I’m pretty lucky that I have a pretty awesome kid; but you know what, he’s still a kid.
But I know not everyone thinks that of kids in general or mine specifically.
I was co-hosting an out of town baby shower this weekend. The mom to be as well as the other co-hosts encouraged me to bring Miles, who is now 2, along. They’d all been around him countless times before and had missed seeing him.
The mom-to-be also encouraged Miles and I to stay with her for the three nights we’d planned to be in Muncie.
Everything was good the first night. We didn’t arrive until 11:30 p.m., and Miles was fast asleep and stayed that way even transferring him to the bed. And the next morning she was out of the house and at work before my little guy even woke up.
But Friday afternoon Miles did what many 2-year-olds do when they are in an unfamiliar place, he refused to nap after lunch. And, like other tired kids, he was a little cranky Friday afternoon. But the fussiness and chaos that flared up every now and again didn’t phase me; that’s what kids do. I didn’t think it phased my friend either — she’s been around plenty of kids and is just eight weeks away from having her own. Surely the sound of a crying or fussing baby intermittently for less than three hours isn’t that terrible.
I was wrong.
Comments like, “He’s cool when he’s sleeping,” or “Man, if I was just handed a kid like this I’d immediately send him back,” really stung. And when she recalled the mere handful of hours she was around him Friday to her husband she used the words “terrible” and “miserable.” OUCH!
Miles woke up around 8 a.m., actually pretty late for him, but too early for my friend. And it’s hard to tell a toddler to whisper. When we made it to the shower Miles was great. The in-town co-host has a 4-year-old son and an awesome playroom that kept Miles busy. He took a nap and didn’t disturb the show.
Our plans to stay Saturday night obviously had changed. My friend’s obvious discomfort with my child, an average or even better than average behaved 2-year-old little boy, encouraged me to leave as soon as we could. So we left as soon as everything was picked up from the shower. My friend was surprised and told me I was being silly and should stay. “We’ll be able to have fun after he goes to bed,” she offered.
Words like those and other disparaging comments she’d shared about Miles aren’t what a mom wants to hear.
I am pretty good about knowing what situations are and are not kid friendly — a production of Hamlet, not kid friendly; outdoor festival, kid friendly. And I thought weekend at a friend’s house where said friend is weeks away from having her own child and encourages me to bring mine would be. I know better now.
How do you handle having your child in a not so friendly kid-friendly environment? Does your momma bear protection kick in like mine did?
Share your strategies with me and other readers because I’m sure we aren’t the first, or last, to face a situation similar to this one.