I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline and a friend posted a pic of a kid on the floor at a restaurant. He was probably about three or four and was quietly eating his food while his parents sat at the table enjoying their meal. The question was, “What kind of parent lets their kid do that?”
The answer? Me.
My oldest child, who is now 12 years old, has the soul of a 70-year-old man. He was always neat, clean, and meticulous. Thank goodness he never taste tested the world, because he has severe food allergies. He liked to wash his hands and was always ready to use his hand sanitizer. He was often following behind me asking me to put things away properly.
My youngest is five. She is the polar opposite of her brother. She is full of fire, will eat a sandwich with her hands full of green finger paint, and loves a chaotic mess. The only thing she cares about is if I let her choose her own clothes and headband each day before school and that her arts and crafts basket stays full of paint, modeling clay, crayons, and construction paper.
She lives life at light speed and taste tests the world. So when I saw that picture, I thought, I’ve done that before. Sometimes, I just need her to be calm so I can live. Is it so bad that she sits on the floor and eats, or that she may even eat off of the floor on occasion? Not to me. When she drops a snack on the ground outside and picks it up and eats it anyway, I shrug it off and don’t think twice.
It’s probably because she’s subject to those “second child blues.” You know, as a parent, those stringent protocols you stuck to for your first child fall by the wayside when you realize by the second child that it’s not that serious.
Call me crazy, but I choose to see the humor in things and not take this part of parenting so seriously. There are other things to worry about. So yes, when we went to the CVS Minute Clinic and my daughter reached up and pressed the big red emergency button on the wall, I was ready to pass completely out, but then as we ran to the car, I burst out in laughter after my son pointed out that his sister is ‘always doing something crazy’. He’s right, but come on. Why would a big, red button be child level without having a casing to cover it? Anyone could accidentally hit that button. It was a magnet to my curious five year old.
She’s a sweet handful. So when she gets her dinner plate and sits quietly on the floor and eats everything on her plate, I don’t complain. I leave her there. I can use a good ten to fifteen minutes of calm in my life and I’ll take it any way that I can get it.
So I’m totally okay if my child eats off of the floor. I don’t believe in breaking that natural and unbridled spirit that a child is born with. My daughter is something special, even if she prefers that I serve her meals while she’s sitting on the floor.