Saturday, January 17, 2015

My kid gets on my nerves......until I'm around your kid

I really need to make that blog title into a t-shirt.

Being a parent can make a person pretty myopic.  You are used to what your kid is like, what your kid does.  If you are like me, you tend to imagine that other people's kids are somehow better, nicer, smarter.  They are the 6-Million-Dollar-Man version of children.

I imagine that other people's kids don't drone on and on in an endless earworm-like loop about Skylanders, Minecraft or American Girl this-and-that.  That other people's children are more regular hand-washers or teeth-brushers or vegetable-eaters.

But then I volunteer at my kids' school or I attend a Girl Scout event with my daughter and I see, quite clearly, that there are MORE ANNOYING children on the planet than my own offspring.

Although G talks nonstop about video games from the time his eyes open in the morning until the time he slips into the great and silent unconscious at night, although he has the ability to grate on every.single.nerve throughout my body at the exact same time, I find him far LESS irritating than other first graders in his class.  G has taken over 7 years to aggravate me as much as he does now; some of these kids seal the deal in under 5 minutes.

Give me sulky, moody middle schoolers any day of the week!  This past week when I volunteered, I was surrounded by whiney, needy, can't-keep-their-fingers-to-themselves children.  It brings out my ticks after so long.

Today, N and I went to a GS activity.  Sometimes I look at her and think, "She is so weird."  Not as weird and gawky as I was at a similar age, but weird and gawky in her own right.  But then I saw and had to listen to other girls who didn't have that gawkiness, who had, in my estimation, an over-abundance of self-esteem.  They talked as if everyone cared what they had to say, and they continued talking, completely oblivious to the fact that they were hogging the show and, perhaps, making the other girls who were new to the situation feel like complete morons.

Basically, they acted the way N does when we are at our little troop meetings, when it takes every fiber of my restraint to not knock her upside the head and tell her, "Quit trying to be a show-off.  You look like an ignorant ass!"

After listening to these girls, I was ever so thankful that my kid is gawky and awkward and the type of kid who limits her show-offy-ness to when her mother is troop leader every other week at meetings.

My kids don't have friends over terribly often but I've found that the kids they do hang-out with and have hung-out with generally don't get on my nerves.  But then, those kids are very much like my own kids.

In addition to making me feel less annoyed by my own children, being around other people's annoying children makes me less likely to fall into the "those other kids are awesome" trap to begin with.  When I do meet kids who seem too good to be true, I have to remember that they too have annoying attributes.  There is something they do that I'm just not privy to at the moment that would make my blood boil or make me roll my eyes or suffer various unpleasant responses.

It is nice to stand in my own pasture, recognizing that as much cow sh*t as there is here, there is as much, more or just different smelling stuff in the pastures next door and behind me.  

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