Friday, January 31, 2014

A Piece of Advice

I know so many friends, family, and acquaintances having babies in the next six months it's ridiculous. I am so incredibly happy for all of them and while I do have tons of advice to pass on, the one thing I want them to know: never say never. Any time you have ever uttered the words "my kid will NOT do that" know that you're child will in fact do just that.

One of my good friends found out last week she and her husband are having a boy in June. She made a comment during a shopping for baby day last month that she hates monkeys and bears on boy's clothes. I laughed and told her she should NEVER say never when it comes to anything with her child. Sure enough, she wound up with four onesies and pj's covered with monkeys and bears because that's all she found while shopping. I kindly reminded her that this is her first lesson in not to speak in absolutes when it comes to kids.

Before I had kids, I was the worst offender of this NEVER judgment. I'd see a kid screaming in the middle of the grocery store, throwing the biggest tantrum ever and I'd whisper to my husband (then boyfriend) "our kids will NEVER act like that." Flash forward seven years. I affectionately call our family of five outings "a circus train wreck." Why? Because one kid will always be crying, screaming, fussing, complaining, etc., one kid will actually be listening...until he/she decides not to, and another will be running in the opposite direction we're headed, yet we keep moving on. Circus train wreck all around (we get a lot of  "oh my goodness, bless you" when we're out). I want to go back in time and give every parent I so unfairly judged a hug, fall at their feet, and exclaim "I TOTALLY get it now."

I totally get that strict schedules are for....well, not for us and don't suite every child's needs. I totally get how loud a single child can be....I'm pretty sure mine can compete with a herd of elephants and win. I totally get that for every time I've said my kids will not act that way, eat that, see that, have that, or do that they have done just that. I'm one hundred percent positive it's payback for my NEVER way of thinking.

We were in a restaurant several weeks ago. Our youngest at 19 1/2 months, is at the age where there is no sitting still. You can imagine her displeasure to sit through an entire meal at a restaurant. Instead of having her scream and interrupt those around us, I gave her sips of my pop (in my defense, this was the first time she had ever had it and she's my third kid and I completely have the "whatever, she's alive" mentality). I noticed a woman and man balking at the fact that I was giving my daughter sips of pop. I wanted to first tell them to mind their business and that this is sooo not a usual thing, I'm actually a huge proponent of kids eating healthy. Instead I rolled my eyes at them and chuckled to myself 'they'll get it someday.' By the looks they shot at us and whispers, I know they were discussing how their someday child(ren) will NEVER take a drink of pop, never get fussy (they'll teach them how to actually behave perfectly....something no other parent has mastered, just an fyi for you perfectionists). I can now guarantee that someday, they're child will be running around the restaurant screaming and drinking pop while he/she does it. That's just how this NEVER judgment thing works.

So, new mommy friends, for every time you've ever made statements along the lines of my child will not do that, behave that way, eat crap, run crazy.....just know that it's going to get thrown back in your face. Because your child WILL do those things. If you want to keep it a dirty little secret and pretend that your child is completely perfect, be my guest. I, and every other parent out there, will know the truth. I'm just here to offer advice and tell it like it is. And this is how it is.
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