Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Unchained Confessions

The famous (infamous?) AW Blog Chain began at A Thoughtful Life, where Kat posted about distractions. Gillian over at Food History then blogged about lists.

From there it continued, finding its way to sex toys (and, in fact, back to lists) with Williebee and then, again, back to distractions over at Twisted Fantasies. Michelle Rasey, blogger at Twisted Fantasies, also wrote, in that same post, about pregnancy and motherhood. While I'm no stranger to distraction, I blogged about that a few days ago.

While it's really tempting to pick up on the sex toy reference, I will refrain. I'm going to take this blog chain, #13 for those who are counting, into uncharted territory to talk about babies and children.

I worked an art auction the other day, a fundraiser for a traveling football league made up of boys age 8 - 12. When I attended this same fundraiser last year, I felt like my co-worker, Joanne and I, spent most of our time scolding the boys. "Please don't touch the artwork. Please don't lean on the table. Don't run! You're going to fall and get hurt."

This time, the auction company owner went with me. An older man with grown children, he gritted his teeth every time the young boys tried to write a fake name on the silent auction bid sheet, ran across the reception hall, or sprawled out on the floor to play their Nintendo DS.

After we left, I commented, "The kids seemed to be better this year than last."

"Really?" Rudy, the owner, grimaced. "I can't imagine what you girls went through last year."

I shrugged. "The same: don't lean on the table, don't run, put the pens down, yadda-yadda. They just seemed more manageable this year. Last year, I walked out swearing I was never, ever having kids."

But was it the kids who changed, or me?

I've noticed a shift in my way of thinking over the past few months. Maybe it's the proverbial biological clock or maybe it's boredom. When I see kids misbehaving in public places, my standard response is: "OUR kids will never act like THAT!" These wild children are not representative of their entire age group. Clearly, it's their upbringing.

Yeah, right.

In reality, I know better. But until the day comes that I am seeking out a spot in the "candy-free" line in order to keep a two-year old from having a temper tantrum, let me enjoy my delusions, would ya?

I cannot wait to see where Boddie goes with this, but I am sure it's going to be funny.

A Thoughtful Life
Gillian's Food History
Getting Confused and Coming All Undone
Life in the Middle
So You Want to be a Chic Chick
Twisted Fantasies
It Had To Be Said
Finding Boddie
Virtual Wordsmith
Random Acts of Unkindness
Chocolate for Your Brain
Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!


Ello said...

I think you are absolutely right that it is all in the parenting and if you won't tolerate that sort of behavior then your kids won't be like that. I know it isn't that simple, but it really is all about discipline and what I see as a lack of it in parents these days. I can tell you my kids are incredibly well behaved to the point where people are always commenting on how good they are. Yes, they are good kids but I also don't let them run screaming through a restaurant or throwing temper tantrums in public.

Anyway, as you can see, you definitely struck a chord with me on this one! Good post.

Anonymous said...

I've never been truly sure if it is the child's nature or their upbringing that causes some children to be a handful. I have always been one of the "my children will never act like that!" people.. and you know what? My children have NEVER acted like "that". I don't hesitate to go down candy isles and say no. I take my children to restaurants, theaters, broadway shows. I'll take my kids anywhere. They are absolute angels when we are out and about (now.. at home when we are alone.. that is a different question! LOL).

But.. I am still so hesitant to say that it is the upbringing.... just in case I decide to go for a 3rd child and get one of "those" kinds of kids. LOL.

Mostly, I really do think it is the upbringing. I "sit" on my kids often. I have never allowed them to misbehave in public. They know I will not hesitate to remove them from a situation, even if it means that I'll miss out on something fun. Consistency is the key. That, and always letting your children know what is expected of them. Don't back down. Require them to be considerate of others. :-) OK.. let me get off my soapbox now. You have obviously hit a nerve with me. LOL

Great post. Thanks for playing in the blog chain.

VirtualWordsmith said...

Don't you know the reason babies and toddlers are so cute is to preserve them from acts of malice? There are many times I've shrugged my shoulders, sighed, and said to at least one of my children "It's a darn good thing you are soooooo adorable."

Kate Boddie said...

All they need is the fear of god and they're good to go. You won't know the meaning of the word 'misbehaving' if you're kids are too afraid to act out!

Gillian said...

Have you nboticed that some people are kind of born with the right tone in their voice to get kids to comply, some learn it on the job (which might be what is happening to you) and some lose it as they become middle aged and everyone's favourite person to hug. I moved from the first group to the last sometime recently I used to be able to exert perfect compliance: now I get neck massages when I hurt.