- At Home
I will never….
rock my children to sleep.
have my children sleep in bed with me.
give my children soda.
use a harness, “leash” for my children.
curse in front of my children.
feed my children fast food.
yell at my children in public.
These are just a list of the “things” I said I’d NEVER do when I had children. You know, when I was on my soap-box holding my niece or nephew, spewing out all my motherly advice. I knew so much, heck, I knew it all. Meanwhile I had maybe three babysitting gigs in my entire life, wasn’t a parent or wasn’t even close to becoming one. But I’d mouth off these ludicrous statements when my sisters and friends were new mothers and worrying about sleep patterns, if their kids were eating right, or sharing their toys. Really anything.
How the hell could I comment about being a mom when in fact I wasn’t a mother myself? I had no experience, I had no idea what it takes to be a parent, yet I had balls the size of Texas to spew out my thoughts on co-sleeping, breast feeding, and the terrible two’s! My gosh! If I was my friends or sisters I would have kicked me in the teeth.
Meanwhile, I’ve done all of the above, plus a million.
Last week I had an exchange with two men, ahhh boys, who made a comment about a father who had his daughter on a “leash”, I couldn’t help but get my Italian on when I heard:
“People who strap a leash to their child should be banned from walking out of their homes”
"That's just absurd, and I don’t know if it should be illegal or not, but I don’t like it. They’re humans not puppies”.
Really? Okay, how about this beauty:
“If you can’t hang onto your child, maybe you should rethink the whole parent thing?”
I took offense, obviously I used a “leash” . But what I do with my children is my prerogative, I wasn't harming my son. I needed it because I couldn't handle running after a two year old while trying to manage a curious five year old. Wherever I went: my parents house, the mall, the beauty salon, a hospital the minute I put down my two year old son he took off in a full sprint faster than Bruce Jenner. I didn’t like it one bit but I withstood the stares, and the snarky comments for the safety of my son.
So, with my Italian strapped on to accompany my hairy lip I hijacked the conversation, these boys had no idea if the parents may have lost a child before, are neurotic, or have a runner, and it didn't matter, the father wasn't harming the child in the least, so I quickly shot from the hip (as my Grandpa said “Shoot first, ask questions later”):
“Are you parents? If not than you can’t comment, some kids are very curious and in a busy mall better safe than sorry”.
Before I could even finish my sentence one of the boys said:
“I reserve the right to comment on anything I like, who the hell was talking to you anyway?
And the other followed up with:
“My dad was a single parent left with three boys to raise…and never put me on a leash”.
I was more pissed off than a bull in china shop, and had so many things to fire off, wasn’t it my prerogative to defend this father? Hell maybe this was my “What Would You Do Moment” sticking up for the underdog. But I dialed it back a bit, got my Italian in check and instead of firing off a comment that could be hurtful, because maybe they were parents to a toddler, I said:
“Yes, you’re right, you weren’t talking to me. And I must say you’re father is a rock star! Some people have it and others don’t. For me it was hard to wrangle my two year old at the mall especially when my five year old was a curious little thing, walk a mile in the parent’s shoes and then make a formidable comment”.
Perhaps I was a little harsh in the beginning, but I couldn’t walk away frankly if these two boys were parents I can guarantee they’d let me know. What was more disturbing was how quick they were to judge someone when they never walked a mile in their shoes. I’m not saying that you can’t have your own thoughts or opinions on different subjects, however I know for damn sure (foot in mouth way too many times) that unless you walk a mile in someone’s shoes; you just never know what that persons objective or reason for doing anything is.
The comments that these boys made were so ambiguous; imagine I said:
“Whoever runs a marathon in five hours is not a real runner” ,
“If you can’t make spaghetti from scratch you should just never cook again”,
“Men who wear blue sweaters shouldn’t be allowed to leave their house”.
It would be absurd, right?
The boys didn’t respond to my last statement.
Suffice it to say, I’ll have their leashes waiting for them when they’re on the front lines of parenthood.