Late last week I was in a situation that has become all too familiar in today's world.
It's the same situation that every parent is in on one occasion or another.
It's funny, my New Year's resolution last year was to be less judgmental of others and less assumptive as to the situations that form the opinions of others. I think I've done a decent job of sticking to that resolution.
I find it almost hilarious when those who are so obviously uneducated on some subjects are the first to spring their opinion as fact instead of as the opinion it nearly is.
There have been many times in Kaitlyn's life where strangers have pointed out what we are doing "wrong" in raising Kaitlyn and all of the things we should do differently to ensure that she becomes a good person. Normally, I brush the comments off. The way I've always seen it is Kaitlyn is an amazing little girl. She's very well behaved, smart, loving, empathetic, outgoing and very caring. Obviously we must have lucked out and done something right. The times it almost bothers me is when the comments are made my those who have no children and and are no where near having children.
I had a woman today comment on my allowing Kaitlyn a second toy at the 99 cent store. Kaitlyn hadn't cried, fussed, misbehaved or whined once in the store. She was on her very best behavior. Normally, when she's good she can have 1 item from the store. And she's really good at getting her one thing. She'll put back toys, DVDs, books or whatever else when she finds the perfect item for the day. Today was an exception. She wanted 2 things. Lip whistles and Spiderman bouncing balls. She went as far as to offer to use her dollar for the second toy. I gave in to her persuasive and well spoken points. But, according to the young "lady" who had no children this was creating a spoiled brat. And of course, when she got around to having kids she "wasn't havin' no brats that talked her into nothin'" Real classy I tell ya. And really, how do you have an educational debate with someone who is in no way educated with what being a parent is, means or does. It is a debate between a person who is experienced and educated in being a parent against one who is ignorant, inexperienced and speaking only on unfounded opinions that really mean absolutely nothing in the real world.
There were many things I swore I wouldn't and would do when I had kids. As soon as you get pregnant, some of those things go flying out the window faster than a piano falling off a high rise building. The important things stick. The important things that shape who your child is become issues that you will have no problem fighting for.
Another issue that I do take some offense to is the assumption that Baby/child modeling is explotive to a child, when it couldn't be further from the truth. I've heard this same argument within the past week. I've heard the same crap over and over since Kaitlyn's first ad came out. I've heard everything from the perverted thoughts that would make you cringe, the accusations that I was somehow living vicariously through my daughter, to the ignorant thought that somehow, a toddler or baby can be forced to model for the parent's gain. Good Luck with trying to force a baby or toddler to model. Last I checked, you can't make them smile, be happy, play or enjoy having their pictures taken. Let me set the record straight on a few things. 1, a pedophile does not need a Mervyn's ad to look for a victim. They can just as easily find them at the local park, school, McDonald's or grocery store. Camera's are readily available everywhere and anywhere children are. Being in a magazine does not make you more of a "target" or something that becomes a pedofile's fantasy. 2. How in the world would I live vicariously through a 2 year old? I have nothing by joyous memories of my childhood and my only intention is to give Kaitlyn the same happy memories. 3, parents do not gain anything through their child's work. Laws (not to mention morals and ethics) make it possible for the child to keep everything that they earn. Kaitlyn's account is growing like a weed. I will be proud to hand it over to her when she turns 18 and say "Here you go, you earned it" and mean it. It won't be a handout, it won't be a silver spoon. It will be a nice chunk of hard earned cash :) Of course, mommy and daddy have worked hard for her to be able to work for it. The countless trips to San Fran, the driving at 5 AM for an 8 AM shoot, the photographs needed for headshots, the updating of all of the resumes.
If the world stopped judging nearly as much as it does, it would be a brighter place. Please do not assume that you know what I am thinking, feeling, planning or wanting just because it's how you think you would think, feel, plan or want in the same situation. Unless you have been in this exact position you could never understand an ounce of it.
At the end of the day and the end of this blog, my hopes are that people will stop judging as much. It really isn't that hard to keep our opinions to ourselves :) And really, you might feel better for it.