The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, February 15, 2008

I can't figure parents out

I'm far from Father of the Year, I know. I lose my temper far too often, especially when dealing with Norah. I calm down quickly, but I need to stop yelling at her, mainly because it doesn't really do any good. I have gotten better, but sometimes, she drives me crazy. She's two - that's what she does!

But other parents puzzle me. I took Norah to the mall yesterday, and we hung out in the play area for a while. One group of parents I hate are the ones who follow their children around the play area and help them play. Most of the time, the kids are somewhat young, but they can still walk. The parents help them go down the slide, or they make sure they don't fall off of things, and generally get in the way. Listen: If your kid is too small to do stuff in the play area, don't let him (or her) play. Kids figure things out pretty quickly, too. When Norah was small, she couldn't climb up on the slide. She kept trying and failing, but eventually, she figured it out. Let the kids learn for themselves, parents!

This time, in addition to the parents following their kids around, there were some specific parents who drove me nuts. One mother brought her son in. He was probably less than two years old. The kid did not want to be there. His mom started taking his shoes off, and he threw a fit. The mother insisted that he play. She wasn't mean about it, but she just kept coaxing him to play. She told him, "No fits!" more than once. He went off to play, but kept coming back. At one point she put him in time-out, which is strange, because we have always read that kids younger than two don't really understand the concept of time-out. But whatever. He sat quietly for his time-out, but when she announced that it was over, he went back to freaking out. I could not understand why she insisted that he play. The idea of the play area is so kids who have been worn out by shopping to blow off some steam. This kid didn't want to be there, so why on earth was the mother insisting on it? Finally she took him out of there. I didn't get it.

Then there was a woman with a boy. The kid looked about as old as Mia, but it might have been a year younger. This woman looked much older than I am; she looked like she was in her fifties. She referred to herself as "Mommy," though, so I wasn't sure if she was the mother or the grandmother. Anyway, she was trying to get the boy to play the correct way. The boy was trying to climb up a slide, and she kept telling him that "wasn't the right way." I noticed this because Norah was climbing up on the slide and trying to go down it, and the boy was in her way. Of course, when that happens she tends to wait until the others are out of the way - she's polite that way. So it wasn't bothering her that this kid was in her way. I was puzzled by her insistence that the boy play the right way. It's a play area - as long as the kids aren't beating on each other, let them play the way they want! Norah often climbs up the slide the wrong way, and nobody cares. There will be time enough for them to learn the "rules" about life. When they're this young, they can play the "wrong" way, for all I care.

Like I said, I'm not perfect. Far from it. But I hope that I'm letting Norah learn a bit about how to live in the world. That's really all I can do.


  • Hello, you don't know me from adam, but I've been doing research on Hippotherapy and came across your blog which is wonderful, by the way.
    The stories on Hippotherapy have really given me hope and motivation!

    And parents? I'm a grandmother of 3 and 'still' cannot figure other parents out. Wonderful meeting you. I am a equine person and have had equines help my husband who suffers from combat PTSD.
    is my site.

    By Blogger Val, at 22/2/08 5:19 PM  

  • Val: Very cool to hear from you. I'll have to check out your blog!

    By Blogger Greg, at 24/2/08 8:57 AM  

  • Greg, I am doing my speech today on Hippotherapy, I will include the links in my blog. I've learned so much from parents just like you and just need to thank you for blogging about this!

    By Blogger Val, at 24/2/08 10:01 AM  

  • I haven't yelled at Lydia, but I HAVE walked away to give ME a timeout. She got me particularly upset one morning when we missed the bus, and I told her that I was very sad, then broke down in tears, which upset her. So it's all the same.

    By Blogger Roger Green, at 25/2/08 2:42 PM  

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