Thursday, November 14, 2013

The One Aspect About Being a Parent I'm Dreading - and How to Fight It

Stacy is a day overdue. As the days get colder, it seems Asher prefers the warmth of the womb. Apparently there ain't nothing like that cozy fluid he floats around in while his future belly button grubs on several courses a day by way of the umbilical cord courtesy of executive chef, Stacy, and sous chef, placenta.

As we wait, we get to hear stories of all kinds from friends and those who we don't necessarily want to be friends because of what they say. We hear about all the ways a woman knew she was having her baby; we hear about all the stories of what a birth is like; we hear about the first weeks and how, no matter your expectations, you're not ready for what awaits you. We hear it all - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the you-should-never-share-that-again-with-any-living-human-being-whose-ears-still-function-normally.

We also get to hear stories from moms who get told by complete strangers what they should be doing with their kids that very moment.

A friend of ours was out running a quick errand with her one-year old daughter. Some random woman came up to her and told her point blank, "your daughter should be wearing a coat." She kindly told the woman that they were just out quickly and that her daughter was just fine. To me, this just makes sense because, well, she's a responsible, loving mother and she's the mother to that little girl. But that woman must know best. She pressed on with our friend, saying, "well you're wearing a coat." She was wearing a light womanly piece of clothing I am told is called a cardigan, but again, if we backtrack just a bit in this story, our friend birthed that little girl. She has been the sole source of her nutrition since the womb-days, she took care of her when her daughter first got sick, and since this is her first child, she's been super sensitive to making sure she does everything right and best for her daughter. But who is she to say she knows what she's talking about when it comes to mothering her daughter? She probably does need a ton of help from some pompous woman who's never met her or her daughter and all of a sudden feels this incredible sense of duty to spew ignorant nonsense to our friend, implying with utter self-righteousness that clearly she was a better mom to our friend's daughter. Thank you, woman who performed a Random Act of Wickedness for our friend who wept after you were through with her.

Are we going to get that a lot as parents? Are we going to get told by complete strangers how to take care of our son in that specific moment? Current parents, is that the case? Is my wife going to have moments when she will be weeping because of someone else's harsh words? We all have to put up with unsolicited advice as parents at any stage, but unsolicited commands in the form of some snooty statement should be off limits immediately. I'm picturing some kind of alarm system where, when someone says something like that, that person is hears 1,000 nails on a massive chalkboard for one year or Lloyd Christmas' most annoying sound in the world for a decade.

If it is inevitable, how should we respond? I told Stacy tonight that if anyone comes up to her to tell her something like, "your son should be wearing a coat" she should stand strong, stare at them, and speak back confidently, "you should be wearing a muzzle and never have the right to speak in public." Now that I'm thinking about it, I should just buy two now, keep one and give the other to Stacy, so that when it does happen we can just offer it to them right on the spot because, you know, we care about them.

Loving parents who are deeply committed to their child's well-being should never have to put up with cheap nonsense like that from anyone, especially some idiotic imbecile who makes it a point to suck all the joy and life out of people like Dementors.

This type of self-righteousness should amaze me in Tolerantland, but it just provides another example of how the preachers of tolerance have such thick walls surrounding them that trap them in their own stupidity. They are 12-inches thick with steel, padded on the inside so they can cuddle with one another and talk about how loving they are, but as soon as they see someone through the small window on the door that is always locked, they stare down incredulously. Their tongues are doubled, one to yell about how awesome and kind and compassionate and free and loving and perfect they are and the other to shout how stupid, close-minded, intolerant, and hateful the people on the outside are. That's the mouth that speaks, "your daughter should be wearing a coat," and it's the same mouth I want to punch - intolerantly.

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