Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Good" kids

I have realized lately that it bothers me to no end when people say that a baby is a "good baby". For instance, if a baby doesn't cry then they are a good baby. Like somehow crying makes a baby, what, bad? Or a child is a "good kid" if they are easy for an adult to deal with, ie obedient and quiet and perfectly respectful.

The reason that this kind of language bothers me is mostly because I have a child who has a really strong personality. By most definitions of "good", she isn't. She hits her sister, she screams, she throws things, she often contradicts what I say. I don't think this makes her bad, or at least, not good. I think this makes her two (quickly going on three). I think this makes her passionate and full of energy and spirited.

It makes my skin crawl when people say to me "Eloise is such a good baby! She hardly cries!" because I know that she does cry. A lot. More than I would like her to, usually. I wonder if those people saw her crying would they say "oh, how unfortunate, she's not a very good baby."

I wish so much that people didn't equate good with easy. Good with happy. Good with, well, anything, when it comes to children. A good child acts how adults would like them to, apparently. Yes, my older daughter gets under my skin, some days to the point I can't handle it another second, but she is equally as loving, empathetic, creative, and well, you name it. Her pendulum swings FAR is both directions, I like to think. She is a damn good kid.

6 comments:

  1. amen mama. very, very well said. i have gotten to the point that i completely ignore such questions about the "goodness" of babes. conversation over. moving on. thanks!
    here's to the spirited and non-spirited ones!

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  2. Good post! You're on a roll lately! My middle son, Xander cried for the first 9 mos of his life...Colick or undiagnosed reflux or something...but now at 4 1/2 I realize that part of it was his personality. Although he is very strong willed and hot-tempered, he is also the most loving little boy who sits on my lap and says he had a good day with Mommy or "Thank you mommy for my new shirt." 15 times that day. And says "I Love You" more than any other peron in my house. He is a real sweet heart, but if crying would scare people off they'd never see the softer, sweeter side of him. He is good, despite his "moments."

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  3. Who says Eloise doesn't cry? :)

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  4. I loved this post. My nephew is 2 months younger than my baby and I hear all the time what a "good baby" my nephew is. "he's so laid back and never cries. just a dream baby" What? Because my baby wants attention all the time he is "bad". Whatever! It's a good thing I'm pretty good at ignoring people like that.

    (BTW...I'm here from Adventures In Babywearing. Just blog hopping while I wait for a load of laundry to finish)

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  5. I agree. I always liked to say my babies were "perfect babies" to people who asked. (It's always those that don't know you that ask that stupid question.) In my mind, they were perfect...they did everything babies were supposed to do! (eat, cry, poop, sleep, repeat)

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  6. I am completely with you on this one! I cringe when I hear "Oh, he's such a good boy" because your exactly right, good is equated with easy, or quiet, you know the times they're not acting like kids!

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