Some days I really do feel like a circus act. Between keeping multiple balls up in the air, keeping the wild animals at bay and constantly performing death defying acts... well it gets a little tiring. Especially when all I really want to do is wear a top hat and be the Ring Leader.
Most days it's a 'cakewalk' (I 'Googled' that, and it's actually a legitimate term)
1. Something that is easily accomplished
2: A 19th-century public entertainment among African Americans in which walkers
performing the most accomplished or amusing steps won cakes as prizes and
3: a. A strutting dance, often performed in minstrel shows
b. The music for this dance
But other days I really do feel like I need to have a couple of tricks up my sleeve just to get through the day. And I only have Little P! Props to those Mommies and Daddies who have multiples. Little P wears me out - if she had siblings... well let's just say this Mommy might be more prone to indulging in liquid libations a touch more regularly.
Yet I digress. The reason for this post was because I was reminded today, of an incident with a friend of mine a few weeks ago (and since enough time has passed, I feel I can write about it without too many reverberations). This friend, let's call her Mrs. X (partly because I don't want to 'call her out' about this, and partly because it sounds cool), has 5 kids. Yup 5. Kind of a 'Brady Bunch' deal. She had two, her husband had two and then they decided to have one together. The kids range in age from 16 down to 8 months.
Anyway, Mrs. X and I had known each other from working together quite some time ago, and it had been a while since we had caught up. So when out of the blue I get a FB message from her to meet her for coffee, I thought, 'yeah, cool. Be nice to catch up'. I should have read the disclaimer on the bottom of that message.
Don't get me wrong, I adore her, and I think she's a brave woman for wanting to have another little one after the youngest is now in school. But I have to admit, I was a little shocked at her parenting technique. She's not a 'bad Mommy', not at all. Just a very, um, over protective one (yeah, that will work. I was going to say 'anally retentive about her child's welfare', but over protective sounds better).
Now, Little P is quite the fearless one. She'll climb up to the tallest slide, and most days she will slide down without even thinking about it. She gets into places even I wouldn't dare go, and that's cool. I like the fact that she's not a wall flower; that she can fall over, say 'boom' and get back up and go again. It's awesome. It does however, require me to have something of an 'eagle eye', just to make sure she's not getting up to something she shouldn't - and I am usually doing this while talking to someone, getting Little P something to eat and responding to a text message all at the same time (see, multiple balls in the air). It also, from time to time, requires me to be something of an acrobat, if she gets stuck somewhere. Mrs. X on the other hand, wouldn't even let me near her baby. "She doesn't need your adult germs". Yup, apparently, while my icky germs are just fine for my little girl, her precious bundle might get sick if I so much as breathe on her.
And forget about letting her out of her stroller. She might fall, or decide she wants to do something other than sit there and look cute. Seriously? Look, I'm all for 'live and let live'. She wants to wrap her little one up in cotton wool and not let anything happen to her, than so be it. But, if I may quote Dory,
'Well, you can't never let anything happen to him.
Then nothing would ever happen to him.
Not much fun for little Harpo.'
How are kids going to learn what they like and what's fun, if Mommy is never going to let them do anything.
I asked her why she was so damn over protective (I didn't phrase it that way, I do have some tact), and her answer was this: 'I'm not going to screw this one up'. Sorry? I've met the other kids and I think they are pretty well adjusted, all things considered, but for some reason, she felt she had failed as a parent.
She never gave me a proper reason for this. And I didn't push it. But it made me wonder - do we judge our kids by how other people parent?
I don't - actually never really thought about it - but I guess it happens. As far as I'm concerned each kid is different, because each family is different and have different things affecting them. It's unfair to compare yourself and your family against another that has a completely different lifestyle to you.
So my wonderful readers, roll up, roll up, and see the Family Circus for what it really is - totally unique and one of a kind.
Till next time, keeps those balls in the air.
(credit - Pinterest)