Is there a noble peace prize for moms? Just wondering, since at times it feels like a monumental task to keep the peace (and everyone alive) inside my world, or let’s just small scale to everyone in my living room. This is not due to a fighting nature (universe, if you’re listening please go easy on their girlatude in their adolescence), rather some other factors. For one, I believe that early walkers (waddlers) should be bubble-wrapped (I’m gonna look into this further) as it cannot be fair that the brush of a tail or a speedy sister can repeatedly disengage them from their upright position. This is the accidental incident. The more purposeful incident of my three year old little mommy clothes-lining her baby sister in an effort to “protect” her from whatever the perceived danger is, often no more than a crayon.
I have often witnessed my little darling impose our house rules and the expectations I have verbally expressed to her on others. The words come out of her mouth verbatim in complete expectation of cooperation from perfect strangers. To witness this has been mostly humorous with a hint of a blush of embarassment. I have found that it has been quite a difficult concept to explain as the confusion is reflected back to me by my darling’s perplexed face. The concern of why our rules don’t apply to everybody else as she defends what she knows by pointing out : “But mommy, he’s not putting it back on the shelf or mommy but she’s running” in which I have to acknowledge the truth and deflect to “His or her mommy can decide what those kids can do” Along with the explanation of why we don’t keep worldly peace by clothes-lining kids we don’t know in an effort to “protect” them (the only other lesson that goes with that is lawsuits 101). And yet, what a relevant question. Why don’t others follow our same code of ethics? Isn’t this a topic we carry into our adult world?
Everywhere we are, at work, in social circles, or at stores running our errands, you can always catch moments of disputes, differences in opinions, complaining. It seems that this is the human condition, considering our own behaviors as fundamentally superior to others’. And while most of us don’t usually clothes-line each other to correct the behavior we’re seeing (unless it’s the holiday season, then you may witness some heightened aggression) we do become disgruntled and sometimes verbally destructive. So it seems we’re not so different from our little ones in that way, wanting and expecting that others will abide by our rules. Only we don’t typically have a mommy there to remind us “to each his own” and to have some acceptance about the things beyond our control. In our adult lives, this kind of exchange has to come from within. And when it doesn’t, we find ourselves extremely dismayed, sometimes with the whole world. That’s a tough place to be, mad at the world.
So you see how teaching your little one to negotiate their tiny little universe, is really teaching them how to navigate all those discrepancies that exist in our lives. Not just about tolerating those things that we don’t like, but honoring and respecting the differences. Because that is the journey towards peace. World peace? Maybe. But a peace much bigger than that. Your own inner peace.
I’m still a traveler.