Thursday, August 6, 2009

Do I Have a Sign on My Back?

Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I don't understand where people get off giving unsolicited parenting advice. Two in two weeks from strangers. I would totally get it if I was weeping in a corner helplessly or dragging him on a leash or letting him run amok without a word. I do not get what makes people think they can tell me how to parent. I'm seriously wondering if I had a ring on, or a man around, if people would be so quick to 'help' me.

After the Nosy Neighbor (official name now) gave me his 'official parenting advice' to get my kid outside to play, I purposely walked to the drugstore so Nosy Neighbor would STFU. As we came home, that man was out on his balcony shouting to me, "See that's what I was talking about! That's what he needs. That's what I like to see!" Are you KIDDING ME?! And yelling off a balcony! I let Noah jump around the apartment and be loud until bedtime. And those kids Nosey Neighbor indicated my child should emulate in being outside all the time? Seen kicking our other neighbor's car because it has an alarm that talks. Lovely example.

Fast forward to two weeks later, Wednesday afternoon.

Noah and I ran errands, went on a long walk to play at the park for 1.5 hours, and I did one very large load of laundry at the laundromat. I knew the kid would be wiped out during laundry. He was having some issues on the way to the car from the park, "I don't LIKE the car! I don't LIKE laundry! I don't LIKE to go home!" and wanting to be picked up and carried. I knew I'd have to be creative in keeping him sane for two hours. Just two very loooooong hours in public with a super meltdown looming on the horizon. I knew that I'd be doing a lot of counting, threatening, and redirection to ensure he wasn't a disturbance. No pushing the carts, no touching the machines, and no shouting inside. He had a snack and juice and I kept him engaged at all times. I have Cheetos cheese on my clean white socks to prove it!

What he did do was put his foot over the threshold over and over because I told him not to. Every time we'd get near the doorway, he'd stop and slide his foot over to the outside just to test me. He finally put his whole body outside the door and I told him to get inside more than once. Then I pretended to walk away to get him to follow, which usually brings my child running in fear of being left...but it did NOT work! I walked maybe three steps, and he said, "Well go then." and laughed at me. I started to take a step towards him to lead him inside, but as I did, he ran over before he would get in big trouble. Fine. I let it slide because he came back in.

All the sudden, Ms. Random Customer starts telling me that I "need to pick him up and bring him in to make him listen." She obviously read the same sign on me as Nosy Neighbor that said, "Please comment on my parenting." She then continued on that while he's little I need to teach him so when he's bigger it's not as hard, and that's why God makes kids little so you can remove them from what they're doing wrong. That I should get loud with him, and I don't have to spank him, but be firm with him so he knows I'm in charge. She then started telling my child that he has to listen to me because I'm keeping him safe and he could get smooshed by cars if he runs off! Guess which one of us made him cry? It wasn't me. I got to do damage control as she went on her merry way. Here I had been having fun with my kid all day (outside), and then I got that crap dumped on me.

So in the last two weeks I've had some random lady telling me to be firm with my kid even if he has a fit, and a neighbor who hates listening to my child have fits when I am firm. I'm officially done being polite to any more people commenting on how I should be parenting. I am not even for a second going to doubt my parenting based on other people's opinions of my child's behavior. I am a great mom to my son! I know I am because I have a great kid who loves me. Period.


Hef said...

I kinda have the urge to kick both those loud-mouth people square in the jaw. Heh.

eatmisery said...

Oh, fuck those people. You know your son; you know how to deal with him; you are his mother. Everyone is an expert when it's not their kid. Right?

Fuck them. They don't know you and they most definitely don't know Noah.

Your nosey neighbor? How would he know that your kid is inside all day? Is it because he's so busy watching his porn 24/7 and spanking it? Is this why he knows Noah doesn't get to go outside and cause trouble with all the other hoodlums?

The lady at the laundromat? Does she even HAVE children of her own? Doesn't sound like it to me. It sounds like she just wanted to butt in.

I had an old ugly woman on oxygen once tell me in a restaurant that my son needs a smack on the ass. I told her to mind her own fucking business, in those exact words. It worked. She left in a huff.

Listen to your own instincts, not the advice of strangers who come up to you on the street. You probably wouldn't swear at them like I would, but that's just how I do it. You're much nicer than I am.

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