Know it all…
September 22, 2010
Before I had children, I had a degree in Education. I also had a fancy big job managing corporate child care. I was in charge of lots of little ones and their teachers. I taught parents about parenting. I love writing that… I taught parenting. Back then parents were incompetent. Really. The children threw shoes at them. (They put them on for me.) They had to bribe their children to do anything. (I just asked once.) I tried not to be smug, but it’s hard when you do, in fact, know everything.
This condition remedied itself when I decided to do the world a favor and have children. Faced with the cutest toddler who made boys twice her size tremble behind their mothers, and who was almost banned from playgroup for biting, I stopped mentioning my past life as an expert and became quiet. I wondered if people might come by and grab back the degree. I wish I could apologize to those parents for my young condescending behavior, but, well, I’ve moved. (If you were a parent of a young child in Palo Alto California between the years 1988 and 1998, I am so, so sorry…)
My children teach me now how little I know every day. Now that I have teenagers, I know even less about parenting. I was trying to comfort one daughter the other day and the older one looked at me sympathetically, ¨You really aren’t good at this, are you mom?¨ It wasn’t spoken with a snotty tone or mal intent, she was just noticing the obvious.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson with regards to acting like a know it all. But no. Now I have decided that I know everything about life regarding complainers.
I am full of advice for them, ” behind every complaint is a request” I tell them happily. I joyfully give advice on creating your own reality by embracing personal responsibility. I am sooo smart about this I spend my time and energy teaching people (who don’t want to be “taught”) how to cheer up. But in the end it just sounds like complaining. I complain about complainers. Sometimes I am simply trying to explain to people how other people are such complainers, and they just stare at me blankly. Humm..
I wonder if I’ll ever learn the value of silence and have the self-control and grace not to preach about it.