Jumping in Leaves and Mom Judging
Don’t be amazed. Alllllll those leaves that we raked into giant piles, directly blew all over our yard after we played in them. They never made it into bags. THEN, it snowed yesterday. And today. Sooooo… we’ll have one big smoliage (foliage soaked in snow) mess to clean up. Someday.
AND… before I dive in with present day stuff, would you look at what I found?! An OLD post from when Lo was a new baby around this very same time here!
But then you know what time it is…. almost anyway… THANKSGIVING next week! Looking up a couple recipes this week and over weekend to jazz up some brussels and sweet potatoes… maybe a casserole or pie…. FEELIN’ it this year! Minus the bird. Have not yet mustered up the courage to do that yet!
So this was an afternoon, after school, and lunch together, maybe a little school work and cartoons, that was sunny and gorgeous and perfect for leaf leaping happiness! I raked the leaves into two HUGE piles and then I suggested the girls put the mini trampoline in front of them and jump right in! Don’t worry, the rakes were safely put aside (actually used my niggin’) and the piles were so deep, they were plenty cushion for landing. As you can tell from the photos, they hate fall. NEVER!
Just a little tiny snippet about mom judging. It’s probably a thing, who knows. I just wanted to say that I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all probably heard it at one point, said something judgmental out loud, or if you are a Saint, maybe you were human for a moment and let a judgmental thought SLIP into that perfect little head of yours. I/we/you, especially, most definitely do it when you are childless yourself. Just the truth. The, “When we have kids, we’ll never do….” “When I have this baby, it will NEVER…..” "
It happens when we watch a television show, see a movie, or catch a news clip. Oh, come on! You know… when that mom who left her kids in the car when she went inside to pay for gas because the card reader didn’t work on the pump, or maybe she only had it in change, and then the car was stolen, with her baby inside. Judging? NO?! Okay…
How about THAT mom who is telling at her kid in the middle of TJ Maxx to get up off the floor because they are sliding, belly down all across the floor of the shoe department like a human mop?! Would you scowl and walk by her, roll your eyes and click your teeth and say, “GEEZE…” Well, if you did, or would, or maybe this was YOU who did this to me last Friday, to you, I say, and very well damn did, VERY LOUDLY so she could hear, “I can discipline my children anywhere I see fit, even publicly if I see that they need disciplining.” Mind you I was calling across to my daughter, guess which one if you know us, to get off the floor and brushed about 32 dust bunny balls off her very crisp, neat school clothing and I took the time AS WELL AS SCOLDING to talk through the reasoning on why it wasn’t a great idea to use ourselves as human mops. Could I be sweeter/ Nicer? Softer? Maybe. Do, I LIKE scolding, yelling, being embarrassed in the store, not being listened to when I DO ASK NICELY? Not really.
The woman turned the corner and hid behind the shoe aisle next to me, but also she made sure to stay close enough to back talk to me, as I was putting my own shoes back on, I had time to try on three pairs of shoes exactly. She murmured something under her breath along the lines of, “Maybe momma shouldn’t be shopping with them then.” Is that our only solution in modern times? Order online because we can’t teach our children proper social norms? Good news is one pair was a GO and only $15! And NEEDED! A nude pump, and COMFY, and by a GREAT brand, Bandolino. I answered to her commentary that maybe she didn’t have children and couldn’t understand. She said she did have children but didn’t “yell” at them, as I had supposedly done. I said, “Well, that’s great maybe you don’t have the children that I do.”
And I look back at what I said, and I said that as if my children were horrendous and misbehaved and terrible, which they aren’t OVERALL, but YES, hell yes, at times, MANY inopportune times, and in PUBLIC, they ARE misbehaved and loud and inappropriate and rude, and disrespectful, and by golly I will NOT, EVER, let that go if it happens, EVEN if there are others around. Not me. Not my parenting style to mention it at home, more my style to handle it right then and there.
The problem is, strangers don’t know you, don’t know how you mother and parent ALL day, everyday. They get a three-second snippet. And since it seems, so studies suggest, our attention span is only as long, we pass judgements on those three-second splices we see out of the corner of our eye at a department store, at a restaurant, in line at the bank… I DO IT TOO. Bu, since having kids myself, and toddlers, I TRY my best to empathize. NOT ALWAYS. (That one time at Target when there was a BLOOD CURDLING SCREAMING toddler in the store somewhere and the parents continued to shop for the duration of what seemed like 30 minutes.) BUT, maybe they had to buy diapers, and shoes, and food….and HAD to get it done…. I do TRY to understand the WHOLE BIG PICTURE, not just that awful screaming child, seriously it was enough to have me purchase ear plugs in the pharmacy had it gone on any longer. BUT, a LOT of times when I pass a frustrated momma dealing with a tantrum, I give her an understanding glance and usually say, “We have been there…”
So that woman in TJ Maxx scolding her child about mopping herself on the tile, you MIGHT have guessed, was me! So, the woman continued. “I have kids, I just don’t yell at them like you.” WELL. I turned the corner and looked straight back at her and in a loud voice so the whole shoe department could hear, I said, “Oh WOW, a perfect mother! EVERYONE we have a perfect mother here!” She slunk away. This may be in very poor taste to even admit this whole incident here, but seeing as I am not running for office, as if that even matters anymore, I just wanted to share because I have been the one to pass judgement on someone, and I have also been judged. As will you. Because we are HUMAN. We can only call attention to our faults, and try to be better. Because NONE of us are perfect parents.
BEFORE the mopping fiasco, the girls had both quickly went straight to the toys and each picked out a Disney princess toy that they wanted, Rem and I had dumped her piggy bank out and counted eight quarters out earlier that morning so we could pick it up together. Lo wanted one as well, and I had asked her if she had $4 as well in her piggy bank, we were already on the go, but I said she could borrow from me if she returned it when we got home. Of course strangers do not see this. They see me calling across the store for them to get up off the floor in a rude manor, AFTER asking nicely about a dozen times before that, AND EVEN standing up and walking over and suggesting one daughter go to another bench on the other side of me to avoid irritating one another. Strangers don’t see that part. Strangers FIXATE and HIGHLIGHT and EXAGGERATE our faults. They are LOOKING for faults in us, just waiting for them. Let them take them, and then use your voice and speak up and defend yourself. You have the right as a PARENT, to PARENT.
We ended the TJ Maxx visit with waiting in a very lengthy line and it was so perfect because the girls were ANGELS. They were quiet and patient and looked at things, but put them back, looked at the Christmas books they had lining the entrance to the cashiers, and when we got up to the register we worked through the transactions one at a time, and counted out their money together, and they spoke to the cashier, and took their receipt and it was a lesson for us on exchanges and purchases and retail. THAT was for US. The entire trip to the store, was for THEM, for those dolls, for them to see their money being used and for something they wanted. So, everyone else around can just be seen as those old, gray, hairy, dusty bunnies I brushed off her peanut blouse. They’re gone, they were harmless, gross, and annoying and we had contact with them, but overall they didn’t leave an impact and they were left right there in the store.
Brush it off. Move on. Be better.
After this whole debacle, I ran across an Insta story from a stylist I follow in California, and she was bragging that her children didn’t need ipads or electronics at the table at a restaurant like the table behind her. She actually showed the other family on video which felt inappropriate. She also said maybe she had spoke too soon, but then added, “I mean, four ipads, one per kid?” We have been there when the crayons and the books, and the sugar packs and the talking and the games stop working and we have both had to pull our phones out, one for each kiddo. NOT always, and NOT often, probably because we RARELY eat out with our kids, but again, do we have to shame another family on video secretly. What is it worth to you? What have you gained by that?
Mostly sharing and typing this like a diary entry to myself to be kinder, gentler, more UNDERSTANDING of others. TRYING. Awareness is a start.
So happy leaf jumping everyone! Who’s ready for THANKSGIVING food?! It’s my husband’s FAVORITE holiday I think, because, food, and he didn’t even grow up here!
If you think of any great recipes, pleas link or share in the comments for me!
Wearing: Remy is wearing a tee from H&M and biker shorts from Target, (they love these things as SHORTS, but we get them for underneath dresses and skirts.) Arlo is wearing leggings from H&M (I bought them as this size, when Remy was a BABY!) and her tee was from the Junk Food tee collaboration with Target from summer, but I found it thrifting, tags still on! So SOFT! Here’s a similar tee.