Monday, January 24, 2011

The Difference Between a “First Time” Parent and Someone Who’s Been There Already…

Something funny happened this weekend. T had a basketball tournament out of town, so we ventured off to watch some ball games with the other two kids in tow. PePa and Grandma also ended up going, which is somewhat relevant to the story. After T’s first game, there was a 3 hour wait before the second game was to start, so we all took off to kill some time. Jenna went with the grandparents and they went driving around, while T and Jax stayed with us and we went to Home Depot and looked for a Target. I needed some supplies for this and Brent needed some stuff to fix our fence where the dogs got out three weeks ago…more on that later…maybe.

Anyway, we all decided to meet up at the Wendy’s in town (one of the only eating places in this little town) for lunch before heading back for T’s second game. While there, I tried to feed Jax and eat my own lunch at the same time – a feat that should be noted was met with limited success. He did manage to gnaw on some Wendy’s fries though (his first!).

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with this idea of killing time at Wendy’s. While we were eating there, there was another family at a table off in the corner. It was a Mom all alone, with an older-teenage-ish age kid, another child somewhere around the tween years…and a toddler. She was managing fine on her own, with the help of the older kids – I can attest that they DO come in handy when corralling youngsters! We all observed this family as the little toddler (girl) ran away from the table and around the open area in the restaurant in a “Catch Me!” type of game with the middle child.

Corralling the toddler once successfully, they sat back down to resume eating when the toddler “snuck” off again. This time, the Mom went in pursuit and when she “caught” the toddler and picked her up to carry her back to their table, it happened. The girl apparently lost all bones in her body, just went limp and sort of yelled out. I wouldn’t call it screaming, but it was loud just for a moment.

Now…there were two reactions to this scene at our table. You could group us into two distinct groups – those that have been there and done that…and the one that doesn’t know any better. I’ll try not to name any names…to protect privacy and all…let’s just see if you can figure it out.

There were two people at the table that watched the scene and laughed. Then looked at each other with a “that’s typical” look passing between them, thinking nothing of what had just happened. You could tell that they had raised a child (or two) and knew that the scene before them was pretty minor for that age and well-handled by the Mom.

Then there was the other person. The one that looked horrified by what had just happened and proceeded to scoff at the two others who had laughed about the scene. The words “My child will never do that!” were heard coming from this person’s mouth.

It was at this point that the other two people again exchanged looks…or smirks, at this point…as if saying to each other “Just you wait and see, Buddy!” for they knew that these things happen. They knew that children don’t like to sit still for long. That they tend to get antsy and impatient once they’re done eating and think that “escaping” from Mom/Dad is a fun game to play. And once caught and told “No more!” they can sometimes react loudly and vociferously, showing anyone and everyone their displeasure at the end of the game.

And compared to some scenes that I’ve witnessed (or experienced first hand a time or two) the reaction of this toddler was very mild and what you might even call well-mannered. I’ve seen kids be drug from the store kicking and screaming at the tops of their lungs the whole way…while the Mom copes as best she can. This scene was nothing like that.

So two people left the table that day with a laugh and a smile for the Mom, eagerly anticipating the day that the other one’s child attempts such a feat. Because as sure as the sun shines in Texas, the wind blows across the flat plains, and the snow falls in the mountains…there will come a time when that one’s child WILL act out in public. I just hope that I’m along for the ride that day. Not to say “I told you this would happen”. I would never do that. I might think it…but will bite my tongue to avoid saying the words, I promise. I just want to witness the scene when it’s my kid. That’s all. LOL!

No comments: