Friday, February 24, 2012

Here Come the Judge

You may want to sit down because what I'm about to say may shock you: I can be pretty judgmental.

Was that an audible gasp? I did warn you.

I tend to have an opinion about everything and everyone. And though some reactions are educated and well-reasoned, others are baseless and completely wrong. That total attention-seeking bitchy mom that I rolled my eyes about all through kindergarten is now one of my most reliable, generous car-pool buddies. The crazy, pseudo-crunchy neighborhood couple we bended over backwards to avoid having dinner with.... Well, I was right about them.

Having children has really forced me to recognize how wrong I can be about things and how I shouldn't judge others until I've walked a mile in their shoes, or thrown a stone at their house, or insert your own aphorism here. When my son was a baby I would page through the One Step Ahead catalog and roll my eyes at the crazy childproofing gadgets in there. A lock for your toilet seat? A tent-like enclosure for your crib? Who were the suckers buying these things? And then I had my daughter, who started throwing herself out of the crib at nine months and who I once found standing in the toilet (to the everlasting delight of my son, who still tells that story).

I didn't get the toilet seat lock but I certainly became more sympathetic to the plight of those with curious toddlers. Never say never, right?

And, yet, even though my eyes have been opened (repeatedly) to the fact that not all kids are the same, I still think that keeping your kid on a leash is wrong. And I still say that I will never, EVER, let my kids play their devices at the table, whether in a restaurant or otherwise.

Last night we were out to dinner with our children and at the tables on either side of us were kids fiddling with their handhelds while the parents sat silent. Not texting (which I am not naive enough to think won't become an issue at some point), these kids were playing games. And wearing headphones.

Judgment rendered: that's just lame.

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