These posts where I have to talk about myself are hard for me. I don't want to come across like I am bragging or like I am totally awesome, but this time I totally AM. People CONSTANTLY compliment me on my children.
Yup, I have perfect kids!
In all seriousness, it is true, complete strangers come up to me all the time in restaurants, at the grocery store, at the coffee shop etc... and tell me either that my children are gorgeous (why, yes, yes they are!) and/or that they are so well-behaved.
I think the reason my kids are so well-behaved all the time (okay, let's just be realistic and say it is about 92.7% of the time) is because they have always come with us everywhere. We went our for dinner when C was about 5 weeks old and since then we have simply always taken our kids with us wherever we went.
I don't think it was a conscious decision that we made, it just was how it had to be. We did not want to leave our kids with anyone else or we could not leave them because someone was always nursing. So, they came with us everywhere.
I also think this is important for kids. They need to go to the grocery store, to restaurants, to weddings, on planes and anywhere else you go. They learn from each and every one of these experiences. They learn proper behaviour and these daily life experiences can provide you with incredible teaching moments as well.
I am sure people must think I am a crazy woman when I go grocery shopping with the kids. Even when they were babies I would talk to them the whole time, going through the store and our list and rattling off all the names of every fruit and vegetable and box we passed.
At restaurants it is the same thing. We bring the kids some activities, we let them choose their meals and we show them by example how to behave in public. And invariably, wherever we are, someone will always come up to us as we are leaving and tell us how well-behaved and beautiful our kids are.
The best compliment we got was in Maui last year. We were eating dinner at the fabulous Mama's Fish House in Paia and little did we know, but the Mama herself, the matriarch of the founding Christenson family was sitting just a table away from us. She stopped by our table after she had finished her meal and told us that in the 30 years that she has been in the restaurant business she has never seen two more well-behaved young children!! It was the highlight of an already amazing night and meal! (You really have to eat there if you ever get to Maui!)
Babywearing has been a big part of how easy it is to take my kids with me everywhere we go. That and breastfeeding. And babywearing and breastfeeding at the same time. I can't count how many times I have been walking around the mall with a baby in a carrier and on the boob at the same time and no one was the wiser!
Don't be afraid to get out with your babies. Teach them about their world, expose them to different situations and provide them with the example they need to know how to behave. And having a good baby carrier while you are doing all of this is not a bad idea either!!
So yeah, I am bragging a bit. I have me some good kids. And I know this because everyone keeps telling me so!!