That gulping sound you hear...? That's me...swallowing my words. My many, many words about how children need to be taught how to behave in public, how it's not their fault that they're badly behaved and spoilt but their parents', how parents should deal with tantrums and never give in to them, how no should mean no, and of course, how well brought up and well behaved I always remember being under my mom's ever watchful disciplinarian eye. Yup...all those words have now been painfully swallowed.
Because my own son, despite all my views on parenting and my attempts to apply these simple principles (no means no, kids must do as they're told, parents must demonstrate appropriate behavior for kids to emulate, blah blah) basically doesn't care. He goes right ahead and does what he wants where he wants to do it...from flinging himself on the floor and screaming, producing gallons of fake tears on hearing the word "no," flinging anything that comes his way, flailing his arms every which way hoping to hit something in his temper, and producing unbelievable amounts of pure noise...he does it all. All this while Vijay and I oscillate between trying to at least look like we're in control while firmly repeating the word "no" as if it's suddenly going to hit home to the little brat we have produced, trying gentle explanations about the folly of his ways, pleading with our one and a half year old to stop and calm down and really just take a break, or just laughing hysterically as we watch this less than 2-footer who can bring us to this point where we want to utter, loudly, every 4 letter word our parents hope we don't use, but just can't because guess what...the 2-footer must learn appropriate behavior.
There's a lesson here somewhere that someone is trying to teach us...we're just having trouble hearing it over all the noise.