Back in my pre-baby days, certain things would irritate the crap out of me to no end. Families with crying babies in restaurants, fussy little kids on airplanes or kids who would fuss during church. I have a pretty short patience threshold, so this shouldn't surprise any of you. But as a mom of a 9 month old, things change. Instead of irritation...it becomes a sense of understanding and...well....pity. Because I've been there.
I see that mom in line at Target, her two year old child crying for pretty much no reason at all, out of exhaustion or because she didn't get the toy she irrationally wanted, I don't see a screaming child. I see a mom at her wit's end. I see a mom trying to do everything in her power to distract the child and apologizing to those around her. At the airport last week, I saw the looks people gave parents of younger children who joined us at the gate, waiting for the flight. It was like they automatically assumed that those kids wouldn't behave on the flight. I'm sure the parents saw the looks, too. And I know someday T and I'll be dealing with the same thing.
It's the looks we get from people at church when we try to actually sit in the sanctuary with Aubrey, but we end up taking turns taking Aubrey out into the narthex where she can fuss. She's a baby, people, she cries. Get over it.
It's funny because those things don't irritate me the way they do. It's like a sense of camaraderie. Rather than give the parents an annoying stare or roll my eyes, I give them a look of "dude, I feel ya" or try to make the little one smile with a silly grin. It's just funny how things change, isn't it?
I mean, don't get me wrong. If the child is old enough and is clearly a little shit, I can see right through that. And believe you me, I can spot a little shit from a mile away. I have very little tolerance for that.
But that's beside the point - for those parents out there whose kid goes from happy to exorcist in 60 seconds? I feel ya, brother, I feel ya.
Next thing you know I'll be empathizing with my parents....shh...don't tell them...