Being a natural-born coward, I've been turning this little issue that has had me bothered for a couple of days in my head.
You see, I don't like confrontation –it's anathema to my little ivory-tower living and to the privacy and retreat I seek in my days. But deep inside me lives a very loud social malcontent; the kind of charming, House M.D.-like imp who is not afraid of confrontation and who thrives in pointing out people's foibles, rudenesses, stupidity paradoxes and other sundry unmentionables in polite society.
To say that sometimes I wish I had the balls and the high doses of Valium pent up inside me to live as boldly as House does is rather the understatement. But I digress.
In short, someone in my superfluous layer of acquaintance completely embarrassed his/her child in front of me and at least five others in a manner that this person thought was possibly deft and charming, but which truly was daft and most certainly punk (meaning 3b).
This person thought it was perfectly normal to discuss toilet training minutiae in an embarrassing form in front of the child's peers and this person's own peers, without stopping to think several things:
- Two- and three-year olds understand far more than we think they do. They may have not started the full-on teasing everywhere, but they are only a few pointed sentences away from it and don't you doubt it for a minute,
- Other parents do, and will, judge you no matter how much we're all told that it is wrong or impolite so to do –and incidentally, we will think not that you may suck as a toilet trainer but that you're a cruel and thoughtless person (this blog is exhibit A) and,
- Would you as a person like other strangers and peers to know personal and hurtful information about something that already causes so much grief and stigma as does the development of trust and confidence that is going to the bathroom?
We all have hardships, as parents and as people in general. Life is hard enough as it is when you're small and the world is telling you what to do and what not to do without your consent or input. Toilet training is no small feat and setbacks are not only normal but expected, as little as they are convenient.
If your kid is going through a tough phase, announcing it to everyone in an attention-grabbing snarky monologue directed at that little person is not the way to solve things unless you yearn to duke it out with your grown child in some tasteless reality television program some years later
And incidentally, diarrhea of the mouth points to the fact that you, dear sir or madam, need some toilet training yourself, of the shutthefuckup variety.
Boy, that’s a great post. I’m definitely in need of a little House myself, and can totally agree that people underestimate their kids’ understanding ALL the time. It pisses me off, and I ache for the poor little guy who had to live through this. Good for you for calling them on it – here or anywhere.
I am meek and mild most of the time, but occasionally I go berserk and tell people what I really think! Then it takes several years for my to get my nice-girl reputation back… But boy, it sure feels good… lol
When my daughter was first born I had an acquaintance name Irene whose soon was about 3 years old. We were talking about general kid stuff one day and she told me she had never toilet trained her kid. I had been worried about toilet training hows and consequences. Irene said just take her to the bath with you and when she’s ready she will go by herself. She told me not to rush it. So when my daughter was about 2 and a couple three months I asked her if she wanted to try big girl pants. She never would wear a diaper again and she never had an accident. Irene really ruled. She was a 300 plus pound gorgeous redhead with a husband who looked like a movie star and worshiped the ground she walked on.