So it's come to my attention that people think I hate the kinds of parents who go crazy with Elf on the Shelf or any of the other hundreds of things parents (usually moms) do to make their children's lives magical and wondrous. This is not so. I am perfectly fine with anyone who wants to spend three hours after her kids are in bed making cookies and then powdering every surface in her kitchen with flour, and leaving little elf-tracks in it before heading up to bed. She's more than welcome to do so. I'm just saying that I reserve the right to think that she's absolutely nuts.
I do my fair share of bizarre parenting things, like paying full fare to go to an amusement park for two full days with a 2 and 4 year old. This means I've essentially paid close to 100 bucks plus hotel and gas money to spend two days standing in lines to watch my children go around and around and around while listening to peppy child-themed tunes through scratchy speakers. It's expensive, exhausting and makes my children indescribably happy. So I do it. And it's insane. Feel free to make fun. I certainly do. So, should you be a mom who absolutely loves to go nuts with the holiday elf or whatever else it is that floats your boat, knock yourself out. I don't hate you.
What I do hate, however, is when one of those moms comes along and accuses me and all my slacker-mommy friends of being bad parents or of even not wanting our children in the first place because we don't do these things that she finds so important. I pretty much have the same issue with any people who feel the right to tell me I'm doing it wrong because I'm not doing it their way. This goes for the breast-feeding advocate who tries to make me feel ashamed and lazy because my children were bottle-fed. (There are reasons, and they are most certainly none of her business, thankyouverymuch.) And it goes for the childless person who tsk-tsks me for allowing my child to eat crackers in the grocery cart while we tool through the store (Yes, I pay for them. So do all the other moms who do this.) And it goes for the strangers who shoot rude stares at my friend who takes her profoundly autistic son out in public, and he behaves as autistic children do. It's for the helicopter parents who rebuke me for letting my kids play outside alone, and the ones who call anyone who lets their child "cry it out" a monster. Same for those who want parental rights revoked for co-sleepers and late-breastfeeders, largely because it just weirds them out, and they call it abuse*. All of these people will cite bogus, slanted or poorly done research to back up their judgmental claims, and none of them could tell me the difference between correlation and causality. These people I have no truck with, and wish they would take their judgy selves off to mind their own beeswax.
That said, I have great love and admiration for all the super-mommies (and daddies) out there who go positively bonkers trying to make their kids happy. I know there's been backlash against these folks, and I've seen the ridicule and claims that it's making their children into a generation of whiny, entitled brats. Frankly, just growing up in middle-class (and up) America in the 21st century is going to risk that, so what's the harm in throwing in an Elf? I also have great love and admiration for slacker-mommies who are usually too tired at the end of a long working day to mess with all that, you know? So, please stay off my back and I'll stay off yours, 'k?
Peace out, folks. Enjoy the holidays, be it Chanukah, Solstice, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's or I'm-a-curmudgeon-and-don't-celebrate-nothing Day.**
*Calling things like lack of an Elf and bottle feeding "abuse" lessens the import of actual abuse, which, btw, I also have no truck with, and will (and do) report.
**C'mon. You know someone who would celebrate this. You know you do.