Since when is it OK for a stranger to come into my yard, touch my child and do my job for me?
Do I have your attention?
A few days ago, The Husband and I were sitting in our living room with the windows open, watching the kids playing outside and talking. Three was riding his bike, hit a little patch of gravel on the sidewalk just right and fell. He was crying a little but it wasn’t bad. I noticed that he could bear weight on all of his extremities, none of them were at odd angles with his body, he was conscious, no blood was pulsing from anywhere and he wasn’t looking for me. If they come to me, I will cuddle them and kiss their tears away. If they don’t, it means (*gasp*) they don’t need me.
Then, out of nowhere, a pristine, white minivan crosses traffic at a 4-way stop to pull up and park on the wrong side of the road right beside 3.
Out jumps Mommeigh. Ombré hair, capris, boat shoes.
Sweetheart! Are you OK?!
Oh, no. Oh, Mama Bear has been hibernating since The Skateboard Incident (Coming soon to This Is Totally Normal.) and now she’s awake, she’s alert and she smells perfectly-coiffed, Viva La Juicy-scented meat.
Fortunately for everyone, The Husband sauntered outside before I could bust through a wall at this woman.
Mommeigh: He just wiped it. (I assume this is some sort of combination between “Bit it” and “Wiped out” that I’m not trendy enough to know about.)
The Husband: I know. He’s fine.
Mommeigh: (Glares and gets back into pristine van.)
I’ve told you this little story today to make a point.
Poor Mommeigh has fallen into the trap. She has been fed so much information, that she actually believes that anyone who doesn’t parent the way she does is doing it wrong. She thinks that children are stupid and incapable of telling us when they need our help. She thinks those HORRIBLE boat shoes are cute because countless magazine ads have told her they are.
Parenting is hard. I’ve said so before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Meeting the needs of four children keeps me constantly moving and makes me sleep like a rock. The Mommeighs of the world are just over-doing it.
My 2-year-old needs me to cut his food and constantly keep him from running into the street. He does not need me to put bumpers on sharp corners. He’ll remember what it feels like to bonk his head on those and refrain from doing it over and over.
My 6-year-old needs me to do her laundry and help her with her homework. She doesn’t need me to forbid her from riding her bike with no hands and sit 4 feet away from her in the yard. If she tries bike stunts and fails, she will either come to me for comfort, or troubleshoot her failed attempt and try again.
Mommeighs, Tinslee and Brixton don’t need you to hold their hand. They’re smart! They need you to teach them how to be a member of our society. This education, unfortunately for the youth of this country, doesn’t involve a lot of hand holding. It involves a lot of falling flat on your face. But, you know, congrats on raising a bunch of wieners. Hopefully my kids will go light on your kids when they’re your kids’ bosses. A leader isn’t made by living in a padded world. Leaders come from a life of mistakes and lessons learned. So, let them get some scabs! Let them figure things out and use their own brains. Or, micro-manage them and go organize your ribbon room. Whatevs.