I had to laugh when I read this post of Melinda’s yesterday. Funny enough, my husband and I were having this exact conversation over the weekend. Everyone who knows us, knows that my two munchkins are not exactly the quiet types. They are loud and boisterous and highly strung – much like their mother. They can both talk the hind leg of a donkey, albeit Hannah would have to find a donkey who could understand her German/Punjabi/Latin (gobbledygook). They are both very animated and must have your undivided attention when they are in the throes of explaining a very complicated scene from the episode of Handy Manny which they had watched earlier, and you had better not um and ah your way through the conversation, they expect you to be present and respond with more than just a “um, yes my baby.”
I like to compare them to two little puppies. You know how puppies are so jumpy and excitable and don’t stop yapping, sometimes to the point of irritation? Yes, that’s how my kids can be. Sometimes my irritation levels are so high that I want to run out of the house, climb on that donkey who is missing a hind leg, and race off into the sunset away from my yappy puppies, but if I was to choose, I would take my effervescent, vivacious and so darn talkative two over the good little quiet pups any day.
There was a time where it would cause me much embarrassment, I would whisper through clenched teeth that if they didn’t pipe down, I was going to deal with them when we got home. Come on, you know the clenched teeth whisper, every mom has done it, don’t fib now. I would all but muzzle them, in an attempt to make like I was in control, to make it seem like I could handle it. I would freak out if they threw a tantrum in the mall, or if I felt like people were watching us. And then I guess I got a revelation which I HOPE all moms get eventually. They are kids, they are supposed to be wild and untamed and curious and annoyingly happy ALL the bloody time (I mean have you seen a kid come out of the naughty corner, I personally would sulk for days, but kids come bouncing off the naughty chair ready to start afresh, isn’t that awesome?). Thank God that your kid has a desire and the ability to jump and scream and shout. Yes, reign them in and teach them about inside voice versus outside voice, and discipline them when they really are out of order, but for goodness sakes, let them be KIDS! My friends laughed at me this weekend, Hannah was wearing a brand new pretty little jersey, and she wanted to play in the sand and of course I was having a major wobbly – more concerned about her pretty jersey, than just letting her get down and dirty. That WAS unfair! We used to go to a staunch Catholic church where people would turn to stare at you if your kid so much as sang out of tune (something my kids are good at) and everyone with a kid was relegated to this “cry room” – yes they called it that – and boy, it made me want to cry when I got there. Now we go to a church which embraces and celebrates the joy and pent up energy that little kids have. Yes, children need to understand that some places require a bit more decorum and less George-of-the-jungle, but you have to have your head checked if you expect a toddler to sit like a starched doily for more than a few minutes.
I have great kids – they are polite, have good manners and beautiful hearts. BUT they act out, they throw tantrums, they make me chase them screaming through shopping centres while they screech with joy, they make me lose my cool and count to 10 about 769 times a day, they jump on the couch, break my sunglasses and jam our DVD player ever so often, they fight with each other and don’t pick up their toys, they poop in their pants even though the toilet is two steps away and they cry when they don’t get their own way. But if you want a kid who doesn’t do any of the above, please save yourself the stress of parenthood and get yourself a porcelain doll instead.
I don’t care that they drive me crazy, and I certainly don’t care that you stare open mouthed at us when we’re performing in the parking lot, I no longer care to hear your advice about taming my two tigers, in fact, I love them just the way they are – and why wouldn’t I? They take straight after their mother and I’ll take THAT as a compliment, thank you very much.