If we keep parenting like this, civilization as we know it is doomed.
There is a new breed of toddler on the loose; he has discriminating tastes, he makes decisions, and he weighs in on conversations that no toddler has previously been asked to participate in. Do you know this toddler? My guess is we all have a few of them in our lives.
Maybe he is more common in Brooklyn, New York – the place where I raised my son for the first two years of his life. It was during this time, when I finally started parenting on my own, that I realized the things I was seeing all around me in Brooklyn weren’t necessarily normal. The way we treat our toddlers has taken a confusing and delusional turn for the worse. I’m beginning to wonder if we will ever recover as parents.
I worked in a restaurant in a very hip neighborhood of Brooklyn before my son was born. I continued to work there during the first few years of his life. I saw a lot of interesting behavior in this restaurant. I felt the parental behavior I witnessed all around me was something I would begin to understand and empathise with once I had a child. Instead, I started to really begin to wonder what the hell these parents were doing. Something was seriously wrong. An experience I had while working a brunch shift illustrated this “something” perfectly:
Me: Table for three?
Smartly Dressed Parents: Well, we need a minute. Sweetie, what do you want for brunch? Do you want eggs? Do you want to stay here?
Oh, okay honey. Sorry. He wants pancakes. You don’t have those do you? We’ll have to come back.
I resist the urge to laugh because I can’t quite read their faces and I’m not sure if they’re joking. But, they’ve got to be joking, right? I chuckle. They look at me, at the same time annoyed and quizzical.
Sorry, he really wants pancakes. We have to go. But we’ll be back!