The Michael McIntyre sketch “People without Kids Don’t Know” did the rounds on social media again recently. I’ve lost count of how many times I have seen it, but watched it again. If you haven’t seen it, Google it!
I first saw the video years ago, pre-children. At the time found it entertaining but now realise: I didn’t really get it. Two children later and now I get it! Now I definitely “know”…
It got me thinking about the basic etiquette which has become second nature to me as a parent. Courtesies that I automatically extend to other parents – because I understand! As logical as they now seem – they are things which would never have occurred to me before baby..!
The Top Five things that People with Kids now know…
1) You no longer ring the doorbell when you visit another parent there’s always the chance there’s a sleeping baby. Or toddler. Or – heaven forbid – both. No one wants to incur the wrath of a tired Mom who just got her kids off to sleep. She’s been looking forward to this quiet time all day!
2) You try harder not to be late when going out to meet a Mom and her kids. You now appreciate you have been slotted into a window of opportunity within a rigid feeding and sleeping routine. Insisting on extending that window to accommodate your tardiness – will absolutely and completely ruin the kids’ equilibrium for that day. Tired kids, shattered mother.
3) At the same time, you are more forgiving when your friend with kids is (a bit) late to meet you. You now appreciate kids make it wholly impossible to leave the house on time. They are too busy hiding your keys or pooping spectacularly to care about your agenda.
(If you have a young baby you, kudos for remembering you had an appointment in the first place!)
4) Prams: you now understand they are a necessary evil. Before baby, prams were – at best – invisible. At worst, a slow, cumbersome annoyance threatening to run over your foot or holding up your progress whilst you tried to jump on the Tube.
No longer invisible, you eye up the brand and features of any approaching pram, mentally comparing it to your own. Despite its heavy bulk, you appreciate the pram for its ability to keep toddlers tied down in one place in crowded places or on long walks.
So, now you offer to help the other parent to manoeuvre the pram down from the Tube before climbing on – or at least give them a knowing smile when one of the wheels gets trapped on the frame of the door that they are trying to get through.
5) And finally, you no longer judge (as much) the parents of kids who are overly loud/covered in food or mud/tantruming in spectacular fashion. You appreciate that the parent probably hasn’t had much sleep – possibly in months – and are just about keeping it together.
You don’t judge because you’re too busy being grateful that – on this occasion at least – the one screaming isn’t your kid! And, besides, this is parenting quid pro quo: next time it will undoubtedly be your kid – and you don’t want anyone judging you..!
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