Being home with the kids means that I encounter other at-home parents a lot more than I used to. Mostly that’s good but sometimes I find myself an unwilling audience to their demonstrations of superior parenting skills.
Loudly – sorry, softly but firmly – telling your offspring “Hands are for hugging. I need to see gentle touches” is really just showing off. It may be effective but I’m finding it very annoying watching other moms crouch down with big round eyes, cock their head to one side, and calmly explain away all the fun their kid was having with something she found in the dirt. Does it always have to be a “learning opportunity?” Can’t they just get dirty and find stuff?
This is what lunch time at the drop-in centre feels like sometimes:
Them: “McKenZee, McLaughLan, Palmer, your cubed organic chicken, locally-grown asparagus, sustainably-harvested soy snacks and unsweetened organic juice is ready. I need to see some hand washing and walking to the table.”
Me: “Akka! Malli! Some of the raisins in the bottom of the stroller have hardly any sand on them at ALL! Let’s eat!”
I’m embellishing, perhaps, but you get the idea. Maybe I’m a little anxious that I’ll start fitting right in with these moms because to tell the truth, I’m having a blast making gorgeous little lunches for the kids in their new lunchboxes. When I left work, my co-workers gave me a gift certificate to a great shop that sells all sorts of environmentally-friendly stuff. I was probably supposed to get myself a new skirt or some great bath stuff to pamper myself but these lunchboxes were too fabulous to pass up:
I took a photo of an even better broccoli-and-rice-balls lunch but, given what I’ve just written above, I’m obviously way too embarrassed to put that one online.