I was out with a fellow blogger not long ago. We both have girls who are around the same age; 3 and 4 and 8 month old babies. The eldest two are typical lovely little girls accompanied with the usual behaviour that occurs when small females get together. Not listening to us, silliness, giddiness, rolling about, falling out and telling tales on each other. If you have one, you know exactly what I mean and if you are like us, you spend a lot of time apologising for them.
After an hour or so with my friend and our girls, I wondered the same thing. It cumulated when her 8 month old kicked her bowl of puree accidentally on the floor. My friend was mortified. The staff member who I told? Couldn’t give a crap. Happy to mop it up when we left. They see it all the time.
So why are we apologising for our children so much when the do things that normal kids do? We are all parents hanging around together with these small monsters, who the majority of the time, all behave the same way.
For me, other kids being a bit silly and giddy usually cracks me up. I have a red-faced, flustered Mum in front of me, apologising to death and I basically think it’s quite funny. As long as the gremlin isn’t getting upset, I’m never too fussed.
But if it’s my child acting up?
Ground SWALLOW ME UP!
It’s a funny one.
The gremlin is going through a bit of an annoying stage of not only not listening, but when told not to do anything she does it anyway. I spent an afternoon with a friend whose daughter did exactly the same thing. My gremlin is also a bugger for telling tales if her little friend does something wrong. However, hubby and I preach to her so often about telling the truth and not fibbing to us. Poor girl may not know what to do. She’s also very forward if she is comfortable with someone. She will have no qualms to ask for a drink, extra food or even a straw if she fancies it. What do I do? Apologise for her. For being cheeky. For being greedy and asking for more. For taking food if her little friend has some. The list goes on.
I worry about doing this in front of her. If all the poor thing hears is me apologising for being her; for growing up and finding out what is right and wrong, she will end up thinking everything she does is wrong. Of course she has to learn she won’t be very popular if she grasses someone up in every instance but I’m sure that may be a hard lesson she learns at school. Of course she has to learn if she eats too much she will get sick (this lesson may have been learnt on holiday!) These, however, are HER lessons to learn.
It’s coming back to the same issue. The pressure to have perfect kids. To look like we are holding it together. Looking good, sparkling house and kids who can recite the alphabet backwards at 2. No kids are perfect. All kids will act up and be little shits now and then. Tiredness and hunger has a lot to answer for in my 3 year old.
I don’t think we should be apologising for a girly fall out or even telling tales.
We shouldn’t be apologising for tears and tiredness.
We shouldn’t be apologising for squeals and giggles and some general giddiness.
These little girls are just that – LITTLE girls. Growing, learning, screwing it all up and embarrassing us and themselves. We were them once and sometimes we are still doing it now.
So I’m making a conscious effort. I don’t want to say sorry for my gremlin all the time. Within reason, she is just being her and I don’t really want her changing because I’m worrying far too much about what others think.