I get it now. The satisfaction of saying, “That kid is bad,” and it not being about your own. Cruelty? Instinctive? No, I believe I’ve cracked this nut to find the desire of any parent: validation.
While a mother I am close too openly complained at my daughter’s birthday that the kids were out of control (because they preferred face painting to the games she suggested) her son was running around hitting the other party guests. Partygoers were five and under, and I love the aforementioned boy and didn’t care about his antics.
It made me wonder. Why was his behaviour OK when my “undisciplined” parenting style was critiqued when the gossipers were at church?
I’m an easy target. You know what, that’s cool. Every mother, despite her parenting style, feels insecure. We are our biggest enemies at times, a well-known fact.
What satisfaction must come when you can look at another child and think to yourself, “Glad they’re not mine!”
If my presence can offer another that five-minutes needed to feel good by getting lost in the world of shaming another, I’m happy to cooperate. It feels good. And in the end, as lovely as all your children must be, I’m glad they’re not mine too.
Mine is perfect for me.
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