The trouble with me is the trouble with everyone else. Does anyone else feel that way?
I picked my child up from the daycare at the gym today, and my kid was almost in tears. To summarize the situation, they were showing Scooby Doo shows on TV since some older kids had asked for them (even though the older kids were longer in the childcare center when I came in). The daycare assistant approached me when I seemed concerned that my son was upset, and she said he had been telling her he was scared of what was on TV, and then she kind of shrugged her shoulders. Enough said about that, right? Who is this person, am I right? This woman who would watch a three-year-old shiver and cling to his blankie, as he continually turned his back to the TV (which she also informed me he had been doing).
So, there’s that. And, now here is the other thing. The kids we’ve met on our street. OK, without going into it too much since I’ve already suffered a few heart palpitations…they’re tiny, mutants with no manners who talk to adults as if they’re the superiors on the street. Hhmmm…let’s just say thank goodness I have met some cool parents and kids at the local playground.
Now, here’s the meat of it. My kid. My kid is sensitive but in a really cool way. He’s one of those thoughtful kids who observes before diving in to a situation. He even waits for others to approach him usually. He’s nice to girls, and boys, but especially to girls. When he heard the very next door neighbor crying outside yesterday for her mom, he said we should go see if she is OK. That “we should check on her,” even after I told him her mommy was home and that her big brother was beside her.
He waits before he hugs little girls too. He makes sure they are OK with it. He’s not a kid who just leaps and grabs. He puts things back where they belong, even if he puts up a small fight sometimes. He says he is sorry, and you really feel he means it. He even whispered, “Come here,” when leaning in to hug me as we made up after a fight. Is this guy 30 or almost 3?
Small glimpses of the world crashing into us are happening. He is meeting the world in new ways that frighten me, that would keep me up at night if I weren’t so exhausted when my head crashed into the pillow.
I guess every parent, or many parents, go through this apprehension. We’re all in the amusement park, praying and hoping we can keep our kids on the tea cup rides just a little longer. That we can shield them from the upside down slave ship and the terror of reaching the top of a 100 ft. hill, knowing they’re strapped in and can’t do anything but scream bloody murder or vomit, just a little longer. The house of mirrors awaits, and there’s nothing we can do…exactly.
Except of course, be their defenders. Fight for the safe kid shows or simply state we can no longer leave our child in an untrustworthy environment. We can fight their battles when the bratty seven year old girl, whose name is “A-LA,” not “A-DA,” takes his ball and runs towards her house. “Hey, that’s my kid’s ball!,” you lousy, stinking rat. He’s too little to understand such atrocities and the results of unfortunate parenting.
He’s too small to watch Scooby Doo. He told the lady he was scared. She is the one who informed me of this, if you remember. Oh well, he’s scared. But, someone else’s desensitized little kid who doesn’t blink at violence or ghost stories gets the upper hand. That kid is the norm. Those shows inundate us, and we’re forced to adapt or be the weird ones who speak up.
Let’s speak up, shall we? Let them know we’re not actually the minority. Or at least, know that preserving a super sensitive and cool kid’s innocence and emotional life is worth it.