Friday, April 28, 2006

What Makes a Good Parent

This is an interesting point of view regarding what makes a good parent.

We were out tonight having a celebration dinner. We were celebrating Paul being free from his current job. Today was it - hurray! But I digress...

So we're sitting there at this restaurant with our sweet Jadyn sitting up in a high chair at the end of the table. (OH MY GOSH! She's sitting up in a restaurant high chair already!!!) As usual I had her dressed in a very cute outfit. Now, Jadyn will simply beam with smiles for anyone who so much as glances at her. Typically folks stop to talk to her because she's so pleasant and, frankly, so adorable.

Tonight there was no end to the attention she was getting. At one point this obviously upscale southern woman came by and immediately got sucked into the cuteness vortex that was emanating from my daughter. She made the comments we most often hear:
"What beautiful eyes!"
"She's so well-behaved."
"What a big smile!"
"What a cute outfit!"
Then she said something I have never heard before.
"I love it when parents dress their children well. You are good parents."

Hmm. So. Because I dress my child in clothes that a) are clean, b) match, and c) are reasonably in style, I must be a good parent. I may be the type of parent who sits her in front of the TV for 12 hours a day, feeding her nothing but pixie stix, but hey, she's dressed well so I'm obviously doing a good job. Maybe I let her play with scissors or ride in the car with her rolling around on the floorboards, but at least I put a bow in her hair that matches her onesie, so sign me up for Mother of the Year.

Tomorrow I'm going to strap her to our dog and let her ride him around the back yard. But she'll look adorable in her pink striped romper with her name embroidered on the front, so it's all good.


Jennboree said...

I've always thought that was a funny comment people make but I guess there are so many dirty, barely clothed children running (or sitting) around that a child who's parents take the time to bathe and care properly for them is worthy of mention.

Plus, it is usually OLDER women who say such things. The same older women who say holding your children too much will spoil them!

Anonymous said...

It's a southern thing, Yankee Girl! Clothes are what separate future southern belles from poor white trash! LOL The true mark of a well-bred Southern lady is the ability to dress for the occasion. Our babies are just southern belles in training! We also dress them in outfits that match ours...haven't I seen you do that??? I think our Southern ways are definitely rubbing off on you! I love ya, girl! Sassy

Jen said...

I don't think a well-dressed kid is the sign of good parents. But, after seeing so many kids over time, it becomes easy to tell the kids who are generally clean and well looked after from the ones who aren't.

Sometimes I'll be out and I'll see a family in the store or somewhere and you can just tell their baby isn't clean, and hasn't really BEEN clean in a while. Or worse, when they have that dull look in their eyes that says that no one pays any attention to them.

So, maybe she just meant that she could tell that you generally take care of your daughter, you didn't just slap a pretty dress on her for the day and the rest of the time the family's a mess.

Hey, when you strap her to the dog and let her ride around, will you take pictures? Whenever I try to do that, the dog manages to get away ;-)

Amanda Sue said...

pixie stix! yummmmmmmm!