Featured Journal

Being a Conscientious Parent

Written by Chaaron

Written By:  Chaaron @ Sense and (Non) Sensibility

I took my eye off Dash, seated in my lap, and turned towards the baseball game. In that split second, he reached out and grabbed the ponytail of the woman in front of us. I noticed immediately, but the damage was done. She shot us the dirtiest look that clearly read, “Keep your kid under control, lady.” I apologized profusely and could feel the heat of embarrassment creep up my cheeks. For the rest of the game she proceeded to keep flipping her ponytail around making sure to keep it tucked over her shoulder and looking back to check Dash’s location. I worked on keeping Dash’s hands busy and not focused on the three ponytails positioned within baby reach. And I felt terrible.

I realize this is only going to become a bigger problem as Dash ages. Right now, he’s only nine months old so we’re just beginning to understand his need to be constantly on the move and grab everything within reach. I also know that he means no harm and that he is barely able to understand boundaries. We work to quickly distract him and keep him penned in. However, when we’re in public, we know his behavior is unpredictable at best, especially sitting in the middle of a crowded row of baseball fans.

And we know we’re lucky. Dash is an extremely chill little guy. He’s more often smiling and clapping than expressing displeasure in his situation. With a typical mother’s bias, I think he’s pretty perfect and I enjoy taking him just about everywhere with us. But know that I am very aware of the eye rolls and sighs when people realize they get to sit next to the baby.

RP and I are very concerned about making sure that we aren’t “those parents” that allow their children to run amok and encroach on others’ space. A misbehaving child seated next to you can be worse than having to sit next to a belligerent fan of the opposing team (but not usually, opposing team fans are the worst, amiright?). So, we’re working to learn as we go and hopefully raise our son to be accustomed to behaving in public.

Until then, I’ll be the lady bouncing the baby in my lap, cheering for the home team and trying to keep his hands away from your ponytail.

About the author

Chaaron

Chaaron is a Nebraska native who lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, RP, her son, Dash and her daughter, Pippa. By day, she’s a program manager with a public charity in DC and by night, she is happily occupied with living room dance parties and dodging errant duplo pieces. She’s terrible at updating her blog, but you can find her little slice of the internet at senseandnonsenseblog.com.

6 Comments

  • Charlie did the same thing to a lady at a party we took him to – he also eats paper and makes (loud) baby dinosaur noises whenever we take him out to dinner. Learning about boundaries, especially in public, is definitely an ongoing lesson in our house 🙂

  • Okay, obvs the lady was not a mom. I wouldn’t worry. By default, because you care about not being “those parents to that kid” you won’t be. And P.S. the more kids you have, the less you will care what the lady in front of you thinks. 😉

    • Thank you for the kind words, Kathy! I’m hoping the feelings of anxiety fade as I deal with this more often. I might just issue warnings to ladies with pretty ponytails sitting in front of me in the future!

  • The lady if front of you must not have been a kid person, as before I had kids this would not have bothered me at all. I did work in a daycare and babysat all the time before I was a mother which often makes a huge difference.

    I have been in that situation before where your child does something not out of character for their age and someone gets offended. I once had a lady at a table next to us at a restaurant (who had a couple members if her party that were drinking and a little louder than they should have been for restaurant conversation) ask us if we could keep our son quiet when he was almost two. I was furious because prior to her comment he was demonstrating what a dinosaur says and by the time she said anything he had stopped and was coloring. With my first child I was much more upset and embarrassed when it happened, but I care much less now that I have gone through two kids worth of terrible twos.

    Although it does get easier there will always be those people who feel children shouldn’t be in certain places. Just remember when they cast dirty looks or offer unneeded words, somewhere nearby someone may be looking over and thinking how adorable your child is as they remember back to when their children were once so young and innocent.