This is a snippet of a conversation I overheard between Cora and another girl (about 5) at the library. They are working on a wood puzzle of a kitty. Cora started it and the other girl showed up in the middle.
"I can help you!" Other girl says.
"You have a pony tail! I like ponys." Says Cora ignoring the offer for help.
"I'm Anna. Whats your name?" says Anna.
"I am called Cora. Oh look here is the tail." They work on the puzzle for a bit, and I emerge from the stacks with nyobi in the stroller.
"Thats my Mommy." Cora says proudly, "and thats Nyobi."
"My Mommy told me not to talk to strangers, they might be bad people. We shouldn't talk to strangers." Anna tells her, peering at me as I try desperately not to laugh and to continue searching for books as normal.
"My Mommy yells alot and drinks coffee. She's a good mommy!" Cora exclaims.
So, now I have the confirmation I never thought I would get. I am a good Mommy. Of course, there is this tingling sensation in the back of my mind that perhaps I do not want to be thought of as a good Mom for my vocal demonstrations or beverage choice. Why do they chose those items instead of the cooks fabulous food, reads to me, hugs me, or takes me cool places?
Maybe when it is all totaled up, the yelling IS important. Sometimes I think the worst thing a parent can do is NOT set reasonable boundaries for their children, or not enforce them. Its physically dangerous, but it is also psycologically dangerous as well. Whether we like it or not, our world comes with laws. Laws are limits. If, as a child we never learn that there are limits, we will be unprepared to face the adult world ahead of us.
Excuse me. I have to go drink coffee and kick two troublemakers out of the bathroom. This time I am going to try and moderate my tone. Maybe next introduction I will be "talks through her teeth and drinks coffee."