Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poolside Conversation

So today Vaughn was at his swimming lesson and all 7 kids were wearing life jackets and holding on to their teacher's arms while he was walking across the pool with them.  It was so stinking cute I grabbed my cell phone to take a picture.  At which point one of the moms said "Uh, do you have every parent's permission to take a picture?  You didn't ask me so I don't think you should take the picture".


I then looked at her and asked her why she would say that.  She said she didn't know what I was going to do with the picture and she didn't want her child's face all over the internet.

I suppose I get that, but I also know that we're not in the same circle of friends and chances of someone she knows seeing her kid with my kid are pretty small.  And who cares if they do anyways?  They are 7 sweet little babes all having a blast - who doesn't love pictures of happy kids? 

I said that newspapers don't get permission before they publish pictures of crowds, news cameras don't run around getting waivers before interviewing passersby on the street.  I also said that last time Vaughn was in lessons I posted a picture on the pool's facebook page and didn't get any backlash.  In fact, I got comments about how much fun it looked like the kids were having. I got a dirty look at which point I made a comment about what society has become.

A few minutes later, one of the ladies I have been sat beside for the past few days got on the topic of "kids these days" and she said kids have too much power and can report spanking as abuse.

That got me a little riled up, as I have given Vaughn a smack on the ass on more than one occasion.  It has always been to correct behaviour and remind him that he needs to listen to mommy.  I don't haul off and beat him and I certainly don't do it with anything but my hand. 

Ms Politically Correct then told me that I could be charged by the police for spanking my son.  For real?  I told her to go ahead and call the police - it would be a waste of their time.  My son is well provided for, I love him fiercely and anyone who knows me knows that I am trying my damndest to make sure my son is not an asshole.  I am teaching him to be respectful and kind to others. 

I think there are kids who cry abuse - those ones are looking for attention and don't know how else to get it.  Or they may genuinely be abused, but typically, the ones who are abused don't say much.  Kids who don't get their way and strike out make sure that legitimate cases of abuse go uninvestigated because of their ability to work the system.

Other mommy then went on to tell me that in her Sunday School Nursery if an 18 month old baby is crying they are not allowed to touch them to comfort them - they have to get the child's parents.  I wanted to ask her what kind of church she belonged to because where I come from, people are allowed to hold crying babies.  In fact, just the other day, I was at the mall with my friend and her toddler and newborn.  Her toddler overshot a jump and hit her face on a wall.  My friend was breastfeeding and I immediately cuddled her girl and kissed her head to make her feel better.  My friend was grateful I was there to soothe her babe.  One would think the fellowship of a church would allow the same comfort. 

How do children learn trust and community if we tell them everyone is horrible and out to get them?  I'm trying to teach Vaughn to be cautious, but I love his emerging personality.  I see a leader in him, he is so gentle and loving with babies and other kids.  He knows how to make people smile and is charming.  So I give him a smack on the ass every now and again - I feel it's warranted and I don't need to hear that I'm abusing my son.  Get a grip lady. 

Next thing I know, the kids are on their way back across the pool on Colton's arms and 2 of the other moms are snapping away with their cameras.  I looked at Ms. Politically Correct and told her she better go get them to delete their pictures.  Grandma snorted but the mother who never ever once ever has spanked her child gave me a shut up look.

Making friends all over the place.

I understand we have our differences when it comes to parenting, but I sincerely believe we have gone too far the other way.  Children need boundaries, need discipline and in my case, an occasional tap on the rear.  I know it's not best to spank out of anger, but I do it to get my son's attention.  It works for me. It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me.  I'm actually at the point now where I just need to ask Vaughn if he needs a smack and he knows he has to correct his behaviour. If he doesn't, he knows there is a consequence. 

Of course, I had to do a little research when I got home.  Turns out that Canada has a law that allows parents and guardians to use moderate force when deemed necessary if it is to correct or modify a child's behaviour.

Oh what?  You mean I'm allowed to parent my child?  Phew!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mean Girls

My friend Candice is in town.  I used to play rugby with her and we became quite close.  She moved away to London, England and right now is of no fixed address as she gets to travel the world and have some great experiences.  For example, she got to dance in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  How many people do you know that can say that?

The problem with her being here such a short time is that she doesn't get to see all of her friends one on one and wanted to get a group of people together for a dinner last night.  When I saw a few of the ladies that were going, my heart went up into my throat a little.

You see, I used to play rugby with these gals.  I thought we were all friends, but it came to light when I moved back to Calgary 5 years ago that apparently we were not.  That hit me hard - one of the girls even said she didn't have the energy for the type of friendship we had.  WHAT?  I still don't get that.  And I know I'm the topic of conversation occasionally with that group of friends - hard to know that I'm the butt of their jokes and not able to defend myself.

So, fast forward to last night.  I was obviously there to see Candice and not the mean girls and was hoping that enough people would be there and I wouldn't have to interact too much with them.  Not so.  Candice's one other friend showed up but she was very late and had 2 small children in tow.  Vaughn was actually close to where we were but with Tim so I didn't have him to offer as a distraction either.

It actually went quite well I thought.  Who knows, they might have had all kinds of things to say about me after I left, but I'm in such a different place right now and have such an awesome life that I felt very confident and didn't give a shit whether they like me or not.  It was extremely liberating and refreshing. 

Maybe the fact that I had such a great afternoon helped me too - I had a follow up visit with my surgeon yesterday.  My liver levels have gone right back down to normal, I've lost 16 kg (36 lbs) and I feel fantastic!  I just came back from a lovely vacation with my gorgeous son and my job couldn't be going better.  Life is good and I don't have time for mean girls. 

I just don't have the energy for that type of friendship. HA!