Sunday, January 29, 2006

We had some friends come over tonight with their two kids. As the evening got a little later, all the kids started to get a bit cranky. Soon, due to some typical brother-sister conflict, both of our friends' kids exploded into tears and frustration. The parents realized it was probably time to get the kids to bed, calmed everyone down, and got ready to leave. On their way out, they apologized profusely for their kids' meltdown. The wife and I assured them that it was no big deal.

And it really was no big deal.

I am happy to report that after six and a half years of parenting, the sound of SOMEONE ELSE'S children screaming is reassuring and pleasant. When I hear that sound, I always think the same three thoughts. This happens in airplanes, restaurants, or really any place where kids scream (everywhere). The thoughts appear in this order:
  1. Yay! That's not my kid screaming. I should go hug my daughter right now and thank her for not screaming. (Note: I did.)
  2. Phew! Our peers also have kids that go ballistic at times. These people seem like good parents and their kids explode too. Perhaps I am not the very worst father on the planet.
  3. Awwww. Poor kids/parents.
So, it appears that my first instinct is selfishness, followed closely by self reassurance, and then pulling up the rear is sympathy, the caboose of my emotional train.

Me me me me me! Someone, get me a blog.


zelda1 said...

Because my children are grown, and my grandchildren never act out with me. REally they don't, they know they don't have to cry to get what they want, they just hug me and whisper what is they want and Nana gets it for them. Usually if we are somewhere and they are tired, they say, "I want to go back to your house." and we go. But, at the grocery stores, the doctor's offices, the library, well anywhere, when I see a mother or father with a child that is being fussy or cranky, I smile at them and sometimes tell them it's okay, that's all part of being parents of young children. It really is okay. For the most part, people are use to it and are not going to be harsh thinking or responding. It's usually harder on the parents than anyone else and by the parents getting all flustered, well, the children only act worse. But, I am happy that I have gone through it and it is over. I sure hated those little fussy moments at the doctor's office or at the dentist.

Mike said...

Understood. I gotta say though, I hated other people's crying kids a lot more before I had a kid.

Tasty said...

Your emotional train is a good sign for me. I may be an OK parent one day.

Mike said...

If you're a good Aunt Tasty, I'd bet you'll be a good parent.

Tasty said...

I'm a quite-good Aunt Tasty. Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it.