As I am out and about, I cannot help but notice parents and their children. I love watching their interactions. It is refreshing for me to sit back for once. One of my observations is that parents of “only” children are living a bit of a fantasy. First of all, they are not outnumbered by their child. Watch any parent with one child and compare them to the mom or dad that is herding two or three. Two is still manageable, but the kids can still get you. Once you hit three children, face it. You are outnumbered. They learn quickly to scatter on you. They are capable of the military tactic to divide and conquer at a very young age!
Parents of “only” children deal with one personality. They have the luxury of knowing their child inside and out if they choose to. Parents of multiple children can be considered a bit schizophrenic. Think about it, unless you are creating clones, you need to figure out which child you are dealing with at any moment. Birth order can effect what you say and do with each child. Let’s not forget sex. Are they male or female? Are they hormonal yet? Now combine that with birth order. And don’t forget to factor in their individual personalities. Some kids you can yell at, others you have to speak softly. Yikes!!!!
Being crazy as a parent is not necessarily a bad thing. Okay, people may look at you strangely if you start giggling for no particular reason. What they don’t know is that you are remembering some humorous incident. Okay, I am willing to admit that sometimes when I giggled it was because I was plotting against the kids, but who really needs to know that? Sometimes, I giggled to keep myself from crying after a particularly rough day. And I guess sometimes I just giggled because I was crazy! Again, crazy is not bad. It definitely keeps the kids on edge and sometimes that helps them behave better. “Is mom losing it? She is sitting there with a weird smile on her face. She is starting to scare me, maybe I will clean my room.” Don’t laugh, it works!
I smile now, when I watch my own children struggle with my grandchildren. There is a little poetic justice in it when “Mommy’s” oldest throws a temper tantrum. I wonder if it makes her remember some of the ones she threw when she didn’t get what she thought was the attention she deserved at that moment. I smile when “Mini Me” goes toe to toe with a four year old who knows more than she does. Mostly I smile because I survived and I have earned the right to enjoy these moments! Take some time to people watch. I promise it will make you smile, even on a bad day!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!