Testing, Testing

I was mocked recently.  I know, I know- it’s hardly surprising given that I write publicly, and that the internet is a vast and faceless mass of people just itching to tell you What They Think.  But, if you know me, this doesn’t happen often: I’ve made it my life goal to Do Things Right.  Really, I have.  I follow all the rules.  I study all the books.  I try to make people happy.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

So when someone openly (well, as “openly” as a blog comment can be) mocks me, it stung a bit.  What did I do wrong?

I said I was going to experiment on my daughter.  She’s lactose intolerant, but within that distinction is a wide-open range of tolerances.  Can she eat butter?  Buttered toast?  Apparently.  Can she drink skim milk?  NO WAY, NO HOW.  Now how about yogurt?  My homemade yogurt, with powdered milk added to thicken it?  2 bowls of it?  NOPE.  Six ounces of store-bought yogurt, pectin-thickened?  Yeah, she can do that.  Cheese?  2-year-old cheddar, just a slice or two…sure.  Fresh goat cheese, not so much.  Shall we try and see if she can have a little whipped cream on her cake, and watch for a day to see what happens?  She can’t speak for herself, so I need to learn her limits for her.

Every day is an experiment.  Every time we get out of bed we’re testing: does this shirt match these pants?  What happens if I say THIS to him?  What if I decided to stop trying to do THAT?

Raising kids is an experiment, with high stakes.  We’re building people.  When my preschooler throws her toy, do I take it away?  Throw it away?  Give it away?  Send her to her room?  Make her bring it back and put it away  nicely?  Each option is just that: an option.  We try our best, we watch for the outcome.  Sometimes the results are obvious immediately- switch gears, change your course, this isn’t working!  Sometimes we plant a seed and don’t see the fruit for years and years.  The trick is to trust yourself, be kind, and know your children.  Pray a lot.  Study what you need to study.  And you’ll know.

9 Responses

  1. Sorry someone was rude. 😦

  2. He was a jerk….but he was also self-important – he ran a health food site and was probably just hoping that somebody would click through on his rude comment, just to see why he thought he had the right. *ahem* Or maybe I’m the only one that clicked through.

    Rant over.

  3. Don’t you just want to shake people like that sometimes?

  4. It’s hard not to be influenced by negative opinions of others, and I’m glad to see you are fighting back, in your own way.

  5. Some of these off the wall comments are actually tricky SPAM. I get some bizarre ones every once in a while. Just delete and go on with your beautiful life, pleasing God, not others. Love your blog! 🙂

  6. I am so stung by the negative comments about my parenting. I shouldn’t because I receive so many gracious, sweet and kind comments. I don’t know why a negative one can cut so deeply so quickly, but it does. They hurt. I am sorry and so on your side.

  7. Thanks everyone. I was surprised more than anything- why on earth would someone come to my blog for the first time, and then leave a nasty note? And a link to his shop? But even still…every day IS full of choices, and every choice IS an experiment 🙂

  8. You – and all good parents – are to be admired for continually trying. Life is a guess and test venture, for certain. We can’t learn if we don’t try, so give yourself a big pat on the back for always striving to do better and be better. I wish we had a world full of people who put half as much heart into what they do.

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