Monday, June 30, 2008

I laugh when my child cries

Before you call the Mommy Police, let me explain.

I really hate to hear my baby crying. Thankfully this time I'm blessed with a little guy who is pretty darn content and very easy to soothe. But when he's tired and we're driving somewhere, he often just loses it in the car. This is very frustrating to me, because I certainly can't hold him while I'm driving. I find myself getting so tense and stressed listening to this poor little boy cry his heart out in the seat behind me.

As he was wailing on the way to the library Friday, I thought, "He's crying like he's dying!" And then it hit me how silly that is. I'm not killing the poor kid; I'm just driving, and he's not happy about being stuck in his car seat. The ridiculous nature of the crying hit me, and I was able to see even a little humor in it.

That got me to thinking about all the silly things my kids will cry or otherwise protest about as they grow. Not getting the toy they want, having to go to bed, not being allowed to wear whatever inappropriate fashion is in style when Chickie hits middle school, having to turn off the TV and find something creative to do.

And when they grow up, will they be resentful of me for forcing them to ride in carseats, refusing toys, enforcing bedtime, helping with clothing choices, and turning off the TV? I doubt it. I mean, let's be realistic--I'm a normal, imperfect mom, and I'm sure I'll find plenty of genuine ways to make my kids resentful of me!

As I drove along, I found myself able to smile at all the silly things kids get upset about. And smiling about it was a lot more fun than stressing (and probably had a better effect on my driving).

So...I do hate to hear my kiddos cry. But whether it's an infant who wants to be in Mommy's arms instead of the car seat, or a teenager who is learning that the world doesn't revolve around them, kids will cry about ridiculous things. That's part of growing up. And maybe learning to laugh at it is part of me growing up, too.


Mommy Vern said...

You captured my own sentiments to a tee! I love reading your blog, its as if we live the same life! Garrett's crying in the car occurs on the way home and I have started to figure it out, I think he gets hot in his carseat! So we have moved the seat to the middle to see if this helps. Next time it happens, I will be sure to think of 'all the silly things kidsd cry about' to try and help me get through it! Thanks for sharing as always!

Anonymous said...

So well put and amen!

Heard by God said...

Beth! It's Danna, from BBC -- I love this post & the wisdom in it so much.

I also loved reading your birth story with Eli ~ your pictures were beautiful, & I could feel the peace & focus of the experience. I'm so glad for you that you got to have your water birth, & that it went SO beautifully! God is our awesome creator, & birthing as He designed our bodies to function is such a privilege. My heart is happy for you, Beth.

Caroline said...

Beth, you just discovered the secret to sane parenting; not to sweat the small stuff. And a lot of it is small stuff. It sounds Pollyanna, but having healthy kids, the ability to provide for them, and to be able to stay at home with them every day are huge blessings. The tantrums are just noise.

Take care!

SciFi Mama said...

I do the same thing. I'm sure I'll screw her up enough that her shrink will tell her to get over at least some of it! We will all mess up our kids somehow. I think the best we can do as parents is to not mess them up the same way our parents messed us up. Does that make sense?

C. Beth said...

Angie (SciFiMama)--Totally makes sense. For the record, my parents didn't mess me up at ALL; they were perfect in every way. (They also just happen to be loyal readers of this blog!)

Danna--It's so great to hear from you! :)