Oct 7, 2013

When Anger Sets In, A Rant Comes Along

This isn't going to be my typical "I love my kids so much I am going to annoy you with all of their cuteness" post.  I am just needing to get some things off my chest because it's been bottled up way too long.  And, because this is a family-style picture blog, I will be posting pictures at the end.  :)

Okay, here goes.

(I want to add before I begin that a good portion of this post is about our society, my opinions, experiences, etc., not any one person or situation in particular unless stated.)

Being a parent of a child or children of any age will always have its challenges.  I learned this very quickly through my older sisters.  The obstacles get better, but the kids grow up only to give us more obstacles to deal with.  Our biggest trial has been Liam, for more than one reason.  If you have tuned in to my blog you will know that it's been a long road and full of tests along said road.  But it has been fun and rewarding, too.  It's not all bad.  If fact, Liam is a terrific kid.  We're very lucky to call him our own, and we love him dearly.

I find that having to deal with these demanding circumstances is already a difficult task and quite stressful, but having other people chime in about Liam is another challenge we are struggling with on a daily basis.  No matter where we turn there is always someone somewhere making a snarky comment about something pertaining to Liam or making a big deal over his hitting.  This horse is pretty much dead.  I'm sure there are other horses people can beat for a little while, so do speak.  We can use the break.  I've learned very quickly that people feel that their opinions make a difference, or they are welcomed.  Well, after all is said and done, they don't and they're not.  We're experienced, we're educated, we're dealing with it, and we can handle it.  As much as our patience runs thin and our moods change from being frustrated, we can handle it.  And, there's the pros guiding us a long the way too.  When we experience these sort of things, my husband looks at me from time to time and says, "What do you do, and who cares what other people think?"  This is true.

What really bothers us is nine times out of ten, it's people who have problematic/challenging children themselves. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.  Maybe because they feel experienced themselves?  Maybe they're in denial, thinking theirs can do no wrong?  Who knows.  I know that some people mean no harm while other's intentions may be questionable.  It's just the undermining tone of the comments that I can't stand, or implying that our child is bad a lot of the time or (a favorite) implying we shouldn't have more children.  Yes, people have actually implied this.  Classy, I know.  I guess we will make that call as parents as we see fit.  It is our decision to make, not someone else's and we don't care how others feel about our decision-making.  No, at this very given moment I don't want more, but time and watching your babies grow can change a person's mind.  That's what happened after we had Landon.  I must come across as a head-in-the-clouds blonde space cadet, as if I don't know what's going on around me. Yeah yeah, the kids we already have annoy everyone so we clearly shouldn't have more annoying little bastards. We get the warm fuzzy, positive vibe you are giving off.  But, does that stop those people from having a slew of kids?  Pffft, well of course not.  They're better parents and their children are angels, remember?  Ahhhh, see how that works?  It's vicious.  I may not have a degree from MIT, but I'm a pretty smart girl underneath it all and know this sad, sadistic mind game people play.  Drives. Me. Nuts.

Speaking of judgments, when we took Liam to the Zoo in his Crash Dummy costume (he was in a body cast), some guy thought it would be cute to put his two cents in and say, "That's just wrong", as if we welcomed his opinion by post-it noting our foreheads, "please, tell us how you feel".  People are rude and lack filters.  We did the best we could by making lemonade out of the lemons we were given.  Aaron and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes and moved on.  Bye-bye, classy dude.  We feel we have to do this a lot because people are terrible.  We were there to have a good time.  We weren't bothering a soul.  It's people like that who clearly don't deserve to share our oxygen.  It's people like that who make me very, very angry.  Keep your comments to yourself. You're at a Zoo, go pet something.

I was getting Liam off of the bus one day when the bus driver made a huge deal about Liam hitting another little boy.  You really had to be there to experience the dramatics.  She wasn't mean, in fact she was actually a very nice lady, but she did make it sound like the mother of the "victim" was ready to knock my head off.  I felt horrible about the situation, but really?  Let's see here....1. They are both toddlers.  2. I had nothing to do with it.  3. I wasn't there to monitor his behavior.  4.  Here's my number and my address to give to the mom.  I was hoping she would show up or call.  That would have been WAY fun....at least for me.  I'll try to work on it, even if I've been working on this no-hitting-keep-your-hands-to-yourself thing with my stubborn tot for oh saaaay....about 1.5 years now.  Sure, yeah, okay.  If you have a magical Mary Poppins finger-snap tucked away, I'd love it if you would get on it so I can rest easy.  This really bothers me, too.  As if I have some magic potion sitting on my nightstand ready to change him at a moment's notice.  I guess being the mean person I am, I thought I would neglect giving him the magic potion just to watch people squirm.  What a witch I turned out to be.  Wouldn't a snap of the fingers or a magic potion be a Godsend, though?  In a fairytale, maybe.  By the way, the little boy lived to see another day and was completely unscathed, just as I suspected he would. 

Sure, Liam hits.  We get it.  We don't condone this behavior AT ALL.  We hate it, actually.  We're tired of him hitting and we're tired of everyone feeling the need to continuously bring it to our attention. This includes the crappy, overly opinionated lady at the grocery store.  These I'm-perfect-and-I-know-it-all types are lurking everywhere.  Beware.

Aaron and I have been playing this over and over in our heads as to why or how this began.  Landon and Liam wrestling/rough housing...a lot?  Okay, maybe.  It's mostly Liam playing around when he hits, so it's not truly aggressive (as in out of meanness).  He laughs and makes it a game.  When others laughed, it was a game.  And, I found that he associates hitting with certain people.  Another thing is I notice he does it when he gets worked up, which usually comes from rough housing or being overly tired from resisting a nap.  We have had discussion after discussion trying to figure out what we did wrong.  Pffft, kill that noise (in my best 80's voice).  We did nothing wrong.  We know this.  It took us awhile to come to terms with it, but we know it.  It's just who Liam turned out to be and a true testament of "you never know what you're going to get" when giving birth.  Just like the raging maniac of a two-year-old at the store who didn't get what he wanted.  It happens.  There are tons of different animals out there.  Some kids bite, some kids hit and/or kick, some kids scream bloody murder for reason at all, some kids cuss, some kids don't know the meaning of "inside voice" when speaking to you, some kids disrespect you by smarting off, some kids spit, some kids have disorders (affecting their behavior or personality/moods), some kids lay themselves out on a floor and have a full-on meltdown in front of God and everybody, making YOU look like the crappiest parent on the planet.  It happens.  There's no need to make it National News.  There's no need to gasp and then judge the parents when a child does any of these things.  In fact, when in public, I immediately look at the parents to see the horror planted on their faces because I know this look all too well.  I've been there, guys.  I know that feeling.  It's all good.  Keep calm and carry on.  All I want to do is high-five you for handling it the best way you know how in a room full of judgmental strangers, but I know you have your hands full at the moment.  I'll catch ya next time. Here's a thumbs up for now.

Oh, another thing.  Don't you love it when they say that the badly behaved kid is a reflection of the parent?  That's another one of my favorites.  In some cases this may apply (like maybe being raised by hard core snooty politicians with no disciplinary actions in place), but what does that truly mean exactly?  Because Liam hits, we punch him, each other, or other people?  Absurd.  That baby is loved beyond the moon, the sun, and the stars, and the visual of me (or Aaron) running all over town randomly punching everyone made me laugh out loud.  That really is a tad bit over the top, don't ya think?  I think people like pointing fingers these days just to point fingers.

Bottom line?  Don't bring up issues that a parent is facing.  For us: "Is Liam still hitting everyone?" (putting emphasis on "still") or "When do you think he will stop?"  This implies that you're annoyed and pretty much over it, which, to us, means HE annoys you and you're over HIM.  He's our kid and he's little, go away.  Next?  "Where/How do you think the hitting started?" (as I'm scanned up and down like a bar code)  This implies that you think it started with us abusing him.  Again, move along.  I don't have the time or energy for those people.  It's all about tones and the way you approach someone.  Even if you think you're trying to be helpful, genuine, and concerning, it's not.  The parents will look at it as a personal hit because emotions are already pretty high with everything they are going through.  They're already embarrassed, stressed, irritated, exhausted, you name it.  No need to add to it by rubbing it in somehow.  It's hurtful and offensive, and it's their personal business.  Don't judge.  Leave it alone.  Let the parents bring it up in conversation.  This usually means they are having a good day of holding it together.  If they don't bring it up, don't bother with it and talk about something else.  If it hasn't happened to you already, it very well could.  Karma is a real winner winner, chicken dinner, I can assure you.

I don't want people to get the impression that I have this nasty chip on my shoulder, I'm a mean person, or have a serious case of paranoia (thinking everyone is out to get us or Liam), but trust me, these jerks are out there and something we've been dealing with for a very long time now.  I'm sure parents out there can relate.  He's our little boy, and by nature, we are going to be protective, defensive, angry, and hurt.

Now that I've had my rant, I do feel tons better.  This has been a long time coming.  First World problems, eh?  Now, on to a few pictures of my little stinker.

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