Monday, July 13, 2009

My daughter eats ice cream for breakfast...

Well, it's actually fro-yo so at least it has cultures. :) I used to feel bad about this but I've just accepted this fact of life now. She's not a big eater so I have resolved myself to the fact that eating something (it has cultures, calcium, and calories) is better than eating nothing--which is what she used to eat for breakfast. She eats healthy stuff in small spurts throughout the days. Oh, and she takes a multivitamin, so that's good, too, right?

Living with a 3-year-old (and all the stages before this and I am sure many more to come) has made me eat my words on SO many things. I suppose, just like everything else, you don't know what it's like until you are in the situation. Things aren't as structured or as clean in my house as I would like, but I wouldn't trade the chaos for anything in the world. (Seriously, add dogs in this mix and someone should follow me around with a camera for a bloopers show.) K is a laugh a minute and her personality shines more every day. She is polite and sensitive. She listens (most of the time) and she shows compassion for others (generally...she IS 3). She is very active which, to me, means healthy so I am not complaining (though sometimes others do--but that's their problem, not mine).

In the past, I have felt almost ashamed of my somewhat lax parenting style--but as time has gone by, I realize that no one can raise MY child better than ME--and nobody knows her better than I do. It doesn't matter what other people think. My skin is growing thicker to all of the unsolicited advice and comments--which don't seem to slow down. Instead of questioning myself when people start their judgments of my parenting abilities, I sort-of tune them out and start wondering what happened in their past that makes them think what they are doing is socially acceptable behavior. Sometimes, I just want to yell at them "HEY! I've done this mostly on my own for a long, long time. She could be a lot, LOT worse." But I figure that's not truly necessary and I probably shouldn't stoop to lower levels--plus, I have nothing to apologize for or explain to them. And then, I just decide that they are adults so it is their problem. I smile and nod--rarely do I even argue any more--and then K and I just go about our business. What does still tick me off is when people make comments to HER--she is still too young to care but when she gets old enough, I guess I will just be challenged as a parent to teach her the lesson that I have learned. And I suppose somehow I will have to find the balance of teaching her to respect adults yet realize that some adults haven't learned that age-old rule "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Yes, I am sure there are many unique challenges for us down the road. I hope that I am able to pick out the good advice from the advice that was best left as a thought in someone else's mind and not in my ear. In the meantime, I will be left wondering why people even care. Maybe they're just trying to help--I'll try to keep that perspective so that I can remain positive and less bitter about what I hear. Oh, and also in the meantime, she will continue to have her ice cream for breakfast--with sprinkles (we could all use a little more color in our mornings).

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