To the mom who tried to parent my child,
There were a few instances this week when you had the audacity to step in without me asking. I just want to say:
Yes, I hear that he just knocked over the dollhouse in the children's section of the library.
Yes, I see that he's running full force toward the 35 mph speed limit street.
Yes, I feel him hit me when I refuse to give him a third helping of Goldfish.
And one more thing:
I appreciate you.
I'm not sure when it became the worst thing in the world for "discipline... to be a collaborative effort among parents." Now, I don't mean "parent" in the sense of choosing my son's preschool or deciding whether to CIO or not. What I mean is that I hope, nay expect, other parents to step in if I'm not there.
Well, maybe that's because you're a terrible parent. What do you mean "not there" with your kid?
Parents, you know what I mean:
You're scouring through the library's fall book selection, when... CRASH!
You're watching your son run toward you in the grass, until he changes course, continuing down the driveway, when... HONK!
You're hosting a play date, but want to be consistent in your second-helping-only snack rule, when... WHACK!
We don't always see these things coming. Kids are lightening fast. But if we're out in public, we hope that others are looking out for our kin.
Deb, at Urban Moo Cow, just shared a deflating story in which another parent entered the park, and held the gate open so her son (with no clearly attached adult in sight) could exit. She was yards away, and ran toward them, asking the parent why he would hold the gate open for a child to leave. His response: "I'm not responsible for your kid."
In what sense? To clothe, feed, shelter? No, you're not. But there are unspoken parent rules. There are boundaries that kids shouldn't cross and parents should enforce. In this case, a physical boundary. In this case, safety.
So, I say "thank you" to the mom who caught the dollhouse mid-fall. I say "thank you" to the mom who honked her horn so I could be alerted to my son running out into the street. I say "thank you" to the mom who reinforced, "It's not okay to hit your mommy."
And, like it or not, I am that mom who will step in and parent your kid. I think you're a great parent. And I think that great parents should help each other out.
Social Butterfly Mom
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