On our way back from Cape Town while waiting for our bags one of the passengers (male) reprimanded me about Jack touching the baggage carousel.
It took every ounce of self restraint I had not let cause a huge scene with this guy. Largely, I suspect, due to the fact that I was exhausted from trying to keep Jack from destroying the aeroplane.
In the 10 years I have been a parent I have rarely been called out on my parenting. In fact I can’t remember if anyone has ever commented on my kids if they have behaved badly or said anything to me for what I allow them to do (or not do). So I was taken aback when he told me to please watch my child.
The thing is, I was watching my child BUT this child is child no 3. I am now pretty well aware of what is a real danger, what is a mild danger and what is not danger. Jack standing next to the baggage carousel touching it as it whirled around, to me, was not a real danger. I was behind him, Cameron next to him and Kiara on the other side AND he doesn’t stand still for 2 minutes. The real danger was the cleanliness (or lack therof) of the carousel and I had a bag of wet wipes.
It is true the more kids you have the more relaxed you are, well it is for me anyway. I know that no harm will come to Jack if he screams for a bit. I know if he eats the dog pellets he will survive and that sterilising his bottles while allowing the dog to kiss him is really an exercise in pointlessness. So I let a lot of things slide with him.
I think a lot of it also has to do with the fact that time is spread so thinly that there is just no time to “over parent”. I don’t have time to over think things or decisions I make.
I am not sure if the two things are related but I am enjoying him a lot more. I only started really enjoying the older two when they were over two but this time around I am enjoying the little things he does a lot more and actually noticing things I don’t remember noticing with the others. It does make me sad in a way but I suppose it is just life.
I do worry though sometimes that my parenting with Jack is to laid back. I was joking with my cousin a while ago that child no four will be lucky if I remember to give him a bottle or a boob.