I was going to just write this post as the letter that you are about to read below, but I thought I better explain it a little so as to not sound like a complete and utter nutcase.
Basically, I decided to treat Milo post-kita (nursery/daycare) to a trip to Karstadt today as there is a pet store there full of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice etc and he loves to watch them. Then I thought we'd head on upstairs to the food area where there is a small play area and I planned to treat us both to a slice of cake.
I had these good intentions but it didn't exactly work out! Milo is back in one of his defiant phases at the moment which joyfully (NOT!) includes the following tendancies; doesn't listen to a word I say, wanders off in the opposite direction, cries and/or screams at most of what I say, throws whopping tantrums at the drop of a hat and many many more not so fun traits.
Checking out the animals went mainly problem free but upon leaving the pet store, Milo was adamant I should carry him. Now for those of you who don't know, Milo, nearing age 3 still wishes to be carried around at all times and it is a very tiring process trying to get him out of it. Before Christmas, without a buggy and going through the heartbreak of my failed relationship, I wasn't strong enough mentally (or even physically) to enforce the ''you're a big boy, you can walk by yourself'' rule and so I decided to leave that for post-Christmas and to carry him when need's be. Today I decided to get started on changing that and whoa did it not go down too well!
Now, back to where I left off. Milo wanted me to carry him, so I went down to his level and said something along the lines of ''you are a big boy now and big boys walk like you can do very nicely''. Needless to say, he wasn't too impressed with this answer and decided to try and climb me, grabbing at me and started whining. I then reconfirmed that I wouldn't be carrying him and that all we needed to do was to walk to the lift as we were going to go upstairs to have a lovely treat. He wasn't having it. Screaming started. The stamping of feet quickly followed and he wavered between refusing to move or trying to rugby tackle me to the ground to get me to carry him. It went on and on until we finally made it to the lifts. In the lifts going up, he screamed. He went so mad that his face was bright red and he was sweating. Out of the lift he screamed. He screamed. And screamed. And screamed. I tried to calm him down. I tried reasoning with him. I gave up and decided, that's enough, we're leaving. He screamed going down in the lift. He screamed coming out of the lift. You get the picture.
I tried talking to him once more and he just kept screaming at me. I decided at that point to ignore his behaviour and to just walk as he was following behind me, yelling at me and basically causing quite a kerfuffle. We were getting lots of looks by this point and people were starting to comment but I ignored what was going on. I actually am not all that bothered by people looking. I find that generally people will give you sympathetic looks (as I have to many a fellow parent in a similar situation) and I appreciate that sign of understanding and empathy but then! One woman decided to take it upon herself to come up to me, as Milo was still in full tantrum mode, and to tell me that I should ''calm my kid down'' (but in German of course). I couldn't quite believe it. I don't remember exactly what I replied with but it was something like ''I have tried'' and then I kept walking. The woman followed me and said ''what are you doing?! You should be talking to him, why aren't you explaining it to him?!''. I couldn't quite believe what was going on! I had Milo still screaming at me, a shop full of people starring at me and now this woman telling me what to do with my own child. She kept going and going and going, despite me walking away from her. She kept telling me off and telling me how shocked she was that I wasn't looking out for my child etc etc. Until the point where I lost my rag and told her to go away only in far more, none-blog-friendly-language! Milo, seemingly sensing my feeling attacked, took this moment to calm a little and to take my hand and walk with me as I made my escape from this enfuriating woman as quickly as possible. Thankfully (and this is what saved me from completely crumbling), a different woman came up to me and said ''ignore these stupid people around you, don't take notice of them. Keep strong and keep doing what you're doing''. I can't tell you how much I loved that woman in that moment. How grateful I am to her for coming up to me and saying that. THAT is what parents need to hear. Encouragement. Support. Empathy at a mimimum or even just for you to ignore what is going on if needs be, but not for the judgement of strangers who witness flash moments and then decide to stick their nose in where it doesn't belong. Phew! That was quite a rant! Anyway. Back to the letter. With this in mind, I have decided to write a (therapeutic) letter to those passer's by who do contemplate vocalising their judgement to us parents. Let me know what you think...
Dear passer's by,
Not you who give us parents a small nod, a sign of ''I've been there, I understand'' or ''children huh!''. No, not you. I mean those of you who watch and stare as my child has a tantrum. Those of you who tut and pass judgement on how us parents are (or are not) handling the situation at hand. Especially to those of you who dare to say something about it. To those who dare to tell the parent that they have stood, watching (and judging) how they should be dealing with their child. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? What right do you think you have to witness a mere moment of a situation between a parent and their child and to not only think that you know better (ok, so we have all done this, especially before becoming parents BUT...), not only that, but to have the utter indecency to go up to that parent and to tell them that what they are doing is wrong! Once again: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! The next time you believe you have all the answers. The next time you want to enter the fray and tell that parent what a bad job they are doing, please stop and think. Think about how stressful it would be to have your child screaming at you. Think about how this tantrum may have already been going on quite a while and how you don't have a clue how or why it began. Think about how you would feel if everyone in the room was starring at you. How you would feel if some utter stranger came up to you and told you that what you are doing is wrong. The next time you feel the need to open your mouth and share your negativity why don't you just close it up again and just walk away. Just walk away and take your judgement elsewhere.
a Mother scorned
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