I think I had my first encounter with a “tiger mother” yesterday.
Josh had swim lessons yesterday and we usually go out for lunch after. Mainly because by the time they end, I am far too lazy to go home and actually make lunch.
Josh was very good at his swimming lesson; we’ve had some tantrums in the past. But it always makes me laugh when we go swimming, thinking about all of the effort us parents put into it.
We pack all the equipment up: towels, bathing suits, water wings (or “arm bands” here in the UK), and of course snacks. Then there is the effort of schlepping all of this, along with the child of course, to the car. As soon as I open the door, Josh is usually off in the other direction begging for a “walk!” at this point.
Then comes driving to the pool and getting changed. The changing room is usually deafening with the sound of children crying, parents pleading with them to either “hold still!” or “move out of the way!” Then trying to get the water wings on the child and getting the child into the water.
Somedays are better than others….
Then there is the actual class, which mainly is a half hour of coaxing the poor screaming child to “kick” or “blow bubbles,” when they probably don’t even understand what these terms mean.
And then, you repeat the process all over again to make it back home.
You can’t help but laugh.
All this was going through my head when I met the tiger mother. Or she may not be. Either way, I am sure she is a loving mother, doing the best for her kids.
But as I sat drinking a soda and feeding my son a jam sandwich (it was on the kids menu; I think it’s a normal sandwich here in England, though obviously not a healthy one), nodding politely as I listened to this woman describe, in detail, the gymnastic accomplishments of her two year old son, I couldn’t help but be a bit tired of it all.
There is so much pressure on mothers to be perfect and raise perfect little angels. It’s maddening.
So I sat there, being lectured on how badly children eat nowadays and how her son only had chocolate for the first time a month ago. I didn’t say anything at the time, other than mumbling something like “kids will be kids,” whatever that means…
And sadly, as much as I was enjoying talking to this woman, she had to leave rather quickly, as her son proceeded to have a massive tantrum and try to climb away over a fence.
So you see, it happens to the best of us I suppose.
After that encounter, I was determined to get out and have a bit of fun with Josh. No special classes or anything fancy. Just a soccer ball and some open grassy fields.
And of course mud.
It was the first day in what feels like ages without any rain, so it was great to get out.
And I think Josh enjoyed himself too…