Monday, March 10, 2014

Normal for You

Every week I work a couple of hours in the childcare room at the gym.  It gets me a free membership, and I can bring the girls with me so it's a win all around.  We've been doing it for almost a year, and the girls (especially Molly) feel like they own the place.  Molly, in her independent nature, likes to talk to the front desk people, unlock the childcare room by herself, and ride the elevator (one of the few in town) without me.  These things I allow, because I know her and I know she knows the building and many people that work there.  Another thing she really liked to do is go downstairs and wait on the bench by the front door while I clocked out.  It takes me about five minutes, and I think she just liked to sit there and say hi to people as they came in.  I knew she wasn't going to run out the door or do anything destructive down there.  And then one day she decided that instead of sitting on the bench, she was going to get underneath it and pretend she was hiding.  I don't know why.  But she wasn't scared or lost, she was just goofing around.  At the same time, I was upstairs walking down the hallway, and Cedar ran in front of me and around the corner.  A man came walking along, stopped me and sounding super annoyed, pointed down the hallway where Cedar had gone and asked if she was mine.  Then he asked if I had an older one that got away.  And told me she was hiding under a bench by the door.  I think I just nodded, and he turned around with an exasperated sigh.  Like I was letting my obnoxious offspring run wild and unsupervised in the mostly adult athletic club.

So I grabbed Cedar, and went downstairs where Molly was still under the bench.  She wasn't doing anything awful, just giggling.  And I got kind of mad at her, and told her she wasn't allowed to wait down there anymore.  Or run ahead of me and get the key from the front desk.  It's a downer to get the judgmental parenting comments, and honestly I took it out on her.  But I've been feeling bad.  She hasn't been unsafe or bothered anyone else.  I feel okay about it, so why am I letting what other people think affect my decisions about what my children can do?  This one thing isn't that big of a deal either way, but it happens to me a lot.

Then last weekend, I ran into a mom that I know.  Her son and Porter play hockey together, and are in the same class at school.  She commented that she had eaten lunch at school with the boys the other day, and that she had tried to talk to Porter but he was so shy he wouldn't even look at her.  I just shrugged, what are you going to do?  Porter has always, always been like that, especially with adults.  It is his nature to be an introvert, and pushing him doesn't do anyone any good.  But I almost had a talk with him (one we've had before), about how you should look at adults when they speak to you.  And that you should respond.  And that if you don't, it looks like you're being rude.  But then I didn't.  Because he knows.  And he can't help it.  And what do I really care what anyone else thinks?  It's a process I guess.

Anyway, along with serious parental thoughts, I found this.  One of Porter's old learn to read books.  I got a pretty good laugh over Lad and his leaky keg and all the napping.  Right?  It's not just me.

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