Friday, May 16, 2008


Imagine the daffodil saying to the crocus, “The only reason you bloom before me every year is so you can get the attention of the other flora and bees and show off.” ~John Morgan

This is a quote from John’s blog yesterday. He was writing about the meaning we ascribe to events. We can laugh at it because it’s about flowers. It loses it laugh-appeal when you replace flowers with people, and becomes a bit more...serious.

Here’s a for instance:
I was watching a young mother with her 14-month-old daughter. We were in a living room and the baby was doing what babies do: crawling all over and exploring. She had already been banned from the child-sized chair. (NO! said Mama with a pat-on-the-ass on the third time). Baby then discovered the video shelf and began to pull a video…NO! Mama said. She pulled her away from the videos and took her across the room and set her down. Now, what do you think Baby did? That’s right. Back over to the videos. Again with the NO & back across the room. I lost count of how many times this happened, but what I found curious was what Mama said after one of these episodes.

She’s doing it just to defy me. She knows I don’t want her to go over there.

Really? I am the last person to judge other’s parenting patterns. We all come in with our karma, and barring torture, it is not my place to tell people how to parent. Unless they ask, which Mama didn’t.

So I laughed. She did not think it was funny. I said, “Do you really think that’s what she’s thinking? What if she sees shiny new things to explore and discover? That’s what babies do…they crawl around and explore and put everything in their mouths and that’s how they learn. I don’t think her brain is sophisticated enough to calculate an action just to defy you.” (So much for not giving my opinion)!

It doesn’t matter the event, it’s how we interpret it. This event = this meaning. For Mama, her baby’s behaviour means defiance. Unfortunately, she’s setting up that pattern. She will insist that Baby do x NOW, do x her way or stop doing x NOW…and eventually, what choice has she given Baby? And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy where Mama can say in later years, “She was always a defiant child. Had to have her own way. Wouldn’t listen to me.” Yikes.

Mamas don’t let yourselves grow up to be daffodils.

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