Do I make you nervous?

I have a reccuring issue that really aggravates me. There are mothers that come up to me, unsolicited, and give me advice. I kid you not, when I say it is a weekly event for me. You are probably wondering what I could possibly be doing to garner this much attention. Exhibit 1

I am walking in some outdoor venue (beach, amusement park, park) with my boys. Ethan is totally bald and has been for many years. A mother or a grandma approaches and says, “You really need to be careful with his head, it is very sunny out here! Do you sunscreen him?” This has happened on *multiple* occassions.

Proposed Answers:

1. Yes, thank you. 2. No, maybe you could.

3. That’s what the ER said last time.

Exhibit 2

I take my boys somewhere and they decide to *play with sticks*, *walk along a high brick wall*, *continue to climb up and roll down a steep embankment*, *you pick any number of ‘dangerous’ testosterone-enduced activities* and one or more mothers will inform me ‘that it’s very dangerous’ or ‘someone is going to get hurt’.

Purposed responses:

1. Yes, thank you 2. I sure hope so – brats!

3. Child Protective Services reminded me that the last visit.

Exhibit 3

My agile, super-coordinated 2 year-old is playing on the play-structure at the park. He navigates the stairs, walks over the bouncy little bridge, and makes his way down the slide. Some mother will inform me that he is too little to be doing that, he could fall at any moment, or the slide is tricky, etc.

Proposed responses:

1. Yes, thank you

2. That’ll teach ’em. 3. The pediatrician said that too – but they also said he “HAD” to be in a carseat!

Recently, at the waterpark, a lifeguard informed a panicking mother that she had been watching my 2 year-old for 1/2 hour competantly complete a flight of stairs and navigate the waterslides perfectly fine. The other mom continued to be extremely nervous around him – she did have her own 2 year-old to worry about – but for some reason felt the need to continue to fret over mine.

I have had a mom untie a sweatshirt from around my sons waist, hand it to him and tell him it could get stuck in the chain of his bike. (I was at the park, just too far away to get her hands off my kid) My boys have been yelled at for playing in leaf piles on our street “because there are sticks in there that could poke you in the eye”. I have been approached and informed that my boys were walking in a stream. When I told the mom that we came to the park so that they could do just that, she informed me that “we’ve all told our kids to stay out of it”. My kids often come back to me at a park and say that some other mom has told them they can’t *climb that tree*, *throw rocks in the river*, *play in that dirt pile* after I have sent them off to do it.

Can you give me any insight into this? If you’ve done this to someone – let me know why. I think the next time it happens, 10..9…8…, I will politely ask what makes someone do this – do you think that will go well?

5 thoughts on “Do I make you nervous?

  1. H. Wayne

    Perhaps getting a shirt that says, “Yes, I’m THAT mom.” (you know, THAT mom that lets her kids explore and interact with their world, complete with all it’s dangers and experiences.”

    Or one that says, “I turned out OK”

    Or “I’m a homeschool mom and we left the principal at home.”

    Or one that says, “WARNING: What you say can be used against you in my blog.”

  2. Anonymous

    people are way too nervous these days! think of all we did when we were little, and nobody batted an eye!

    p.s. love your blog!

  3. Lauren

    Continue to grow in grace, and the Father will teach you how to love the people who let their lives be ruled by fear. We don’t walk in fear, we walk in power, knowing that our God’s mercy and lovingkindness endures forever.

  4. Alexis

    Helicopter parents should stick to their own children, please! I saw your comment on the Girl on Saturday blog, and thought I should come check this out. Let me add that I am not a mom myself – I am a nanny, have been for years for various families. My friend (who is a helicopter mom herself) insists that it is Just Different and once I have my own kids, I will understand why I have to live in fear. Really don’t see it, myself. When I tell the 16 month old that she will fall if she doesn’t sit down on the chair, and then proceed to watch the chair tip over, I figure she has to learn some things for herself. Yes, she bumped her head. No, she didn’t need to go to the doctor. It was a child-sized chair – she will live. I am not going to run and catch her, or fuss over every little bump. Kids get bumps and bruises. Most of the time, it means they are having fun. And wouldn’t you know, she hasn’t tipped the chair over since.

  5. Andrea

    I have had quite a few safety comments myself, mostly because my agile boys are doing something the other kids can’t. I usually smile and the mom and look at her like she is off her rocker. I occassionally just state that I told them they could do that (get wet, climb the tree, throw rocks…we seem to throw rocks and play with sticks a great deal here). I hear ya!

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