Summer is our favorite time of the year. Jonathan loves all the outdoor activities and spends most of his time running. The shoes take a beating every time he's outside and don't last very long. So, long story short, I found myself at the mall the other day walking from store to store, searching for toddler sandals. Notice that Jonathan hates flip flops. Every time I would try to put them on his feet he would say that they hurt. Apparently retailers forgot how to make regular boy sandals because I could not find even one pair.
Jonathan was completely tired after about an hour of walking around. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't find what I was looking for, he didn't want to sit in the stroller but I couldn't let him walk as he would run away. So after another attempt to calm him with a toy and some snacks, I did what I have judged others for - I searched the YouTube for cartoons. The connection in the mall wasn't so great and it was taking a while to load one 15 minute video but it kept him occupied. He was watching a cute Russian cartoon that I have watched as a little girl and being somewhat cooperative. Target came to the rescue with only the very last pair of sandals in his size, and we were on our way home.
It's taking me a while to realize that there are many ways to parent. Some parents let their kids go to bed late and then sleep in the morning, other parents have a bed time and stick with it. Some parents don't have food guidelines and others have strict instructions what their child can and cannot eat. No matter what your parenting style is and no matter how paranoid or laid back you are, I don't judge you. I'm doing the best I can and you are doing the best you can, so we are in the same boat. People come from all sorts of economical and societal backgrounds, having gained the knowledge of what's normal from their parents. If someone has been less fortunate or simply disadvantaged in some areas, it's not my job to criticize their skills and abilities. We, as parents, need to encourage and help each other along because this job is hard enough without someone criticizing me for doing my best.