Saturday, December 18, 2010

The JOYS (?!?) of Parenting. :)

Being a parent to a toddler can be really alienating...especially when your littlest picky is two and likes to scream more than talk.  We can be in a restaurant, a store, at school or at a friend's house and he will start screaming.  He may be mad, he may be happy, he may feel hungry or tired.  Who knows?  He's verbal but not enough to communicate every want and need.  And yes, I am aware that he probably should be talking more because I do have two more at home. 

I have tried everything.  You don't need to stare at me or shake your head.  You can stop thinking "my child won't be like that" or "I never had a screamer and I don't understand".  You know what?  Your kid will do *something* my kid won't do and I won't try to make you feel bad.  I will remind you that I have had three children and that although we parent our three children the same way, they all turn out differently.  If only there was a right answer or a wrong answer.  Saying these things, thinking these things and showing your aggravation doesn't help.  I cannot sit in a house all day because I have a screamer. 

What you don't see is that when he does talk, he uses very nice manners. 
Or that he loves his siblings with such ferocious love, it is impossible not to smile. 
Or that he walks around kissing everybody or everything.

I wish older people would remember what it is like to have small children...I know it is easy to forget.  I wish people would remember that these are CHILDREN and not mini-adults.  We expect them to sit quietly and still but then get upset when they don't speak with manners or do their homework.  We can be very confusing, us adults.
So next time you see a parent at the grocery store with a screaming child, smile.  That screaming child could be your doctor one day or a future politician.  I'm not asking you to feel sorry for me, I
am asking for you to treat me with kindness and compassion. 

Yes, I can hear my child screaming
 and NO, I am NOT happy about it.

Sally Poster available here on Amazon. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Take just ONE more step.

I can't see who you are but I can tell you've been here.
My stats button tells me so. 
It even tells me which post you have read and how many views it has had.

A surprising (or maybe not so much) observation?
My posts that have a link to a YouTube video or my Facebook links that show videos or podcasts are all left virtually untouched.  Those posts, statuses or links are the ones that usually lack comments or views.  And sadly enough, I found those to be the most inspiring.  More people want to read about my pizza dough recipe than watch a group of children sing with emotion?  More people want to read about what my family is eating for dinner than a woman doing slam poetry about how being pretty does not define who we are?

And then it hit me.

I am usually really good at checking in on what's going on, reading blogs or checking my newsfeed.  But I, myself, am really bad at taking just one more step.  I have to finish reading my Facebook Newsfeed before I click on someone's photo album, link or note.  I like to read my blogroll and find out who posted about what before I decide to read.  I know I'm not the only one doing this because I see which posts you like the most.

I love instant-gratification (as does the rest of world and my fellow "Gimme" Generation).  But when do we put our needs and our patience and our interests so in front of those for whom we care?  We live in a world of instantaneous text messages, emails, quick Facebook updates.  When have you called a friend from out of state?  When have you actually reached out to someone besides just posting on a "wall"?

Try to take that extra step today for some relationship.  Whether it be playing a game with your kids, touching your spouse's hand, clicking someone's link or inspiring video or writing your child's teacher and thanking them for making a difference, do something special, something small to MAINTAIN your relationships, not just build them. 

Go just one step further.  Look a little closer.  You may miss something extraordinary.