Oh The Pressure!
You walk into a restaurant, get on an airplane or claim your seat at the theatre and then in walks a couple with a baby. You roll your eyes, and think to yourself that that baby better not cry and interrupt your experience. I don’t blame you… I was always more bothered by loud talkers and people that smack, but I can appreciate the annoyance that children can often bring. With all the pressures and stressers that come with being a mom, I never knew that one of them would be the pressure to have a “good baby.” Not that we have any control over having a “good baby” if there even is such a thing. I get asked a lot if she sleeps through the night or if she is a good baby. I find this fascinating. Mollie is barely aware of her hands and feet, let alone if she is being good when we are in public.
I, of course, think my child is perfect, but I laugh internally at myself every time she starts to fuss in public and I note that “she is never like this.” Yes she is!! Every single time she needs something. It usually lasts about a minute until I can figure out what is going on. Of course every single day I figure out something knew, and the phrase “I wish I knew that yesterday” flies through my brain. Mollie’s only means of communication is crying so when she is hungry, wet or dirty, bored, irritated, annoyed or just got up on the wrong side of the pack-n-play, she is going to fuss or cry. I guess being stressed about it won’t change the situation at all.
I am now obsessed with the show “Up All Night” with Christina Applegate. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t get canceled. It is about a couple that have a brand new baby. They are about 9 months ahead of us in their daughter’s life, but I find every episode hilarious. I have either experienced something they are depicting or fully anticipate that I will sometime in the near future. One recent episode had them flying for the first time. The whole fiasco started when they were having a play date with two of their annoying neighbors. The implication is thick that they never want to end up like this couple. There is an impending wedding of some friends that would require them to fly. The annoying neighbors let them know that they shouldn’t even attempt to travel with a baby thereby challenging them to do just that. They jump up, pack and rush to the airport. They have a very firm plan to ensure that everything on the flight goes smoothly and the hilarity ensues when everything goes wrong. Where I teared up was when the husband/daddy stands up and tells the entire plane that his wife has had a rough day, they aren’t even able to sit together, that his wife is doing her best with their young daughter, and asks if they would please have mercy on her if the baby cries. The whole plane erupts into cheers… after he promises drinks all around on him, of course
It is so interesting that we are scared to death of annoying anyone so we probably end up transferring that stress to our children, thereby making them even crazier in public situations. I also found this episode to be hilarious because Mollie and I are about to embark on the very same journey ,only we are on our own. Ed won’t be able to join us on our trip to Dallas. Don’t get me wrong… I would much rather handle Mollie screaming at the top of her lungs on a two hour flight and piss off everyone around me then turn the 12 hour drive to TX into 25 hours of misery. I have no doubt she will do wonderfully… I will report back.
The truth is that people with kids want to be able to enjoy life out in the world too. Parents also get knocked for stopping their lives and becoming homebodies, but the truth is they would rather stay at home than have to deal with the stress and pressure that their kid might annoy someone at the table or in the seat next to them and be dubbed as “those people.” Facebook is another lovely venue for people that aren’t that fond of kids to voice their disgust with parents and unruly children. While there is a lot to be said for parenting and discipline, I guess all I am saying is that next time a baby cries or a kid throws a fit, give the parent a little break… they are suffering enough from the pressure they put on themselves.
I, on the other hand, will continue to venture out into the world, attend plays, eat at restaurants and travel on planes as often as possible. I am sure to be in for many meltdowns and fussy-fests, but I hope to handle them with an extreme amount of class… and the occasional mental middle finger to those who stare or roll their eyes.
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