We’ve all been there. Your sweet, innocent toddler has just learned to talk, but the things that come out of her mouth sometimes DEFINITELY don’t match her demeanor. Kids have no filter, and they say whatever comes to their minds. No big deal to them, potentially awkward and embarrassing for their parents.
When my daughter was 18 months old and we’d be out in public, she didn’t like it when strangers talked to her. And I mean she REALLY didn’t like it. She had just learned her colors, and when someone dared open their mouths to comment on her cuteness, her response was mortifying. It usually went like this. “Hi sweetheart! Aren’t you just adorable?!” and her angry, yelling response? “NO PURPLE!” This was if the offending person was wearing a purple shirt. If they were wearing blue it would be, “NO BLUE!” or if they were wearing red, “No RED!” You get the drift.
As her mother (and the only person with her) I could feel my face flame up in embarrassment, and I would either stumble over an apology while planning my escape route, or suddenly become very interested in something on my phone. This went on for six months at least, with her sometimes ditching the color and just screaming in the persons face.
I’d talk to her about it of course, but it didn’t change anything. If we’d be out and someone would come toward us with that “I’m gonna talk to your toddler” look on their face, I would cringe and try to take a different route. But sometimes she’d still shout at them without them even talking to her! As she was my first child I thought, “Wow, she’s not even two yet and I’ve already failed.” Was it the end of the world? No. But I felt like her behavior was a reflection of how I was a parent.
Flash forward two years later, and I crack up every time I think about it. What seemed so embarrassing at the time is now one of my favorite stories to tell about my daughter, and everyone has a good laugh when I do. Kids do crazy things, that’s just life. As a first-time parent, you think certain behaviors reflect on you, but a lot of the time? They’re just kids being kids.
Now that I have another child, it’s easier to laugh at the little things. Things that would have embarrassed me horribly three years ago no longer have the same effect. And honestly, I think most parents understand and won’t judge you for your child’s poor or even rude behavior. My second child is much friendlier to strangers, but my first grew out of it. Every child is different, and the next time you want to hide behind a display case, just laugh. I’m sure one or two of the people my daughter shouted at did! It’ll make parenting not seem so hard. 🙂