Sunday, November 5, 2017

Random Compliment... So Appreciated

1 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
We went out for dinner tonight... the Hubs, Baby D and me.

Baby D is always super stoked for the kids' treasure chest at Swiss Chalet because, well, free toys. Or, treasure I guess.

I am a disgusting fiend when it comes to that dipping sauce. I will dip anything and everything in that hot salty bath. It's revolting. I leave a trail of little dipping dishes behind me in disarray. The servers are exhausted from the excessive trips to the kitchen to fill my trough with the sauce. There can often be few survivors in my path.

But I digress.

When we arrived, Baby D was quick to survey the treasure box and to select a pack filled with jewelry. A rainbow bracelet, ill fitting ring, and sticker earrings lit her eyes up as we proceeded to our table. She was quite pleased with her find. I love that I can ask her to go with me and she never hesitates because of that treasure box and the inevitable Skittles delicacy offered at the end of her kid's meal.

She excitedly put on the bracelet and ring while I tried to carefully peel off a pair of sticker earrings from the backing. It was harder than expected, but I didn't back down in the face of adversity. Baby D's puppy dog eyes watched me intently as I painstakingly peeled and scratched. I assumed it meant they had some decent staying power to them at least, so they wouldn't end up in her hair in 2 seconds flat (I was correct, they lasted at LEAST 60 seconds).

She proudly showed off her ears, and we acknowledged their neatness, but also said we love her and she's wonderful with or without decorations on her.

Boring feminist parenting aside: I amp up the importance of superficial things like clothes, hair styles and accessories, jewelry, etc., as being merely decorations on us. They aren't what makes us beautiful, and we aren't better or worse with or without them. Everyone is so quick to praise a young girl and tell her she is SO PRETTY with whatever she has of those things...  I personally think that is bullshit and it encourages and reinforces the idea that she ISN'T pretty and wonderful as her own self, without the glittery shit. People mean well, but it reinforces the having-to-improve-your-looks-to-be-validated stuff that I abhor. And little girls are also so much more than pretty. If you tell my kid she looks incredibly brave, or strong, or powerful - THEN you've won my heart, dear friend. Anyway...

She was quite excited and showed her new earrings and those left on the cardboard backer with the family at the table beside us. The Dad said they were very pretty but that he didn't have any. The Hubs offered him a pair, which he politely declined, then Baby D suggested that the other Daddy go get himself a pair from the treasure chest at the front. He explained he was too old to enjoy the gifts, as they were meant for kids, but we praised her good problem solving skills.

Fast forward near the end of dinner. Baby D was tired, I was oblivious to the time change and realizing it was actually an hour past her bed time, and we were all fading. But dinner went well. We all chatted, reminded her not to talk with a mouth full of food, reminded her that the protein in her chicken strips had to get in her belly before the Skittles could, and all that.

At one point in the meal the neighbouring family was brought an extra sauce of some kind (I was proudly on sauce six. So gross. I know. #sodiumlover), and Baby D proudly said "Hey! I can give them this!" proudly about to share her plum dipping sauce she hadn't used. (My love for Chalet dipping sauce is only surpassed by Baby D's love of ketchup and all vehicles used to get ketchup into her mouth. She comes by it honestly).

We stopped her politely by explaining that it was really nice of her to want to share, but that people that don't know each other generally don't share open food. That it was different from trick-or-treating because people give out sealed food. But I told her it was very kind of her to want to share. She really gets kindness and she genuinely has a good heart. Of all the preschoolers I have met, she's one of the best at peacemaking and sharing toys/food/art supplies, etc.

So we are about to leave and the Dad from the neighbouring table explains he just has to tell me something. I'm hoping that it wasn't that I should be ashamed at the sheer amount of sodium I just rammed in my gullet. It was not. I was so surprised, and touched.

He said that Baby D was so articulate and had such good manners that he wanted to say it was so nice to see. He said he was a police officer and deals with the public all the time. He said he's never seen such an articulate child that is so polite. He said he worries with what he sees today, and that his wife gets embarrassed when he comments to other families, but he just had to let us know. I said she had tried to share her sauce earlier and he said he heard the entire exchange.

I was honestly so touched. People rarely go out of their way to say nice things any more. He could have observed and carried on with his evening. He could have smiled and waved at her. But he let us know that he thought she was wonderful and that he thought we've done a good job teaching her manners. It was just so heartwarming. It made me so proud of her, of the wonderful little person she is, of all she is and all she is becoming. It was small, but at the same time it was huge to hear someone validate my thoughts on Baby D after sitting beside her for an hour and a half.

Anyway, not huge blog material, but just something really special. I'm so proud of her. And not simply because a stranger thinks she's sweet, but because I know she is. She has a good soul and a kind spirit and I always want to do my best to encourage that in her. Reinforce her. Lift her up. When I'm not a tired emotional haggard bitch myself.

Sweet dreams. Time to bloat with all the sodium. And to try not to be a bitch.


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