I find my parent cohort is typically straight, liberal, in their 30’s – and have a lot of rules. I agree with many of the concerns expressed by these earnest parents. It’s in the way some parents express their heartfelt beliefs that rankle me. Some of them are preachy. I expect ‘preachy’ from creepy fundamentalist ministers who have sex with men at truck stops not from hipster parents.
Thorin took an art class awhile back. I sat with a group of younger mothers while our children all made identical “art” projects. (I have a post coming about that.) The other mothers rolled their eyes when talking about the dum-dum parents who buy plastic. Thorin’s room isn’t a tribute to plastic but it is plastic-friendly. Have you ever tried to clean those unpainted wood toys?
More than one parent shared they had printed explicitly on their birthday party invites “No plastic toys please.” How about “Wooden toys only.” or “Please bring books as gifts.”? There is a subtle difference that might make a difference – in me making fun of you behind your back.
I get the plastic-thing, OK? When I think of that Texas-size piece of plastic floating in the Pacific it makes me sick. Jennifer Aniston, you should be ashamed of yourself shilling for Smart Water and while I’m at it for dating Adam Duritz in the 90’s.
Nobody owned a TV in this group. I don’t get why people think that is a source of pride to be shared with others. (The fact that someone doesn’t own a TV is as meaningless to me as knowing which celebrities don’t wear underpants in public.) Of course, TV can be bad. I don’t disagree. But, I was a kid who skipped school to watch the Rona Barrett special that Cher was on. That said, I do know when to set limits. I stopped watching “Law and Order” with Thorin when I noticed he choreographed an interpretive dance to the strains of the opening credits.
Their kids went to the Waldorf School which in listening to them describe it sounded like Scientology-lite. (Lots of secrets.) Maybe if we had the money Thorin would be there, too. (OK, that’s a lie. No way would he be there.) I got the feeling they didn’t just believe their children were getting a better education they thought their children were going to be better people.
In the juice aisle at the grocery store this week. This kid pointed to the juice I was buying for Thorin, who was standing next to me, and said to his mom, “Can we get that one?”
His 30ish mother said, “No!”
“Because it’s crap.” (scowl included)
Hey, lady, I’m standing right here next to the pink sponge cake in our cart and the can of whip cream. It’s not like I can’t hear you. Some of what I feed my kid is crap but I would rather not be an object lesson for your kid in the juice aisle at the supermarket thank-you-very-much.
A couple weeks ago a guy in his 30’s stopped at our front steps as we were all leaving for the day. He had a cute kid about Thorin’s age with him. He commented on the garden Ward and Thorin had been working on most of the weekend. In fact he said he had noticed them working on it. He pointed up the block to a house with a huge garden Ward and I had talked about more than once – it was that impressive.
The guy was doing his best to engage us in a longer exchange. He was being neighborly. And, on the surface there were apparent similarities between our families – boys about 5 years of age and gardening.
It’s too bad his t-shirt had the words EAT MORE KALE printed on it.