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Cocoa
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MontanaMama2009 posted:
Cocoa was a 3yo little girl who was at the local toddler park on Saturday when I took Neathery and my middle girl, Faith.


Cocoa was a brunette cutie pie, with little piggy tails on either side of her head and was decked out in everything Gap from head to toe. Her mother wore expensive clothing, as well, and carried a fancy-schmancy "bag" over her shoulder that held top-of-the-line sippy cups, wet wipes, sunscreen, and healthy snacks. Probably more than $100 in cash in Cocoa's mommy's wallet, I'm sure. :)


So Neathery approaches Cocoa and says, "Pway wif me." Cocoa immediately begins running around with Neathery, climbing on the equipment and showing Neathery how to do certain "big girl" things like jumping from one jumping stone to the next, or hanging from the monkey bars.


Neathery and Cocoa are enjoying each other's company when Cocoa's mommy calls Cocoa back over to her side of the playground...really, just a small distance away from where we were playing.


Cocoa obeys.

"Cocoa, can you count the swings?" "Cocoa, what color is the toy car?" "Cocoa, tell me how to spell ____________." "Cocoa, why do we eat carrots and not suckers?" That kind of stuff.


I definitely got the feeling Cocoa's mama was one of those "show-off" mamas. And I know y'all know what I'm talking about.


Neathery followed Cocoa to play some more, but every time Neathery would engage Cocoa in play, Cocoa's mama would pull her away and drill her on various different topics.


I was like, "Why is this mother not allowing her little girl to play with Neathery? Is it that Neathery has on mis-matched clothing and it's not name brand? Is it because Neathery's face is still a bit smudged from her sucker on the car ride over? Is is because Neathery's shoes are worn and ragged?"

I really couldn't figure it out...and still can't.


I don't know why I'm thinking of this now. After all, it was nearly a week ago that we met Cocoa.


But I keep thinking of Cocoa and her mama, and wondering why some mothers feel the need to put their children on "display"? Why some mothers feel the need to have their child "practically perfect in every way," as Mary Poppins would say.

Maybe I'm too far removed from my first child now to remember if I was maybe like Cocoa's mama, too? Or what changed in my 15 years of parenting that made me realize that it's okay to give my child a sucker once in a while instead of a carrot. Or it doesn't matter, in the grand scheme of life, whether I spent $25 on a Gap outfit for my child versus a $5 outfit from Goodwill...or better yet, a $2 from a garage sale downt he street. Or that it's okay to let Neathery play at a playground without drilling her on everything she knows.

Anyhow, just my ramblings once again.
Me, DH of 16 years, DD1 (15yo), DD2 (10yo), DD3 (nearly 2), a labrador, a tabby cat, a lop-eared bunny, and goldfish!  Life is grand!  http://daisyheadmamas.blogspot.com/
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daisy729 responded:
Honestly, I kinda feel sorry for Cocoa. She was at the park, and instead of having fun and getting to play with another little girl, her mom had to put her show on.

Don't get me wrong, I like to show Dane off too, but I won't do it at the cost of him having fun and being a kid! Plus, he hams it up, he does it all on his own...he's such a flirt!

I know when I see mom's with the designer clothes, bags, accessories, etc, I start to feel inadequate, like I can't provide that for my child...and I should be able to give my child anything...right? But really, the most important thing I can provide him is a loving, caring, secure and fun home. The fancy stuff is secondary. Most of his clothes, up to this point, have been hand me downs. I'm finally starting to have to buy him his own clothes. And most are from Wal Mart or Target. We went fancy the other day and bough Old Navy shirts...on sale :)

You are only a child once, so let kids be kids. It sounds like to me, she was trying to show herself off, not her little girl. I think she wanted to show off how she was doing everything 'right'.
 
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An_224630 responded:
I challenge you: What if this woman wasn't wearing designer clothes and didn't have top-of-the-line sippies and suncreen (how did you see inside her diaper bag, anyway?), and Cocoa wasn't wearing Gap clothes (btw: Gap clothes are not expensive). What if this woman was dressed just like you, and her daughter was dressed similarly to yours: Would you still have come to the same conclusion about this woman that you have?

It sounds to me like you're talking about two totally different issues -- 1) overbearing parents pushing their kids too hard; and 2) passing judgment on people with money (your $100-cash-in-the-wallet comment confirms this) -- but you're using the second to generalize an entire group of mothers, placing them into the first.

Issue 1: I'm with you. Let them play. Let them have fun and discover the world around them on their own without feeling the burden of parental pressure. But that's my parenting style. I don't question those who parent differently than me (unless it's destructive, and this clearly is not).

Issue 2: It's unfair to categorize a person because of the clothes she is wearing, the car she is driving or the sunscreen she is slathering on her kid. Just because some wealthy people behave inhospitably, doesn't mean they all do. And from what I read in this post, the negative light you've shed on this woman is unwarranted. Now, had she refused to let your daughter play with her's because Neathery wasn't wearing Chanel, then yeah, she's worthy of the criticism. But I didn't read that in your post either.


I've read before that this group is supposed to be supportive of all mothers and not judge. In the spirit of why this board is created, I thought I should point out the irony here.


Also, maybe taking a break from those "Real Housewives" shows is in order. Not all women with money behave that way.
 
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An_224631 responded:
Where did you pull this out of? It seems to me that anyone so worried about what another mom is doing, carrying, wearing, is just plain insecure themselves. If you feel allright to give your child a sucker, have her wear mis-matched clothes, or whatever else, than you must be comfortable with that?? I don't think any mother in the world would take their child to the park, and then ask them all these questions to show off. You seemed to have looked to much into this.

We have to be comfortable with how we parent, and not focus on on the little things. I don't care what the tag on my child's clothes say, as long as she looks nice. It doesn't make me feel like I cannot provide if another child is dressed differently, or has better sippy cups..I mean what is a better sippy and top of the line snacks?
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to An_224630's response:
Good points Anon. But you should have posted with your screen name.

One of my DDs BFFs at daycare wears the craziest stained outfits every day. Her hair appears to have never seen a brush. But eh, what do I care! She's sweet and her and DD play well together.

I am obsessed with bags. In fact I got a new fancy smancy one for Mother' Day. My LOs wear name brands, I drive a fancy car.

My kids get filthy, my bag gets filthy AND my car is filthy. Who cares! It's just stuff. If you've got it great; if you don't, oh well.

I didn't take offense to anything MM posted. My question is why take the little girl to the park if all you are going to do is quiz her?
 
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leftcoastgirl responded:
Normally, I'd be right there next to you rolling my eyes at Cocoa's mom. But I've been experiencing some issues with a well-meaning relative lately, and it's got me thinking. (For reference, the relative in question is very alarmed that DD doesn't do all that much talking - and that I'm not doing anything about it. Long story short, I'm being pressured to drill DD with daily lessons and investigate speech therapy. I don't think it helps when I constantly reply that - although DD is late when it comes to talking - I'm not the least bit worried.)

Cocoa's mom may be part of that club that feels pressured to have a "perfect" child. In some ways, I feel bad for them. They spend a lot of time worrying, even more time acting on their worries and less time bonding and playing and HAVING FUN with their kids! Hopefully, Cocoa's mom will come to realize that despite all her efforts, Cocoa is basically at the same level as a kid whose mom spends more time making mud pies and less time using flash cards!
 
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ad1978 replied to leftcoastgirl's response:
I'm just curious, how did you know Cocoa was 3 years old without talking to her mother (maybe you did, and didn't write that part)?

I generally agree to just let kids be kids, and let them play, but I guess we don't know the whole situation here. Maybe Cocoa is actually 5 years old, and has a mental or physical handicap, and could use regular "lessons" to keep up? It's a stretch, but you never know.

Or maybe they had to stay in the park all day because a realtor was showing their home, so the mom wanted to spend some time playing, but also some time learning...in that case, I don't think she did anything that bad.

But like I said, none of us know the whole story.

I agree with a previous poster that the mother's clothing/purse/etc shouldn't be judged. I am not "wealthy", but I can afford new clothes and a couple nice purses. I also have extremely generous friends and family who have bought LO so much new clothes (and very nice clothes), that I literally have not spent a dime on LO's clothes for this summer.

I don't want to judge you if you don't have money or interest in clothes/purses, and no one should judge me and my parenting skills based on my fashion or appearance of money.

This is not being a supportive mom. And I thought support was the whole point of this board.
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to leftcoastgirl's response:
I'm in the any parenting is better than no parenting and who's to say I'm right and they are wrong group.

TRIGGS

A coworker of mine is currently a guardian for an 8YO boy. They got him when he was 17 months. He has reactive attachment disorder (I could be mangling that). The gist is his mom had no contact with him when he was born, she slept all day and left him doing who knows what. She begged the state to take him; they told her family to help her and left the baby there. Finally the granny found my coworker and asked if they would take the baby. The coworker said they cannot show this little boy any affection. Absolutely no hugs, pats on the back, touseling of hair, nothing. If someone is unaware and does this, he goes nuts. All because his mom didn't love him when he was a baby.

We are so instrumental in molding our LOs. Hug your babies and look them in the eyes. That's what my coworker told me to do and now I'm sharing with you guys. This story has really bothered me. Something so small as a hug means so much. So hence my who cares about the clothes, car, bags, etc. attitude. :-)
 
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ad1978 replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
Wow. I know we're getting OT here, but when I was home on maternity leave last year, I watched a documentary about children who are raised with no/little human contact (sounds similar to this 8 yr old boy), and it was amazing how many cases are like this.

It made me really sad, and I swear I started talking to my newborn even more than I already was (DH thought I was nuts==it's not like LO wasn't already getting tons of love and attention!).
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to ad1978's response:
I hear you ad. It REALLY disturbed me. Hence my laid back attitude today. My thought is, yeah this mom sounded a bit uptight, but heck at least she loved her girl and was teaching and talking to her.

OT yes, but again I say who cares! It takes all kinds.
 
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ad1978 replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
well on that note, hopefully the judgements will cease for a little while, and we can all carry on with our unique preferences while loving our LOs. have a good weekend!
 
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daisy729 responded:
I'm again going to butt in, but I think the whole point here is, why would this mom not let the two little girls play together anymore? Of course it could be for a million different reasons. However, when it's your child in Neathery's position, you might start wondering too, what is wrong with MY child? Why won't she let them play together anymore?

I took it more as airing insecurities and not being judgemental. I'm only reading it and wondering how I would feel in that same situation. And, I would start wondering the same things. Maybe that other mom wouldn't let them play together anymore because Neathery wasn't wearing the nice clothes, or shoes, or had a smudged face. Does that make either one of them better than the other, of course not! And I don't think that is at all the point.

Good for those of you who can shrug it off, but I would still feel bad for my LO. All she wanted to do was play.
 
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MontanaMama2009 responded:
Sorry, I was at lunch and just got back.

Yeah, I definitely WAS feeling insecure.

And I asked Cocoa how old she was when she and Neathery began playing.

As for the contents in her bag, I only noticed because it was left lying on the ground open.

As for the $100, I'm just guessing. I didn't look into her wallet.

And yeah, Gap isn't THAT expensive, I know.

Like I said, I felt that Cocoa's mom was puttingher on display, and that was what really bothered me, as well as I felt like cocoa's mom didn't want her child to play with my "urchin" kid, LOL.

So that was it. Just me feeling a bit insecure for the most part. You got that right. :)
Me, DH of 16 years, DD1 (15yo), DD2 (10yo), DD3 (nearly 2), a labrador, a tabby cat, a lop-eared bunny, and goldfish! Life is grand! http://daisyheadmamas.blogspot.com/
 
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leftcoastgirl replied to daisy729's response:
Excellent points!!
 
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ad1978 replied to daisy729's response:
Daisy, these are strangers. "Cocoa" doesn't have to play with anyone's kid. It would be different if this was happening in their classroom, or a birthday party. But they are complete strangers. I would not take offense if a STRANGER for any reason didn't want her kid playing with mine.

However, I haven't really been in this position yet, so it might be fair to say that someone is airing insecurities (and maybe I would also be insecure if this happened to me?)

And this is exactly what usually leads to judgement. We judge b/c we want to reitterate (to ourselves) how we are justified doing what we do.

This is common nature, but it isn't the right thing to do.

If someone is insecure, that doesn't give her the right to judge what another mom (a complete stranger) wears or how she treats her own child (as long as it isn't dangerous).

Why point out exactly what the mom was wearing? Why guess that she was $100 in her wallet (and why on earth would that be a bad thing any way)?


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