We just watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is an adorable movie. Throughout the film, the characters substitute the word “cuss” rather than use any actual expletives (e.g., “This is a complete cluster [cuss]”). I LOVE this practice, and have adopted it wholeheartedly, as you’ll see throughout this post.
Question du Jour:
When did it become appropriate to offer unsolicited parenting advice or critique others’ parenting style on-the-fly to complete strangers?
These “Holier-Than-Thou Moms” are really beginning to irritate me. I mean really.starting.to.irritate.me.
Allow me to paint the scene:
Warm, gorgeous, sunny, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kinda day. Cute little (well, with me being almost 9 months pregnant, not-so-little…) couple walking on either side of our elated daughter who’s completely ecstatic to be riding her brand new, “most-‘fray-vo-rit’-gift from-Santa” bike down the sidewalk. Yep, picture a Kodak moment. No, Kodak is not paying me to say this. I wish!
This 4-year-old little boy comes tearing around the corner on his strider. You know what I’m talkin’ about – those cool “no-pedal balance bikes” that ride super-low to the ground without wheels?
So yeah. Little Boy comes streaking down the sidewalk like a Bat Outta [Cuss], completely out of control, practically tossing our sweet little family off the sidewalk, while screaming, “Ahhhhh! Gonna crash into you!”
Little Boy’s mother is half-jogging/half-tripping over his younger sibling’s stroller while trailing behind him – not fewer than 20 feet behind, mind you (see photo above).
She does however, pause to gaze down her nose at our daughter then holler over her shoulder, “Oh yeah! You should totally invest in one of these Strider Balance Bikes! They’re SO much better than those bikes with the training wheels for them [kids]. Really! You should totally get one for her!”
Uh-huh. Lemme run right out and grab that. It’s obviously working so well for you guys!
My Inner Monologue: “[Cuss] you, you Holier-than-Thou [Cuss]!”
I wanted to launch a full-scale word attack to let this woman know what I really thought about her advice. Instead, I wimped out. I smiled, nodded and kept on waddling alongside my glaring husband and our adorable 3-year-old teeter-tottering on her brand-new shiny bike with training wheels.
Honey and I are both still [cuss]ed about this one.
Now, don’t misread me here. I love the Strider bike! That’s why I link to their website in this piece. And no. Sadly, Strider Sports is not paying me to say this either.
Tons of my friends’ kids have Strider balance bikes. Little Mermaid #2 rides her pals’ Strider bikes around when we have play dates. They’re totally rad – for certain kids.
See? Never do I judge, lest I be judged.
For the record, we did offer LM #2 a choice as she was drawing up her letter to Mr. Claus.
The convo went something like this:
LM2: May I please ask Santa for a bicycle?
Mommy: Are you sure you want a bicycle? They’re more difficult to learn on than one of those fancy Strider bikes like W and T have.
Daddy: It’s your choice though, Honey Pie. You choose if you’d like a bike like LM1’s (our 8-year-old) or a Strider bike like your friends have.
LM2: I want a blue “real” bike just like LM1. I’m gonna ask Santa for a blue Big Girl bike.
FYI, once this girl makes up her mind, there ain’t no changin’ it.
So, a “real” bike with training wheels it was. Santa made good on his end of the bargain, and LM #2 has been loving practicing “riding a bike just like my fam-o-lee and the big kids do!” almost daily. It’s been awesome watching her embrace this new challenge! Until today.
Understand, I’m not in any way bashing Strider bikes – they’re an amazing, helpful, wonderful option for many kids, as I relay above.
Hey, wait a cotton pickin’ minute here. Did we fall prey to the RPC (Reverse Psychology Campaign) launched by Skateboarding and Standard Bicycle Advocates Association?
Aha! It makes perfect sense! Wait, wait. I get it now. The SSBAA rounds up the support of well-meaning mothers to go out and encourage their tots to ride “alternate” bikes like maniacs. Then parents like you and I run away from purchasing Strider bikes for our children, and opt to purchase standard bicycles.
Good thinking, SSBAA. An excellent marketing strategy, indeed. However, your strategy is wasted on us. We’re sticking to our old-fashioned route and enjoying our standard bicycle – because it’s the right thing for our kiddo.
But all joking aside, I ask you, Oh Amazing Not-to-be-Messed-With Parents out there:
How do I reply when these [cuss word] people -who feel it’s their J-O-B in life to tell me how to properly parent or invade my parenting space? How may we prevent them from continuing to offer unsolicited advice to complete strangers?
Song du Jour: Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself) by Bo Diddley