Bats, Vacation, and Public Parenting.

August 11, 2010 at 10:32 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), motherhood, My life | 16 Comments

All in one post!

Bats

Early early EARLY Thursday morning, around 3am, I woke up to hear ths following sound:

scritch scritch SCRITCH SCRITCH

In horror, I realized that it was the sound of a wild animal COMING INTO OUR ROOM.

Through the picture window in our bedroom, even.

I KNEW it was the freaking BAT again.

Trust me. I am no longer Zen about bats in my house.

In the spirit of honesty, I will tell you that getting the bat out of the house was a PAINLESS ordeal – just let it circle the bedroom until I was able to close all the other doors in the house. Open the front door, climb the stairs to the bedroom, open that door, and the bat basically flew right outside.

However, it’s taken me MUCH longer to recover to hearing it come into my room.

The good news is that we know where the bat has been coming in – through what seems like an infinitesmal crack where the top of our VERY OLD window had slipped down (and how that works with a storm window I have no idea). We’ve closed it for now, and J is going to latch it shut.

But I woke up last night at 3:30am in a panic when I heard something outside our window.

“Rain,” J mumbled to me.

I had to get up to check.

Vacation and Public Parenting

We took a four day trip to Maine this weekend, to visit with J’s family. Two days in a little town near Bath with one aunt and uncle, then two more days in Boothbay Harbor to visit another aunt and uncle, as well as J’s cousin S.

Overall it went pretty well, though per the usual O did not sleep well. My kid is just not a sleeper, and though he does okay at home now, not so much in other places.

So naps were sporadic, and overnight sleep was interrupted.

Because of that, we had multiple mornings where EVERY! LITTLE! THING! became a tantrum.

The worst morning was when we were supposed to go to the Topsham Fair. When we got into the car to go, O threw the biggest screamiest tantrum we’ve had in a long time. He was nearly hysterical with rage.

J’s cousin and aunt were with us. As Jeff drove through town, and O screamed louder and louder, J’s aunt kept telling me to ignore O, that he’d calm down on his own.

Until finally I overrode her and told J that going to the fair wasn’t a good idea, that he needed a nap more than anything.

Because I KNOW MY KID, and I knew that the fair was going to be a bad idea.

No one said anything, but I could FEEL the disapproval in the air from J’s cousin and aunt.

Because, you know, I’m spoiling my kid because I’m GIVING INTO his tantrum.

Thank GOODNESS O took a nice long nap that day and woke up in a much better mood. The rest of the day was relaxing and fun – what a vacation SHOULD be.

But of course there were comments all weekend about how they NEVER gave into THEIR kids’ tantrums when they were two. J’s aunt B actually said that she went out to restaurants with two kids who behaved perfectly.

That was great, because O? Not so perfect in restaurants.

Even worse, J was really heavy handed with O all weekend. Because O was testing a lot more because he was tired. Because J was tired himself. Either way, there was a lot of threatening, and one moment where I actually had to intervene because J wouldn’t let O go until O “looked into my eyes and LISTENED to me.” That was another O hysterical moment, where he was crying so hard he could barely breathe.

I just pulled J aside and told him. “He’s TWO. He’s NOT RATIONAL. What’s the point in TRYING to FORCE him to listen to you right now?”

So yeah.

Really frustrating to try and parent a toddler in a public forum.

Particularly when you have the sense that people are judging you because you’re “giving in” to your toddler too much.

And yes, maybe I was sensitive because I could TELL that they didn’t think we (okay, I, since J jumped on the “let’s not spoil our kid” bandwagon) was being hard enough on O.

And maybe I AM more permissive because I know what it’s like to be so tired that you’re irrationally angry with EVERYTHING.

But I hate feeling JUDGED for my parenting skills, that’s all. I work HARD at making sure I don’t judge people for the decisions they make. Whether I agree or disagree has nothing to do with it – it’s their kid and someone can parent they way they want to.

So it bugs me that other people don’t give me the same measure of respect, that’s all.

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16 Comments »

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  1. You put it best when you said, “I hate feeling JUDGED for my parenting skills, that’s all. I work HARD at making sure I don’t judge people for the decisions they make. Whether I agree or disagree has nothing to do with it – it’s their kid and someone can parent they way they want to.

    So it bugs me that other people don’t give me the same measure of respect, that’s all” and I hope you conveyed this to those who would judge you or at least to J.

    This parenting gig is hard enough without the added scrutiny from know-it-alls.

  2. The public parenting drives me crazy, because like you said, I know my kid best. Sure, I seem strict with naps and when we go out vs how that impacts naps, but honestly, my kid is a ROCKSTAR if he’s had his naps. Without them? An asshole. So it’s not worth it to do what I want, and sacrifice him, cuz I don’t enjoy it anyway.

    I particularly love it when random strangers tell me their kid never did that, or they never did this with their kids. Really? REALLY? THat’s how you choose to “bond” with me over parenting, is by one-upping me?

    Uh… big red button you might have pushed;-). This one bugs me.

  3. Ugh. I’m sorry. Dealing with a tired 2-yr-old is never fun in any circumstances, so I hear you!

  4. Two things:
    1. She said he would calm down on his own. How the he’ll does she know this? Is she the all knowing Oz? She doesn’t know O. I hate that.
    2. Turning around and taking him back was not really ‘giving in’ to his tantrum IMO. Mainly because I doubt he was crying about not wanting to go to the fair. Even if he was, that’s not what the tantrum was about. As a parent we have to see through the toddler bs and figure out what is really going on.

    Parenting in front of others is not my favorite thing either. Just remember that you are doing what is best for you and your family. If you change up the rules to please others it is going to do nothing more than frustrate you and confuse O.

    Hey at leas it was only a weekend right?

  5. I really don’t think you were “giving in to his tantrum” by skipping the fair for a NAP! Seriously, sleep is a necessity. Life DEPENDS on it. It’s not like you were giving into a tantrum over Gummy Bears. He needed SLEEP! That is not “giving in to a tantrum” as far as I’m concerned. I would’ve made the exact same decision. And for the record, I doubt her kids were perfectly behaved ALL the time. My mom is the first to admit that she honestly has no recollection of any of the bad times when it came to raising my sister & me. She only remembers how good and well-behaved we were. However, I remember several occasions when I was awful to her (she seriously does not remember them!). Parents have selective memories. We will too. It’s just that J’s aunt doesn’t admit it.

  6. Oh Serenity I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!! Public parenting is THE WORST, especially when “the public” is your inlaws. UGH. When you said you could just FEEL the disapproval–oh my goodness, can I ever relate. And for me, I feel like I’m making the best decision, the only RIGHT decision for MY kid at the time. It makes me crazy that no one else can see that. So, just stay steady, screw what anyone else thinks, and ignore any of the sideways comments. You’re the expert on O.

  7. Holy fucking crap. A bat?! In your house?! I’m sorry, I’m still hung up on this fact. I don’t know that I would be able to get it out of the house. And to think I freak out about spiders. Blech. As for the parenting thing, that would drive me crazy. Hell, it drives me crazy watching people do that, so I can’t imagine how I’d feel if someone tried to tell me how to raise my children. Good for you for standing up for yourself and for O! Only you know what’s best for your little man.

  8. I used to care what others thought in public. It was the worst when I was a first time parent and figured that maybe, just maybe I was doing it wrong. But you know–despite the fact that he has issues–my eleven year old is doing pretty damn good, thankyouverymuch…

    So, now, especially when I am out with just the 2 year old–I say to hell with them, those people who think they can judge…cuz I KNOW I am doing a good job! 🙂

    You are doing fine with O–at 2 years old, they really cannot be spoiled…and frankly, they are what they are–which often ain’t cute or cuddly! 🙂

    Hugs!

  9. Ugh other people’s parenting ideas bleurgh!

  10. We are going through the same toddler shenanigans now too. My husband keeps thinking that J should instantly obey him when he tells him to cut something out. Yeah, right. This is what two is. I think there is a difference between giving in and picking your battles. With a 2 yr old, their emotions are so overwhelming sometimes, they really have a hard time reining them in. And tired kids are even less able to do so. I don’t think you gave in at all- encouraging quiet and rest when he is overwrought is a good life skill to learn. Don’t we say, “temper, temper count to ten?”

  11. Being judged is what ruined our vacation. My Mother decided that either I turned out horrible or she did a completely horrible job as a Mother because when I do things that she always did to me and my sister she told me how wrong I was…

    A good lesson for me to quit judging others.

    People need to mind their own business.

  12. I don’t get it. Giving in to a toddler tantrum, to me, would be like…buying them the toy they are screaming for in the toy store. Deciding that a child needs sleep is NOT giving in – it is SMART parenting. You saved the child and everyone else from a miserable time. DUH!
    I hate it when people judge.
    Pffft.

  13. When parenting in front of others, I love the feeling of “Why don’t you just _______?” that people either convey with their looks or actually have the guts to say. Why don’t you just let him have it? Why don’t you just tell her to stop doing that? Like everything is just a simple fix, and if you just did that one, easy thing, everything would be back to puppies and rainbows. Definitely makes stressful situations even more stressful.

  14. Your bat story reminded me of home (i.e. the house where I lived from grade seven onwards)- we have a woodstove, and every year one or two starlings (world’s stupidest birds) would fall down the chimney. In the winter, if the stove was on, this was fairly catastrophic for said birds. In the summer, it just meant that my sisters and I would be watching television, and then would hear the scrabbling sound coming from the stove. So we’d shut the basement doors, and cover all the windows except one with blankets, and then open that window and take the screen out, and then open the stove door so the bird could fly out in a panic and then head back outside. We all used to crouch on the floor, even though we KNEW that the bird would be right up near the ceiling.

    As for hearing things- I spent much of the last two weeks thinking we have bed bugs. We don’t have bed bugs- Q. and I are not getting bitten (other than a couple random bites that sparked my frenzy) and I can’t see any sign of them, no matter how hard I look. But it was driving Q. crazy watching me leap out of bed in the morning and look for evidence in the mattress.

    No assvice on the parenting, but I agree with the others- how can you call it giving in to tantrums if he has a nap? When do toddlers actively fight to take naps? Aren’t they normally fighting because they don’t want to have to go to sleep?

    xxx

  15. every kid is different, and I’ll tell you what from someone who has 2 , 2 yrs old going through a myriad of tantrums and feelings lately…I have to parent them differently too..each one responds to different things, like Gio , well normally a spanking is the only thing that calms him down, Jacob….just a stern look.

    toddlers are soo hard, you know I hate giving in to boys, I really really hate it, I hate that we can’t go to restaurants right now and that even fun stuff turns WORK because of their moods, nap or not….everyday is a bipolar day for them as they navigate being their own people….I have no assvice, because sweetie there is NONE, either way, whatever you did that day, someone (or you) was going to think it was wrong, it’s only good when you win. And letting him nap..you win.

    HUGS

  16. Wow. I can’t STAND when people use the excuses of “knowing better” and “been there” to judge other parents. You have your kid and I have mine. I just want to tell people “you DON’T know my kid so shut up about the way I parent him!”

    Really, it sounds like you did the best thing for O and that’s all that matters, even if they wanted to point fingers and snipe about it.


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