I defy any of you who have more than one child to prove that you don't go through ups and downs with each little person and that your relationship with them regularly changes. You're into the eldest kid one week with the youngest doing your head in and vice versa the next week.
For me, it's The Toddler who I usually ignore. I know that conflicts with my previous blog about The Suckyasaurus but I've realised lately that he is pretty much left to his own devices as I always seem to be busy with the important job of chatting with my mates. He is the most sucky la la of my kids but he is also the most independent. A dichotomy at eighteen months old!
We were at McDonalds (yes I go there after vowing I never would) last week with two friends of mine. One who is a nanny and the other who has four children. The nanny and I were soooo relaxed with the little ones - letting them run around, do their own thing whilst we were texting and sneaking out for a crafty ciggie. My friend with the four children could not deal with this. She said although she has treated her own kids like this in the past, she found it most stressful when other people were so carefree. She brought up a situation when The Toddler was walking around with a barbeque fork at her house and I did nothing to stop him. I had figured that the small chance of him hurting himself was easier to bear than the twenty minute temper tantrum I would have to deal with if I took the fork off him. But this had completely freaked her out!
So this got me thinking. And I realised that although I am all for carefree parenting with my own children, I too cannot cope with other mothers being this way. The attention I give children when they are running in a pack is usually towards my friends' kids, checking to see if they are having fun but mainly to see that they are not crying as a result of my children. And if the other mums are too busy to eyeball the pack, the weight of it all falls on my shoulders and causes me some stress. When it's just me and my kids, I feel free to do whatever I like, as any consequences only affect my own flesh& blood.
I have no idea if this makes any sense. I'm pissed off that The Good Wife isn't on tonight. And if The Husband isn't tap tapping away on his laptop, he is falling asleep on the sofa.
All I can say is that bad parenting is good parenting when applied to one's own children. Lazy parents make happy children. When I let The Toddler play with scissors, he is most content. From now on I am going to buy all new parents a lifetime supply of Band-Aids.