We went to Chuck E Cheese today, and I am utterly convinced that I was being punished for some terrible crime against humanity that I was unaware I had committed. I don't like crowds, but I manage, and so the fact that it was probably dangerously close to breaking some kind of fire code in that place, the crowd wasn't the problem. It was the people (parents) within the group.
I try very hard to teach you and your brothers the right way to behave in the world. Not because there is always going to be someone there to punish you if you don't, but because sometimes something is just the right thing to do. So when I make you wait in line only to have two little girls run up and break in front of you when it's your turn, it frankly pisses me off that their mother is nowhere to be found. Actually strike that, because I did find their mother chatting with a friend as I and another mother asked her daughters to step back.
And then as you and your brother were spending your tickets on prizes, Andrew picked a ring with a mustache on it, and the little girl next to him got right in his face and said, "boys don't wear rings." Any time that I have ever heard you or your brother say "ugly" things to other children, I have reprimanded you. I may not always make you apologize, but I always explain to you why you shouldn't have done that. But this mother, she said nothing.
I'll admit that when it comes to parenting there are a billion ways to do it and get it right, there is no perfect way and honestly, most of the time I don't know what the hell I'm doing. However, I have a hard time with the way parents like these allow their children to do whatever they want at the expense of the children around them. True, neither of you were devastated, except you were not happy that you had waited and you thought these girls were going to take your turn. I think it's more my problem than yours. It's hard to teach you kids how to be good; it would be so much easier to tell you to do whatever you want. And part of me wonders if I am doing you an injustice by making you patient and kind, afterall, isn't it the squeaky wheel that so very often gets the oil? It certainly seemed to be the case when I was in the work world.
So I am stumped, sweet girl, do I say screw it and tell you to take what there is to take and speak your mind when you feel like it or do I keep fighting the good fight? Do I keep trying to make you think through your words and your actions, and does it make you weaker if I do that?
The truth is I don't know, though we both know which path I'll choose and I will continue to worry and wonder that I am doing it right, and you will continue to say "but he" or "but she" when some other poor child is poorly parented, though it looks like so much more fun from your point of view.
All I can hope is that one day you will thank me for not letting you become an arrogant and spoiled adult who thinks the world owes them. And at the very least, your teachers will like you.