Kids, kids, kids. I have three. I did not know what the heck I was doing when my first beauty came into the world and whether or not I currently do remains open for debate. But one thing is for sure…it’s an experimental process!
With my first, I was mid-twenties and in a totally different state of mind than when number tres rolled around. In my second decade of life I reacted to things that now fail to trigger so much as a raised eyebrow.
What kinda things? Oh, cleaning, house-hold chores, tasks, sleep, and public opinion were a few. Public opinion was a biggie. It is common knowledge that my daughter inherited some spicy DNA and delights in her ability to fire things up. In our home we were and are very real. We tell it like it is. However, as a newbie mom I was afraid that she may offend strangers with her outspoken ways.
When she would remark that she felt the cashier lady was scary-witch looking, inquire if she was going for THAT look or ask a random stranger why their nose was so large, I would immediately and publically shut her down with “don’t say that” or another similar reprimand and then later follow it up with the infamous “what will they think?!?” Or I would attempt to “explain” her remarks away with a “what she meant was….” as she stood there, brows furrowed in confusion. She would even interject an occasional “no, that is NOT what I meant!”
I would correct her before her behavior actually warranted it if I believed that a stranger would not approve of what she was doing. When my second bambino came along two years later, it was more of the same. As a result I began to notice that they were developing my immature ‘fear of man.’ Sorry kids for the state of confusion I caused and the counseling you’ll likely require later!
Enter number tres when I was in my mid-thirties and my maturity sky rocketed…at least that is what I like to tell myself. I became enlightened and did a complete 180. Also I believe that I plugged into my inner scientist and embarked on an experimental journey.
The experiment was one of total abandonment concerning public opinion. I did not and do not police his (or his now older siblings – better late than never!) public behavior. I teach sensitivity and how to avoid mean-spirited comments, instill consideration regarding the feelings of others, instruct proper manners and social norms and above all I demonstrate love. But once we are out and about….it’s hands off! Ok, ok, within reason. If he’s foaming at the mouth and acting like an animal then he will most definitely feel some interventional hands.
Wow, has it been a ride!! Number tres is totally free and unbridled. There is not a mean bone in his skeletal frame-work yet some of his remarks are, well, truthfully blunt. He informed a woman she looked much older and had more wrinkles than the last time he saw her (she did)….asked another why her home was a junkie-mess when we stopped by to visit (it was)….told another she had terrible body odor (she did)….inquired of the hair stylist whether or not she did her hair like that on purpose or if she just had a rough sleep…was intrigued when a man’s butt kept “sucking up” his pants and asked how he got his butt to do that cool trick…….
I must admit that sometimes I want to hide! But I simply smile the most forced smile I can muster, give a little shrug and move on!
Now….if only I could master behavior manipulation with the ring a bell…..