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Dogma: What Type of Parent are YOU!?

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Playground Swing

Aren’t we all just having a bit of fun?

A dead lorikeet came crashing out of the sky, tonight, nearly landing on top of us!

We were all walking home from the beach this evening.  Art had been surfing and I took Margo to the beach playground with Goldie asleep in the baby wrap.  I caught a glance of the poor deceased bird and saw a bloody wound on its side.  I grabbed Margo’s arm and dragged her around the corner of the nearby building.  The lorikeet landed on the road, next to some garbage bins out for collection, with the distinct SPLAT noise that real flesh has of hitting the pavement.  (For those of you who are not familiar with Australian wildlife, lorikeets are these silly, cute and colorful parrots that get drunk off of flower nectar).  The bird hit the road so hard, it seemed as if someone or something had to have thrown it from sky.  Our only clue was the suspicious black and white bird with a huge beak (Pied Currawong?) that was swooping over head right after the incident.  Now, we don’t swear much in this house, but Art and I were mouthing silently at each other, ‘WTF just happened?!’.  As Margo was vaguely aware that something amiss had just gone on.

I wouldn’t really know what the distinct sound of flesh hitting the pavement was, unless if it hadn’t been for the epic 1999 movie, Dogma.  There is a scene at the end of the movie, in which two fallen angels, (played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck), are throwing dead bodies from the sky as they fly around in this pseudo-hell, fire and chaos scene.  Dogma sort of defined my high school era,,, two big hottie actors, Alanis Morrisette plays God, and so on.  It did feel a bit chaotic there for a second when the lorikeet hit the pavement.   It was so nice and peaceful… then death and destruction and fear that something might come peck us on the head!

Anyway, speaking of the term ‘dogma’…  One definition is: a settled or defined opinion, belief or principle.  

Funny things happen at playgrounds.  For one, I usually find myself yawning and wishing we could hurry up and leave because I have to pee.  Okay, that’s not the funny part.  But, a playground is sort of a showcase of all parenting types and flavors trapped in one place.  No matter if you’re an extremist attachment parent, Ferberizer, or a hard core cry-it-out parent, you all converge at the playground.  Just by how a parent is dressed or looks, or acts, you can almost immediately tell the parenting style that parent has taken on board.

Tonight, I observed three parenting types.  Are they dogmatic in their parenting styles?  I don’t know, but I had to write about something other than the dead lorikeet splatting on the pavement.

Parent #1 ‘Attachement Parent’

Parent number one was most like myself.  Perhaps she’s going to read this, because I told her the name of my blog…  We had a nice long chat while her 8 month old boy went for a ride in the swing.  They co-sleep, she breastfeeds, baby wears, etc. I would say, attachment parent, all the way.   Funny, she had never heard the term ‘attachment parent’, although, she was doing everything that fits the bill.

Parent #2 ‘Healthy Neglect’

Parent number two, came over to the swings while I was talking to parent number one.  While she was pushing her nearly two year old, snotty nosed kid on the big kids swing AND typing on her iPhone, the little girl went flying out of the swing.  Oppsie-Daisy!  Up you go!  The mom wiped the sand off the little girl and they kept playing. I would like to call her parenting style, ‘Healthy Neglect’.  I had a chat with her too, she seemed very nice.   The mom was a Kiwi, (Maori, I think) was wearing heavy make up, a flouro tight mini skirt and it turns out the little girl was actually the youngest of four.  The mom had this old industrial strength looking stroller, the kid didn’t talk much for her age, but the little girl somehow seemed content. You know, you could just tell, this kid was going to grow up without any problems.  The mom was actually really attentive to the girl’s needs in some ways.  Ok, even if she was taping away on the phone, maybe it was a message to her husband about something for dinner, I mean, she has three other kids to look after!

Parent #3 ‘High Maintenance’ 

Parents number 3 were a couple with a little girl who looked about 2 1/2, or Margo’s age, so I was sort of comparing their behaviors (as you do with your own kids).  The mom was about 7 months pregnant and chatting away on the phone and standing next to the stroller. Every time her little girl would walk nearby, she would wave this bag of potato chips in her face, trying to get her to eat them, but without breaking her conversation on the phone.  The girl was ignoring her mother’s chip waving, big time.  The dad was sort of following the girl around and sort of wandering off.  The little girl was really loud and bossy and saying things that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Margo say, even in her loudest, most chatty moments!  We happened to leave the playground at the same time as parents number three and their little girl reminded Margo that she needed to hold my hand while crossing the street.  Margo was already holding my hand and looking at the bossy little girl with a bit of astonishment that someone would be even more chatty than herself.  Funny enough, the child of parents number three then refused to hold her dad’s hand while crossing the street.  But, you know what?  There was something cute about that bossy little girl. And, the parents were nice and smiling and chatting to us as we were leaving the playground.

We’re All in it Together

It’s funny all the stereotyping you can do at the playground.  I have to admit, it’s a bit hard not to get caught up in your dogmatic ways of parenting either!  Everyone does it a bit differently and all parents who are capable, love their kids, right?  Does it really matter if you wear them, breastfeed them or co-sleep with them?  If they grow up in a household with love, no violence, a bit of support and food on the plate, aren’t they being taken care of?  I’m not going to stop with my own crazy attachment parenting beliefs.  Maybe parents number three were looking at my two month old in the baby wrap thinking, ‘Oh God, why would you bother carrying around a baby that would be perfectly asleep in a stroller?’.  Imagine if they knew I also took my two month old to the potty! I don’t know.   All I’m saying is that there is no right way to do it!  I guess you just have to have fun. If you had to put a name to your parenting type, what would it be?  RIP little lorikeet.

This way to the beach!

4 Responses »

  1. Oh poor lorikeet!
    I’ll be honest, I’m terrible for stereotyping parents at the playground. It’s my little bit of fun while my son burns off energy (at least that’s how I justify it (maybe I’m going to hell)) lol. The only time it bugs me is when I see the helicopter parents that can’t keep out of what the child is doing. Kids have the best fun when parents aren’t around: at least that’s how I remember it.

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    • I guess I forgot to mention, it is fun to stereotype the other parents. I bet people think I’m a helicopter parent.. Margo is always telling me to ‘watch this’, or ‘mommmmm, come here!’. I’m thinking, ‘um, really, I would like to just sit on the bench and yawn!’

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  2. My favourite bit … Margo was already holding my hand and looking at the bossy little girl with a bit of astonishment that someone would be even more chatty than herself! Xx

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