Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Judgement Day

I really do miss judging other people's children, little ones I mean. Having two young ones myself, obviously I have to be kind and understanding and nod ruefully at the lamentations of various parents about their child's behaviour. There's absolutely no place for judging, no way. Not even when they're shouting in the supermarket (Because Of Additives), or being bribed in the trolley (Filling Them With Additives), or moaning incessantly about wanting something in a shop (Because They're Spoiled) or throwing one helluva tantrum about going to school (Lack Of Discipline In The Home). You see?I have all these brilliant judgements and no one to pour them on. This is because, as you may well have guessed due to the lack of Parenting Pride themed posts on this blog, it's normally my kids doing all of the above, I am not even able to delete any as appropriate.
But because my kids refuse resolutely to grow up faster than the average child (despite what it said on the tin), I'm stuck with two young ones, and therefore doomed to be Understanding about everyone elses. Especially ones showing behaviour learnt from my two.
Before children I used to have a good old judge of other people's children (and by default their parenting skills) at least once a day. Ahhh, it was a beautiful time of ego boosting as I watched behaviour that my future offspring would never be allowed to get away with. Oh yes, you see I knew all about bringing up children, why, I read the Guardian family section every week, I knew all about the pitfalls of parenting, from psychological damage to paying out too much pocket money. Oh yes, I had it all planned out, including the type of labour they would be expected to do to earn the perfect amount of pocket money for their age.
The only light relief I get nowadays is watching the faces of first-time-pregnant mums when we're out and about. Ok, they're still in a place where they may be able to convince themselves that their child experience will be different (because it just will, ok?); they may even be a little smug, still a little judgemental, but in a slightly wary and rabbit caught in headlights way. Oh yes. Because you see they have yet to have their child, their child that may possibly behave in the manner that my child is demonstrating so exquisitely right this minute. They are well aware that Life May Be About To Change. Thus they are extra careful with their accusing glances and even attempt a child-bonding proffering of sweets or hair ruffle in an attempt to say 'ah, it'll be my turn soon ha ha ha ha.'
Of course they don't believe this, in their (hormone flooded) heads, their children will be awash with rice cakes and good feeling. They will bring colouring books and sparkly stickers to the supermarket with which to entertain their children in a healthy and absorbing manner. They will even, when pushed, agree to an Organix Everything Free biscuit, but only in emergencies.
It is opposite these new-pregnant-mummies that I display my children to the fullest. A peacock if you will, to the pea hen's lair. They daren't complain, they're too busy watching me smirk at their bump and daring them to criticise. I even pull my best parenting stunts in front of them, just to give them some tools for later when their little treasures are burying Bob The Builder in the freezer section. I am adept, you see, at the yanking-one-arm-harsh-whisper-in-the-ear-and chocolate-shoved-in-mouth manoeuvre; regard with Wonder and Approval my removal-of-child's-shoes-to-prevent-running-away display (I made that one up myself); gasp at my mastery of the double-child-hair-pull-with-a-back-twist, I even land with both feet together and a flourish of the arms, sometimes to applause - I know, I'd be wishing I was me too.
Obviously, I can give my judgemental streak a good old scratch now and then at teenagers, but it's just not the same is it? Once you've given birth and screamed for the epidural you swore you'd never want, and failed resolutely to Ohmn the baby out in a restful lotus position, you realise with a vomit laden thud that you're doomed to Be Like Every Other Parent. You are not the special, Guardian Family Section educated, Zen like mother you always thought you'd be. And ergo you may not judge.
Bit of a shock that was.

25 comments:

LouBoo said...

Gosh I so hear you...

AnyEdge said...

Now, how can we convince my wife that she's JUST LIKE YOU?

Sara said...

Ohmning the baby out had me laughing.

My kids do stuff all the time and I just nod and smile at the people watching. It never fails karma bites back bigtime and I love seeing it. :D

Irish Mammy said...

You absolutely nailed it, now I will proudly display my maternal experience as I bribe my tantrum enabled toddler (to not suffocate his brother) with yet another orange (non organic) lollipop.

It's a Mummys Life said...

Not sure where to start on this, the simalarities with my own brand of parenting are so similar. Still there a few manouvres there that I'll be borrowing. Should have got them patented, could have made a packet. I laugh inwardly with evil intent when I see serene pregnant first time mums to be. hahahahah. They'll get the shock of their lives!! Then I think, bollocks they'll be the ones with the perfect bloody gina ford babies and so controlled they can't even speak Toddlers. Ah well.

Ally said...

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FourthGradeNothing.com

That One Mom said...

Hahaha, I still judge... Even though my kids practice rotten behavior daily.

theUngourmet said...

It's so hard to even remember what thoughts ran through my head before my children arrived. Oh, I do remember looking down on other moms that let their children eat sugar or fast food. ;D

Expat mum said...

I'll never forget the time when I was shoppiong with my two older kids (aged about 5 and 7 then). They were singing and laughing at the checkout when the bee-atch behind me said to her child, "I don't want you doing what they're doing". Naturally I was livid and my kids were very confused. "Why did she say that?" they asked me.
So I said, in a loud stage whisper, "Because she's a perfect mother and her child is also perfect. Apparently singing and being happy are not allowed in their house."
Shut her up.

Jen @ After The Alter said...

I am raising my hand here because I find myself being the childless judger!!! lol I hate that I do it but I do...that probably will give me bad Kharma in the future!

hausfrau said...

Oh you can't give up judging just cos your children don't behave nicely! The only consolation is seeing someone elses little treasures being even worse than yours - and if they're behaving nicely they are of course repressed: experience tells me that the worst child visitors have been the ones who behaved impeccably while in the presence of their parents.

Nota Bene said...

Dear MH...of course you can still be judgemental. After all your children are different aren't they? There are reasons they behave as they do...not like those scrawny council estate children who are just bad...like their parents...um

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1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books) said...

You too have spotted the occassional disconnection between life as we know it and the Guardian family section. This is not because of any errors on their part. They don't expect anyone to read it, it is provided purely as a large shield behind which to hide when your children are being most embarassing.

mothership said...

But it's so much FUN to judge other parents! Because even when our offspring are truly dreadful, they're NEVER as bad as the others because they're frankly not as CUTE.
theoretically.

Miss Welcome said...

I laughed (and agreed) my way through this entire post.

rtfgvb784 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

scrapwordsmom said...

Funny funny post!! And so true:) I remember being so judgemental to others before I had kids. And now...uh, no!

Thanks for stopping by Words of Me Project. Hope to see you again real soon:)

Your blog is too cool, btw.

Lorie said...

Don't worry. Time will fly and then they will be awful teenagers and their behavior will make you forget all about their youth and you can go back to judging other peoples children! ;D

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

You might get a bit of advice from what I wrote a year ago!

http://alcoholicdaze.blogspot.com/2009/03/joys-of-parenthood.html

Working Mum said...

LOL! I can see I am lacking in those parenting skills you demonstrate - any chance of a vlog to teach me? I don't think dragging my tantrum demonstrating two year old along the floor of ASDA counts, does it?

Clare Wassermann said...

You hit it on the head so well!

Jennifer said...

I completely concur. The secret to being a good friend to people with wretched children (and there are so VERY MANY out there!!) is DUCK TAPE. Lots and lots of DUCK TAPE.

diney said...

I always hear a voice telling me 'those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones' before I feel like judging anybody elses children!

Frog in the Field said...

I've set you a challenge, please visit the Frog Blog a little later
x
ps. Sorry I haven't commented for so long, still adore your lists!