Smug

Published January 10, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

My first child, S, is generally very well behaved. We could go almost anywhere from the time she was a few months old and she would be good – restaurants, the bank, stores, wherever. People would marvel at how quiet she was, how she could sit still, play with a small toy for minutes at a time. Husband and I would get compliments on what a good girl she was.
She ate vegetables, drank (watered) juice only in the afternoon, hated television, didn’t know what candy was until she was almost two. When she didn’t get her way I could easily divert her from a temper tantrum.
I attributed all of these wonderful qualities on our strong mother/child bond, on how much time I spent with her, dedicated to her. In short, I took full credit for her wonderfulness.
So.smug.
Now she’s big and doesn’t do any of those things. What’s worse is the little one emulates her behavior. All of my vegetable hiding tricks are a bust. No more sitting nicely at the table during meals. Now I practically have to duct tape them to their seats, and that only lasts for part of the meal. I fight with both of them to eat nutritious foods, bargaining for their beloved chocolate and sweets.
They both dislike the shopping cart, preferring to run around like maniacs instead. An elderly man, watching and smiling as Miss V ran away from me one day at Target, commented, “She’s going to be a handful!” Yes. Yes, she is. When I caught her, she screamed and squirmed so much I had to carry her like a sack, just so I wouldn’t drop her.
Miss V will throw one heck of a fit when she doesn’t get her way. That old diversion trick? Pah! Doesn’t work on her. She knows what she wants. The screams that follow a disappointment could pop an eardrum.
I see people looking at us when we are out. When the screams begin, and I’m carrying my baby like a tortured sack, I see people looking. At least some of them are passing judgement, thinking of their own perfectly behaved, possibly future children, and thinking how much better they are at parenting than I.
You think so?
Wipe that smug look off your face. Your time is coming.
You’ll see.

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