Got a piece of candy or a friendly smile? You're in.
As mom, on the other hand, I can smile at them all I want and I'm still a cruel obstacle lying in their path, blocking them from all the fun they could be having should I just let them take over. Why won't I give up that control. Clearly, I'm some sort of meany-pants jerkface, and I can just keep my smile to myself. Bribing them with candy? Well, they'll accept the sweet, but they'll side-eye me, letting me know that the perilous truce we have forged for that day is not solidified by my gift.
Other people though? They've firstly got the huge advantage of not being mom, which in my toddlers' eyes makes them automatically amazing. Obviously these strangers have stepped into our lives bearing sunshine and unicorns and must be treated with affection, trust and respect.
"I love you," Lilly said to her preschool teacher the other day. Haha, one day is all it took.
This weekend, Dulce asked me where her other mommy was when I gave her a juice box. (Tracey, she was talking about you!)
They're constantly asking about their babysitter, their neighbors, my friends that we sometimes see, even the woman with the dog that waves to us from across the community lot.
This doesn't bother me in the slightest, other than forcing me to be on my toes so the kids don't wander off with the first friendly stranger they see, and making sure my toddlers' advances don't make a poor, unsuspecting soul uncomfortable in any way.
I enjoy that even though we've not been the most outgoing of families thus far, my kids are naturally social. And even if I'm labeled the bad guy most of the time, at least their attention to others takes the onus off me for a minute and allows everyone a bit of distraction from their unfair lives.
If the kids want to flirt coyly with the couple eating dinner right behind us at TGI Fridays, that's two fewer minutes I have to spend reprimanding them or redirecting them. Everybody wins.
Except, of course, my poor mistreated toddlers who will likely be forced to go to bed at a reasonable hour after dinner is over. Alas, if only they could be with any one of those lovely strangers they saw on the way to the car. Surely those people would understand.
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