Parenting: Avoiding Conflict at All Costs…Except With Your Own Kid & Spouse, That’s Fine
Happy 420 everyone!
It’s funny, but 420 was only a big deal to me when I was in college. I remember getting up at 4:20am to go smoke with friends to ring in the holiday. That seems so unfathomable now.
Ever since then it’s been like, yay a day to smoke weed! Like I do…every single other day…
Anyway. Obviously it was uneventful for me today weed-wise, other than enjoying some secondhand from Dan. But it was a busy day. We left the house at 7:30am and returned at 7:38pm.
We went to a breakfast with the Easter bunny and egg hunt with my parents this morning, which went well for the most part. It was Theo’s first real egg hunt, and he took right to it. He’s also met the (an) Easter bunny a few times before but he seemed really engaged with him this time.
Two minor things happened, both relating to my mother. One, was that she insisted on grabbing a high chair for Theo. They had like, one high chair and the place was mobbed and she happened to grab it first.
Theo could have done with out it – he could just reach the table or easily could have sat in my lap. It was one of those things where I was annoyed, but didn’t want to cause problems with my mom, so I let it go.
When we took Theo out for a moment to get food someone who worked there asked if we were still using it. When we got up from the table to go do the egg hunt they (tactfully) grabbed it almost before he was even out of it.
The second thing was, my mother had Theo – she tends to take over Theo duties whenever we see her – and was walking with him towards the bunny. Dan and I were a little bit behind her and the place was really crowded.
I saw Theo running for the bunny who had two kids in his lap getting their photos taken. I shouted at my mom to grab him and it’s almost like she was looking right at him and did nothing. I grabbed him, but not before he made it up there.
I can deal with conflict with my own kid and immediate family unit. I’m going to piss him and Dan off sometimes. But I’d really like to avoid pissing off other people. Especially other parents, especially when it relates to my kid.
I’m Just Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
I dreaded conflict with other parents before I even had a kid. The beginning of the book Big Little Lies with the kindergarten drop off left me filled with anxiety.
I’ve seen Facebook posts from friends regarding their kids acting up on a plane and people saying rude things to them, about them leaving their kid in the car to return a grocery cart 15 feet away and people took pictures of the kid in the car “alone.” I can literally feel my heart rate increase when I read these things.
Also, I used to work with kids and I can tell you firsthand – the parents are always worse than the kids.
However, so far since being a parent, I have not experienced this nightmare. The other moms and dads I’ve met through daycare or at events like these have always been pleasant. A little girl grabbed an egg Theo was going for at the egg hunt today, for instance, and her mother apologized to me, and I said, “Oh no, you’re fine.”
But I just feel like that gut wrenching conflict is coming, at some point. Did other parents look at my kid in the high chair today and think, he doesn’t really need that, how are they so selfish? I have no idea, but probably not. It’s more likely they thought, I can’t believe this place only has one high chair.
Did the parents with the kids on the bunny today sigh in frustration when Theo ran in and ruined their photo? I didn’t see, but probably not. It’s not like you only get one photo. They kept going. They have kids themselves, have probably had them run away from them a time or two, and so they likely understand.
But you just never know. The next ass could be around the corner waiting to jump down my throat and call me out for the imperfect parent I am.