Laughter: The PFD of Parenting

by Cookie

newlifeinvermont.com

newlifeinvermont.com

OMG.  Have you read this?  NO?  Do it.  It is fucking hilarious.  It was worth every dribble of pee, because I could relate to just about everything in it.  Thanks to Anita over at thebestlife for showing it to me.

It’s just a series of photos of a toddler with some seriously funny captions called “Reasons my kid is crying”.

So why am I writing about this today?  Because as usual, some people out there are getting all pissy about it.  The comments being made on various social media sites are about how he should be trying to help and console his child rather than taking photos of him.

Now I know that as parents, we tend to have this terrible pattern and habit of judging each other, but come on.  Parenting without a sense of humor is kind of like white water rafting without a lifejacket.  You’ll probably survive, but your terror of falling out and drowning will dominate the experience.  Lighten up people, and enjoy the process…kids are fucking funny sometimes.

I’m pretty sure that this Dad doesn’t just sit around with his camera waiting for his kid to be upset all the time.  If he did, there would be a new photo and comment about every 9 seconds.  Everything is a crisis when you’re two.  He is just trying to laugh at the situation a little bit so he doesn’t drown himself in tequila out of frustration.  And at least he’s man enough to admit it.

You see, I believe that when we call other people out for things like this it speaks to our own insecurities.  And as parents, we all have tons of those.  We try to make the best decisions we can to keep our kids safe and happy and help them to grow into decent, intelligent human beings.  And its way easier to point out what everyone else is doing wrong rather than face the fact that you probably fucked up about 1000 times with your own kid that day.  NOT because you’re a shitty parent, but because parenting is hard.

So yeah.  When your kid throws the fit of all fits because the wrong episode of Toopy and Binoo is on, snap a picture and shake your head and laugh.  Because it’s kind of a stupid reason to cry when you have reasoning skills.  Which a toddler doesn’t have.   They aren’t in any mortal danger, you know.

I don’t remember seeing any photos in his collection that said ” He fell down the stairs and cracked his head”  or “has a fever of 103 and is miserably sick”  because the author isn’t an asshole.  I’m sure he is every bit as good a parent as anyone calling him out.  He is probably just a little less neurotic.

It’s hard not to judge other parents though.  I think it makes us feel more validated in our choices if someone else is wrong.  But you what?  Parenting isn’t math.  There can be more than one right answer.

I was chatting with some other first time moms the other day and we were laughing about how hard it is to let go and give Daddy the reins sometimes.  Because he will probably do things a little different than we like to do them.  Anyway, as the conversation progressed someone said something about educational toys.  Which immediately made me laugh.  Because we have all those too, and some days the Destroyer will play with them.  But I admitted that some days I turn on the tv if I’m tired or don’t feel well or have 17 loads of laundry to get through.  Because Treehouse makes one hell of a babysitter on those days.

There were some shocked faces in the room, and I can’t figure out if they were surprised I admitted this freely, or if they were horrified that I would do such a thing.  They are way too polite and nice to say anything rude, but I’m pretty sure at least someone was instinctively thinking what a douche of a Mom I am. At least a little bit.

But you know what?  Water off a duck’s back.  Because they will see.  Or they won’t.   And it will be fine, because that is their choice and their business and it will be right for them.

My point is is this:

1. Do what works.  Don’t do what doesn’t work. ( Thanks again to my wise friend Ken.  I will never stop using this)

2. Laugh while you do it.  I promise you will love your kids more and feel less overwhelmed.

3. Try not to judge your fellow parent.  We’re all trying to do our best, and we’re all busily fucking it up every day.  Worry about cleaning up your own messes!!

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