Your best friend threw a party of all parties for one of her kids and invited everyone in the neighbourhood, except you and your two little angels. Your popularity has plummeted as you’re rarely asked to functions these days. It stings. One question still lingers in your mind. “Why am I being quarantined?”
“Honey, do I have bad breath?” you ask your partner, hoping to find clues to the mystery.
“No.” He says. “I love your fresh breath.”
In your mind, you start to review all the parties you’ve attended. What did you do wrong? What could have triggered such treatment from your once close network of acquaintances?
You go through a mental checklist:
Did I show unwarranted interest in my host’s partner? No! (You’ve got something better at home...)
Did I unfairly compare my little angels to my host’s passive children? No.
Did I get drunk, blubbering lurid jokes and embarrassing my host, my kids, and myself? Not this time.
Were my kids the rowdiest at the party? Well…
You pause a bit here. You wish you could answer “no” but that would be dishonesty. Instead, you tick a “yes.” At all the parties you’ve attended your kids were the noisiest. The jigsaw puzzle is slowly taking shape.
Suddenly your memory is refreshed. The last time you took your twosome to your sister-in-law’s, your 3-year-old son was just so hyperactive. He mistook your in-law’s comfortable sofas for a cross between a jumping castle and a rocking horse. The more you chided the boy the more disruptive he became, jumping even higher and higher on muddy feet. Experience has taught you that the boy doesn’t take public disciplining kindly. After some time you decided to ignore the child’s tactics and pretended not to see the pained look on your sister-in-law’s face. She’d have to understand that kids would be kids, you reasoned.
What about the last party that your best friend invited you to? You remember your 5-year-old’s behaviour very well. He’s the adventurer in the family. Once you got into your friends house he started exploring every room. Opening cupboards, dismantling things and asking your friend endless questions. Your friend had to spend half of the evening running after him. At last, you were happy when your son disappeared into the playroom for about 20 minutes, leaving everyone in peace.
“Mom, look what I painted.” He emerged holding your friend’s favourite wedding photo album.
Your adventurer son, turned Picasso for a few minutes, had used a felt marker to paint moustaches on all the women in the wedding photos. From that day on, your best friend hasn’t spoken a word to you. Try as hard as you can, you still can’t figure out how to teach your kids to respect other people’s property so you’ve decided to wait until they are older, maybe 21?
Then you remember the numerous complaints about your children: from the kindergarten, from your neighbours, from both sets of grandparents, from the ice-cream vendor. You always get annoyed when people put YOUR kids under the microscope. It all seems unfair.
Today the grapevine informed you that there is yet another friend hosting a children’s party and you’ve decide to take matters into your own hands. Being proactive, you’ve phoned your friend and offered to help with the catering. That should force her to invite your two little angels who, for many months now, have been starved of any form of festivity.
You sense some hesitation on the other hand of the line. Finally, your friend caves in.
“Oh. I’d be glad if you attended the party as long as you don’t bring your little spoilt brats. Oh! I’m so sorry. I meant children.”
Mystery solved! It’s official -- your kids are ill-disciplined and as result you're all alienated. You’ve finally realised that your parenting skills need a major overhaul. Or have you?Do you think your children are unfairly judged by others? Is it hard to admit when they are in the wrong?