Kid-watching as sport

Kid-watching as sport

People-watching is a very enjoyable pastime. But the best kind of people-watching is the kind when you are observing parents and their children but they don’t think anyone else is watching them. For sure you have been witness to a fight between a mother and her daughter in the dress department of some store. Or a mother running after her toddler when he is only wearing one shoe. And possibly no pants.

As the observer, you get a chuckle out of the situation — unless it hits too close to home. And then you might start to cry. In any event, last week, at a graduation, does not matter which one, some friends and I decided to observe from afar, just to see how parents really parent when there are so many people around that they think no one is judging their parenting skills.

On the tables were cups of candy, cookies, and fruit.

Let’s see what happens.

Three little boys start sticking their hands in the cups of candy, put some in their mouths, decide, “Naa, we don’t like this,” and spit it out and put it back in the cup. What does the mother do? Nothing! She has her back turned and is having a lovely conversation with someone she probably doesn’t even like. 

Now these little gems decide to try the cookies. After an in-depth wipe of the nose, one cookie is touched, then another, then another, and finally, a winner is selected! He takes a bite and … nope, let’s put that one back. What does the mother do? Nothing! Now she is talking to someone else who she probably doesn’t like! This is a fun activity. 

Oh wait, these little guys are thirsty. Let’s see what happens when they go to the drink table. Don’t lift that bottle of soda, it’s too heavy for you, little guy! Nope, we are going to lift it and proceed to pour it in the cup, on the table, and then on the floor. What does the mother do? Do I really need to tell you?

Now before graduation, when the room was being set up and everyone not setting up was supposed to be at the actual graduation, there was a mom, dad, and little boy running around the room. The little boy was screaming, the parents were chasing after him, it was tons of fun. Well, for me anyway, because it wasn’t my kid. But then the little cutie ran right into the edge of the table because the parents were just letting him do whatever he wanted, and he started screaming at the top of his lungs, and there was blood. “Can we please have a napkin?” the father asked. “Can you please take your screaming child somewhere else? We are trying to set up and your adorable kid is being sort of a distraction. You know, with the blood and screaming and all that.” No, I didn’t say that, silly goose. But why were they so surprised when he did run into the table?

Here is a piece of advice. Don’t bring a 3-year-old to graduation!

Yes, I am judging, but I can do that if I never brought a 3-year-old to graduation. Just like I can judge moms who nurse in public and moms who send their kids to school the minute they are in the recovery room.

So watching all these things happen was very humorous to us, again, because these weren’t our children. When your children get older, there is a whole new set of things to worry about, which have nothing to do with if they touch a cookie and don’t take it, or eat a piece of candy and put it back in the cup.

Though I really hope my boys aren’t doing that anymore, but with boys, ya never know.

And even though I really wanted to go over to the mom and give her the used candy and “nose-covered” cookies, I decided to keep my mouth shut (surprising, right?) And let the kids enjoy their newfound freedom amongst all the adults. Because it is best to stay a kid for as long as humanly possible and that is the truth. And even a real judge will tell you that…

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is trying to figure out how to pack her kids for camp when no one will give her a straight answer about anything.

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