Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap

Hide them, hide them

Just so we can find them, we snap our fingers it’s parenting time

Disappear and reappear for family-shots

Don’t forget to hush, who cares that your stomach ties in knots

Mini grown-ups better play pretend or we hide them, hide them

Until we cannot find them…

Just a few months ago I attended a brunch for a baby shower which took place in a restaurant on a Saturday. The event was hosted by a few of the expecting mother’s best friends. During the weeks prior to the date, I can’t count how many mails were sent back & forth discussing the topic “Can the kids come?”.  Replies ranged from “No way” to a hesitant “I don’t mind” and lastly a stern ” They can come if they don’t cry!”.

I went to the place with my kid, armed with stuff for him keep himself busy and we settled in. A while after everyone had arrived and started to make trips to the buffet to sample all of that great food,  someone said “Oh my, we don’t HEAR him, at all!!”.  I was actually a bit surprised by the comment. True,  he was calm, he was enjoying his food as well. Why wouldn’t he be calm?

We got into the subject a little more and quite a few parents said that it would be impossible for them to take their kids to such a brunch and have them behave for a reasonable amount of time.  My response was: “But if you never take them to a restaurant, how will they learn what’s expected from them?”.

I mean it’s all about finding a balance at certain ages and stages, isn’t it? I know that with a two-year-old, it would have been very difficult (impossible!!) to have an enjoyable long lunch, in a restaurant, while having interesting conversations with the other guests (All of a sudden I have this classic image of flying food..shudder). But I wouldn’t have stayed away altogether either. A quick drop-in and a sandwich would have, definitely, been a possibility.

In the past, I have gotten up and left restaurants or cafe’s  where we were having a snack or meal, before we were done. Simply because sometimes it was the best option as the level of crankiness from my, then, little monster could not be lowered within an acceptable amount of time (for me or the audience).  Learn to pick you battles people! Even now that little man’s a bit older, he just turned 7 when the event took place and I think he should be able to come with me,  I make sure that a relatively boring lunch – as seen through kids eyes – will not turn into anything else. Say into appetizers & champagne as it did for some at the baby shower (oh how much fun those spontaneous hangouts can be!). But nope, we leave and go do something that’s fun for him too.

There’s an enormous amount of pressure on parents, kids & humans in general to be perfect an accomplished in every aspect of life, in this fast paced society.  Sometimes we forget that it takes a village to raise a child, the village might have burst out of it’s joints, but we all remain connected. That one annoyingly loud kid next to you might be your caregiver one day. How will it learn to have patience, tolerance and respect if it hasn’t first received it from his peers?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narami
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 12:52:41

    “But if you never take them to a restaurant, how will they learn what’s expected from them?” My exact words in response to this subject! Keeping the kids away from EVERYTHING because they are not behaving themselves well will not help the situation much more. There has to be a balance, but I am SO for the making kids participate in all activities so they can learn how to behave in different situations.
    Loved this post, thanks for sharing!

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  2. BohemianMamma
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 02:12:48

    Thank you for leaving such a great comment Narami!
    Indeed, and of course if parents want a night out by themselves, by all means they should, there’s a balance in that also. But I would really like to see our society become more inclusive instead of exclusive again. It might seem like more effort, but I think it’s worth it in the long-run. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

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