Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beware of Tipsy Lady Touting Parenting Advice

I don't drink as much as I used to, but when I do I am happy to give anyone and everyone parenting advice. This results in a very hungover and embarrassed me slinking over to a very amused veteran parent later the next morning and offering my apologies for my well-intentioned and fully inappropriate words of wisdom.

We love to camp with other families, we make a point of doing it as much as we can and we especially love to camp with a particular group of friends. All of the dads (and non-dads) are work friends of the husband, we have known them for not quite a decade, before most of us had babies. All of the moms (and one mama-to-be) are awesome women who are lovely to hang out with-- so lovely in fact, when I'm with them I don't find myself with the familiar thought "I *need* that glass of wine"... but drinking wine with them is also fun.

The first time we had been around this group of friends after the little one arrived, I was incredibly excited to have a few drinks, hang out around the campfire, and share the latest of what life had offered up for us. In reality, I found myself having a few drinks, hanging out around the campfire, and sharing ALL OF MY AMAZING TIMELESS PARENTAL WISDOM that had been provided by my many decades four and a half months of parenting. 

Two glasses in, I decided the ice was broken and it was time to educate another parent. Of course, I chose to go for not just any parent, but the most sage parent at the campfire that evening. As the newest parent, I clearly had more knowledge than he about how to parent his (super neat, and going-to-be an amazing babysitter) eleven-year-old daughter. Yes, you may now cringe. Cringe like you know exactly how obnoxious I was-- 'cause I was most definitely worse than that. 

The best thing about this dad friend was he just laughed at me, then, and the next morning when I mumbled my apologies with the reddened cheeks of embarrassment. I like to think he knows me well enough to know that I think he's great and I cannot wit until his daughter is old enough to really babysit, because she loves my daughter like a little sister already. But, even if he doesn't know me well enough to know I was just drunkenly rambling through my verbal vomit that evening, he is cool enough and wise enough NOT to listen to me. 

Thus, I learned a couple of valuable lessons after my camping/parenting faux pas: 
1) Shut up when it comes to other people's kids (unless it's going to harm someone, especially my kid).
2) Just laugh at other people who are full of BS when they try to tell you how to parent (unless they're not full of BS, then you can listen to them as much as you like). 

What sorts of embarrassing parenting blunders have you made? Have you ever had to listen to someone else try to tell you how to parent while you just laughed?

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