A couple hours ago, I posted an Epic People Watching post in which I transcribed a conversation two preteen girls were having about sneaking a coat into the mom’s shopping cart.
When I put that post together, I purposefully shared nothing about it besides the facts. I just told you what I heard and left it at that. I knew, from prior experience, that the comments would take care of any debate that was to be had with it.
And sure enough. Most of you laughed (as did I), and some of you had some stronger things to say about these girls, their mothers, and parenting in general.
And as a parent myself, I have to wonder, is it so wrong to laugh at what I witnessed? Were they rotten girls or was it a funny moment?
Hear me out. I have seven thoughts about why I have to laugh about it.
1) I have to laugh because I know that sticky-fingered children always get caught eventually.
2) I have to laugh because I know that children don’t have fully developed brains. While as a dad it’s my duty to teach my child immediate consequence if I find him doing such things, as a human being I have to sit back and smile or even laugh at the brains of young dum dums. I mean, come on, she was going to try and sneak a huge coat in between the milk. As a parent, I don’t care how wrong it is, the sheer silliness of such a “well thought out” idea is hilarious.
3) I have to laugh because I know that there’s a dang good chance they get caught with something like that. And I have to think about their little preteen dramafest that would certainly go on after getting caught.
4) I have to laugh because I remember being a kid. I was a sticky finger child and I got caught a few times even though, I like to think, I was the master of thievery.
5) I have to laugh because these girls thought they were being so sneaky, yet they were talking so loud that I could hear every word they were saying.
6) I have to laugh because laughing is so much better than judging, or stepping into other parents’ territory, or criticizing, or stressing about it.
7) I have to laugh because I know that laughing about it isn’t the same as thinking it’s acceptable or okay.
I will never demonize a child. I will never think a child is rotten. I will never think a child is horrible.
Even when my own child does ludicrous or naughty things, I will only ever think that children are sometimes dum dums with dum dum brains. Yes, I will punish, and teach, and discipline, but I will never make the mistake of defining a child or labeling a child by the things that come out of those dum dum brains. To do so would mean never letting them grow out of it.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Comments. Please.