For it isn’t normal to always be good—
I don’t think you’d want to, and I don’t think you should;
Just as food tastes better with a shake of salt,
A small bit of mischief is hardly a fault.
And life would be boring, and life would be grim,
If children were all goody-goody and prim.
(from Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls by William Cole)
Yesterday I forgot to check the diaper bag for diapers before I went to my Mothers of Preschoolers meeting. You see, I usually just leave the diaper bag in the car since I only need it when I’m going somewhere, never when at home. If I use the last diaper in the bag, I make a mental note to grab a stack the next time I leave the house, but if someone else uses the last diaper, I have no idea that it’s empty. The last diaper must have been used in the church nursery on Sunday because yesterday the bag was diaperless.
I know this only because of the judgment that came down from one of the childcare workers. A couple of times I have failed to bring a sippy cup for Benjamin and this has apparently horrified this worker (I am not deaf, so I do overhear when she makes her remarks on the subject), but to forget a diaper probably lands me in some sort of scummy region of the mothering pond that we shouldn’t even mention on such a nice blog.
But here’s the thing. I always wanted to be the prim and perfect mother who would never forget a sippy cup, a diaper, or to give my child vitamins. But I’m just not her. And the weird thing is, I’m okay with that. Benjamin seems to be surviving and even thriving under my somewhat negligent care, so I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.
Jon and I watched Babies the movie recently, the documentary that follows four children from drastically different cultures from birth through early toddlerhood. We were both amazed at the difference in our child rearing sensibilities compared to those in Mongolia or Namibia. The film showed the Mongolian baby crawling through a cow pasture unattended, while cows literally stepped over him! The film also showed the American baby being cleaned off when a lint-roller after playing on the carpeted floor of her family’s home. I think maybe we could stand to be a little more relaxed in this country.
But I will take a few extra diapers to MOPS next week to replace the ones they may have had to use on Benjamin from the church closet. And if I hear any more remarks from the better people in the world, I’ll just remember this quote. It isn’t normal to always be good. 😉