There I stood. In a room full of hipsters covered in tattoos with deep meanings, skinny jeans, and awesome beards. My husband and I went out for pizza in the city and brought our 2 year old daughter along for the ride at 7:30 pm on a busy Friday night. Are we crazy for taking our daughter to dinner that late on a Friday night? Perhaps! We just really wanted to hang out and enjoy some good pizza and a glass of beer.
I got dressed up for the occasion. Dressed up for me means jeans, boots, and a decent top that is not a t-shirt. I blew out my hair for the first time in ages. I wore dangly earrings. I put some lip gloss on and a hint of Ralph Lauren Romance behind my ears.
While all the other twenty-somethings were carrying around cute new handbags, I had my two year old in tow plus her toy purse, a large Rapunzel doll, and another small baby she insisted on bringing. My assurances for the night were a plastic bag of crayons, a couple pieces of construction paper, and my iPad.
The night was going well until my daughter started throwing her crayons all over the place. Then she started screaming “boobies!” in the restaurant (we are working on weaning her, I promise).
Then she got all “hammy” and started smiling wildly at everyone and dancing. It was at that point as I was gulping a sip (I know, ironic) of my delicious Great Divide Colette beer that I overheard the table next to me.
Girl: “She is so cute!” (Referring to my toddler)
Other friend of girl: “I know. They are so cute. But I hate when they cry. When I have one I will train it not to cry by ignoring it every time it cries.”
I almost laughed out loud. Yea right! Good luck with that!
There I was with the iPad ready to go, trying to drink some beer, and just hoping my little one would make it through dinner without having a meltdown.
It is so easy to think there is some magic formula or easy solution for parenting.
There is no such thing.
I really dislike hearing peoples philosophies on parenting when they themselves do not have kids. It is sweet, but that is about it. Until you have walked in the shoes of zombie sleep for almost a year and spit up all over your clothes, don’t preach to me about your fool-proof plan.
I remember thinking the same thing when I would witness a toddler having a breakdown in Target. I wince to admit this, but I honestly thought it was the parents fault that a kid wouldn’t behave. Now I know that parents do play an important role in raising children, but that sometimes kids are just little stinkers. I now know that a temper tantrum does not reflect on a mother’s parenting ability. The other day I saw a mom leave the park with a tot that was throwing a huge fit. Instead of judging her in my heart as I might have in the past, I felt like I wanted to give her a hug.
Am I a perfect parent?
But I try real hard. And I have grace for myself and all mommas out there just excited to get out for a night and eat a piece of pizza in a restaurant once in a blue moon!