A fortnight ago we were at our local Farmers Market, I love me a good Farmer’s Market, it’s a chance to ignore your city roots, talk to farmers about their crops and the terrible weather they’ve been having. For Max it’s a chance to gorge on free tasters and flirt with the farmer’s daughter. This particular farmers market was a soggy affair.
Max is very quick these days to pick up on a bit of moisture in the air and if there’s the faintest hint of a possibility of a puddle he is reaching for his boots and anorak. The Boy beats Peppa Pig at her own game and every puddle from the most meagre right up to puddles that are on the verge of ponds are all fair game. After eating his way through several plates of gourmet cheese, half a kilo of organic sausages, a handful of toasted chestnuts, some freshly squeezed juice to wash it all down and a kiss from the farmer’s daughter, he noticed one of the largest, muddiest, puddles known to man or pig.
The way I see it you have two choices Daddio, you can let The Boy have his moment of ecstasy in the puddle and accept that he will be muddier and wetter and colder than ideal or you can endure a morning of high frequency, surround sound tantruming with the volume turned up loud. “Go on Max, show the others how it’s done!” He started off at a slow canter, built up to a gallop and by the time he hit the puddle he was going flat out. There was a collective gasp from the audience that had gathered as he plonked himself down right in the middle.
The next twenty minutes were spent watching on in delight as Max, ran, jumped, splashed, charged, skipped and spun his way in and out of the muddiest of puddles. The audience had grown and Max had worked them into a collective frenzy, if I was wearing a hat I would have walked around and rid them of the contents of their purses and wallets. Just then I heard a very serious looking gentleman asking who the child belonged to. Aaaahhh shit here we go, some do-gooder is going to lambast me for letting my child play in the filthy, cold water. A few fingers pointed in my direction, the chap came striding towards me and I assumed the brace position.
“Is this your son?”
“He sure is”
“Could I just say what a delight it is to see a parent let their child be a child”
“You most certainly can say that and thank you”
“I’m actually a photographer and I’ve got some amazing shots that I’ll forward on to you”
I am so grateful to this man that I had never met before, not only did he capture a moment that brings a huge smile to my face but he said nice things about the way I choose to parent. So many people assume the role of expert and judge where parenting is concerned and too few people take it upon themselves to point out the good in other parents work. It’s very easy to be critical of what others are doing but having been on the receiving end of some kind words I will be looking to spread the parent love myself.
We squelched home that day, Max high on adrenaline and me high on love.
Have you ever been on the end of some kind or unkind words from a stranger regarding your own parenting?