the midst of some kind of illness and you have no other choice but to bring him in to pickup Children’s Tylenol. Perhaps it is the middle of the night and you find yourself without appropriate equipment to survive surfing the crimson wave. Better yet; you are en route to your relative’s funeral and the little people need to be comfortable through the sixteen hour drive. Other than that, can you please just put a pair of pants and appropriate footwear on your child when leaving the house at three in the afternoon? Come to think of it, many of the parents who are offenders of this peeve of mine are usually in slippers themselves… Those poor kids are a lost cause.
“Are there eggs in those cookies? Sorry, we only eat vegan.” – We realized pretty quickly that the kids would not do well on our little vegan lifestyle. Barring allergens, religous practices and inappropriate substances (coffee, Diet Coke, Nicorette, crack cocaine), I cannot imagine making a child abstain from a particular food because it isn’t organic or gasp! isn’t Paleo. I feel like it is my job as a parent to be pretty cognizant about what my makes its way into Finn and Alice’s tummies – but I also want them to experience new things, and just be kids already. McDonald’s french fries are not going to kill anyone if they are only consumed occasionally. I am also equally peeved by parents who feed their kids nothing but processed food day in and day out, but that is a whole ‘nother story.
Not Saying “No:” I ran into a mom and her (first and only) child at the library last week who doesn’t say “no” to him. Like, ever. These are probably the same people who sign their third grader up for a tee-ball league where they don’t keep score. This peeve is really more of an annoyance than anything; I feel like it is completely delusional to think that never telling a child “no” is going to result in a more productive member of society, but to each their own. If I never said “no” to the kids, I would likely resort to a system of grunts and thumping my chest. “We say “ouch” if he hurts someone or if he is going to hurt himself. We say “share” if he takes something away from another child.” Me, I like to keep it simple. I have a handy, all purpose word – it is short, just two letters. It starts with N and ends in O.
Judging Other Parents on Thier Parenting Style: Oh, did you see what I did there? Yep. I’m a complete hypocrite. I must just be against judging anyone’s quality of parenting that is deemed greater than or equal to mine; which sets the bar pretty darn low. I don’t proclaim to be a wonderful mother – I know there are binders full of women who do a better job than I.
I have my share of idiosyncracies that annoy the ever-loving daylights out of folks I really respect. My mom, for instance, would visibly cringe when I would brush Finn’s teeth in the tub, or worse – occasionally feed him in the tub. (Seriously, how does everyone not feed babies while they are bathing? No laundry, no napkins. A stroke of genius if I don’t say so myself.) I irritate more than a fair share of parents who think it blasphemy to allow babies in bed with their parents. There are lots and lots more, I’m sure.
There are also a handful of my own rules that I have broken. No kid over the age of two should have a pacifier in their mouth – but Finn was attached to his until we made the poor guy quit cold turkey the day after his third birthday. I also used to detest babies with big ole flowers on their heads. Then I had a daughter. And now I am a flower offender, too.
All of this goes to show that we all totally suck at raising our kids in one way or another. In the end, I suppose I should give all parents who do things that irritate me a pass… Because this job totally blows sometimes, and it is flipping hard to always do the right thing. How about this, parents of the world? We can bitch and moan about the things we do that drive each other to the brink of sanity – but let’s leave it at that, okay? Get it off our chests and then move on with our own styles, as long as we aren’t raising each other’s kids, it is all our own prerogative to leash and ruffle our children as we see fit.
Except those people who put skanky bathing suits on their babies. Can we all agree that there are some lines you just don’t cross? If Alice is the only one in a burka at the beach, I am fine with that.