I should be flattered I suppose, or at least proud. And I am. But I'm also irked.
Let me back up a bit. I got brave today. The weather here is rotten (although not quite as rotten as it is up by Mandy! Minus 15 degrees and car doors frozen shut?! ACK!) I just glanced at home weather station reciever and with the wind chill its -9 degees. This weekend its supposed to snow. No one knows quite what to predict but we've heard anything from 4 inches to two feet depending on whatever factors are throwing them off at the time. With this laying ahead of us and Bruce out late tonight, I decided to get the kids out for a bit.
We headed to the pet store first. This would be easy for the three of us I figured. Meg could ride in her stroller and Logan would push one of those pint sized "Customer-in-training" carts, which tends to keep him near me and focused on the task at hand instead of running. The dog needed new treats since Logan has this new thing about rewarding her for every little thing she does. There is a reason she's over 60 lbs. And the pet store was easy. Logan did just what I expected. He follows directions well when he's got that cart - turn left, turn right. Just wait here while we pick out what cookies to give Tasha. We looked at fish. We paid. And then Logan asked for chicken, fries and HotWheels -- a combination only found at Burger King right now.
And I relented. It was, after all, a long day for the three of us and I had no idea how the afternoon would go. Why not stay out a bit longer and let him have some fun. Off to Burger King we went. I issued my warning in the car: Logan, you must walk and stay near me the entire time because I can't carry Megan, the tray of food AND you and I can't chase you around the place. He agreed happily if it meant a lunch out.
He was true to his word. He stood by my side and even ordered his own meal - requesting the helicopter if they had one left. They did and he's thrilled. The annoyance though came when we sat down in a booth. Logan sat across from me and Meg sat on my lap. Both were perfect little beings. Meg just scoped out the joint and Logan ate his chicken and his fries, both drenched in ketchup just as he likes it.
Behind us, in an adjoining booth, sat Amanda, her Grandmother and Grandmother's friend. Amanda is an energetic five year old and decided she wanted to:
a) bounce and kick so much she rocked the seat of the lady behind her (according ot Grandma)
b) talked loudly enough that everyone in the place knew it was her birthday and that she thought it was downright hilarious she might have to get everyone to her party on skis if it did in fact snow this weekend
c) didn't want to eat her meal after she got it
Amanda got chastised quite a bit while we were there. The three of them started packing up to leave at the same time the three of us were. I stood and emptied our tray in the can just behind our seats - Megan balanced on my hip with one arm and Logan waiting patiently in the booth. The friend o' Grandma began with admiring Megan. "What a beautiful little baby!" she said.
Then it moved to their eyes -- what big beautiful blue eyes both children have and what wonderful red hair to go with them. Then came the part I hate. I don't know why it bugs me so. I guess I just hate the idea of some kid loathing mine for being 'the example.' Not sure its even a rational thing, but I can imagine the child on the other end of this conversation just wanting to sock mine. The lady said "Look Amanda. Look at these two kids. See how nice and well behaved they've been while they were here. I didn't even know they were back here. See how quite this little boy was. And the baby! The baby didn't even cry. See, I bet the boy ate all his lunch too. You should learn from him."
The woman in the adjoining booth that had been rocked by Amanda's jittery nature smiled at it all and said "Oh, it must be the name. I have an Amanda at home and she's a handful too."
I smiled at Amanda with a look that said "I'm sorry, you're a good girl I'm sure. You're just five and happy." Instead I said to the lady and her friend Amanda's Grandma, "Oh, thank you, but trust me, he has the ability to be more than loud when he wants to. He's two and half. You've just witnessed one of his good moments. I'm sure later when we're home and he can't have his way he'll be louder than you can imagine. same with the baby. She has powerful lungs when she wants to have them."
They smiled and then again commented, more so for Amanda's benefit than mine at that point, about how cute both children were and how well behaved. They kneeled to see Meg. "Boy or girl?" asked the woman, confused as many seem to be by her lavendery-bluish/purple coat accented with lime green.
The small talk continued with Logan wishing Amanda a happy birthday and showing off the helicopter he had in his hand. "They gave it to me! See! Isn't that neat!" he said. And we left. As we walked out into the biter cold I heard them again - "What good kids. See Amanda. See how nice that boy listens to his Mommy. See how he stays so close. Why can't you do that?" And again I felt like going over to them and saying "Oh come on. Please don't compare. He is a good boy, but he's also a real little boy with tantrums and fits and moments where I want to ring his neck. Please give her a break and let her just be her - not anyone else. Please don't ever ask her to be like anyone else."
Someone just smack me if I ever do that to my kid!