I'm tired of "Stranger Danger". We are raising a bunch of little people that are scared. Scared of all strangers. WTF?! Yes, I know, *gasp*, I am calling into question the notion of "stranger danger". This is not actually revolutionary, I'm just saying it again. Most people are good and kind. To teach our children that they need to be scared of everyone that they don't know is ludicrous! And truly, it's a disservice. Also, if someone is going to "get" our sweet babies in any of the nasty ways that sweet babies can be gotten, it will probably be someone that they know.
By all means, teach them to be safe. Teach them to trust their intuitions, teach them about friendly interactions from neighbors vs. invitations that are inappropriate, teach them that there should never be a need to keep a secret from you. Teach them that they should be looking out for each other. Teach them that a mama on the playground is usually a good bet if you need help finding your own mama, or if your sister is stuck in a tree, or if some kid you don't know just fell from the monkey bars and is crying.
Today I reprimanded a child that does not live under my roof. Actually 3 or 4 children that do not live under my roof. They were being douchey, as children are wont to do. I also celebrated tree climbing and pogo-ing victories of children that I don't know or have only met in passing. I'm paying attention and I think you should be too. It takes a village, blah blah blah. That's not actually why I'm paying attention. One really good reason is that I'm bossy, but another good reason is this: We can't watch our children all the damn time! We need to be able to rely on each other. We're all on the same kid raising team. We're not soldiers in some fictional "mommy war". I'm relying on you. If my kid is an a-hole to your kid and I don't see it, please, call her out. In the gentle way you would with your own child. You don't need to march over to me to have it out. We don't need a sit down. Just call her out. Talk about it. If my girl has an assist and I miss it because I'm standing on my head while juggling chocolate bunnies in an effort to entertain Little E until soccer is over, please, cheer wildly for her. Also cheer wildly for the scorer of the goal and also for the other team. "Nice effort girls. Way to go!" Pay attention grown ups. Please.
Our children can benefit immeasurably from the involvement of other grown ups. Pay attention. Praise them often. Re-direct them when necessary. But, fucking pay attention! Look at them. Pat them on the shoulder. Ask them questions. Tell them about what you do for a living. How is my kid ever going to learn to be an engineer or a poet unless she gets one for a role model? It's not going to be me and it's not going to be her dad. She needs another grown up. Lots of them. As many as possible.
This article profiles the book "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" by Robert D. Putnam. I think it's pretty damn spot on.
I'm Molly. I'm all in for parenting. I'm all in for good food. All in for big and small outdoor adventures. And really only partly in for homemaking. I want a Martha Stewart home and meal, but the truth is, we mamas just can't do it all. Not really. This shit is tricky!
This is a collection of musings and missives about parenting like you mean it. I mean really mean it. About how you can pull off a really mostly decent meal, keep your house kinda clean, do some of your laundry, and also even remember to usually feed your pets. But mostly about how being a mama is hard and we can totally rock it, but maybe that dream of perfection has got to give a little.