Today, while in town, I made the decision to leave the stroller in the car and go for a walk down the street with Macie. I figured she would hold my hand and it would be so sweet that eventually we would break into a skip and sing a happy tune. Instead, I found myself begging for her to hold my hand and being hit with the reply of a very stubborn yet definite answer of "Noooo" - preferring to throw herself on the pavement and create a scene....instead of simply holding her Mummy's hand.
It's these moments where you know you have many pairs of eyes watching you, many opinions flying around about my way of parenting and many little whispers. It is these moments where I whip Macie up in my arms with a smile on my face and walk briskly away from the situation - praying that the majority of people looking were parents who could sympathise. However today, instead of parents, there was a lovely table of old ladies who were only too willing to stop me to let me know that I didn't do the right thing in this particular situation....apparently I shouldn't have picked her up and given her a kiss.....because "that is what she wanted".
Silly me.....giving my child the kiss and cuddle that she wanted.
I don't own one single book on "Parenting a Toddler"......the professionals contradict themselves - and place far too much pressure on parents in general. Not one parenting book comes without ridicule or threats that that style of parenting will scar their kids for life - and I would be sure to say, that not one parenting book comes with a 100% guarantee.
Macie is made to be spirited, fun-loving, adventurous and mischievous. It's us - the parents - who simply need to guide her, enforce boundaries and provide her with endless love and kisses. My style of parenting is giving Macie opportunities to be independent - for instance - walking (potentially skipping) down the street without the restraints of a stroller....and if she doesn't want to do it according to the rules...then it's a matter of picking her up with a kiss and a smile....and not encouraging the tantrums on the pavement with old grannies as her audience.
I may be doing it all wrong - but all I know is that I am doing it - I am being the best mum I can be and most importantly, I love it. Although there are days where the boundaries are pushed and the tantrums are plenty - there are also days where the giggles are endless and the cuddles are handed out in bucket-loads.
It's those days where my heart fills with confidence that our beautiful, spirited, stubborn and gorgeous little Macie will grow to be something extraordinary....and I will continue to feel so utterly honoured to be her Mama and share her special journey....
...and one day when I am the old granny sitting and watching the young parents down the street - I will be sure to stop them and tell them that "They are doing a great job".....because that is all they need to hear.