I would see children behaving badly in public and note to myself that my children would not do that. I would hear other people’s children declare someone fat, short or ugly, and I would question their parenting skills. My children would not be like those children. I would nurture them, help shape them, mold them.
Then I had my own children and learned about nature.
Nadia has been revealing more and more about her personality, and we are not sure whether we are raising a toddler or a teen-ager. See, she has a way with words. Just the other day, she told off her uncle. He is not sure what he did wrong, but he knows he received a tongue-lashing about it. She was half-way through her diatribe when he realized what was going on. She tests limits. “I will not come over there.” She is loud, boisterous, talkative. We’ve told her to use her inside voice. She only has an outside voice. She is a backseat driver. “No, not this way.” She corrects us. “Daddy, that’s not a seal; that’s an otter.” She is emphatic. “I don’t know!” she says, hunching her shoulders and throwing out her arms for effect.
These are the joys of parenting. One day I may laugh and the next I may cringe. One thing is for sure: I no longer judge parents by their children.