WARNING: This post can be considered a rant. On some roundabout level, I hope it inspires you to ignore and eradicate stupidity from your life, even if said stupidity is caused by outside forces.
When you’re raising toddlers, stupid is a ‘bad’ word. Lately I’ve started to rethink this.
Just the other day, I caught my almost-2-year-old LilMiss staying “stupid” under her breath for the first time. “Stupid,” her small, lilting voice said as she dragged her blanket through our living room with a crown on her head. I’m not sure what she was frustrated about, but it was totally adorable. Like a good mom I immediately corrected her vocabulary and heard “Oh, that’s not very nice… let’s not say that” shoot out of my mouth like I was reading from a parenting script or something. She just looked at me and went on with her business. I don’t even think she knew what she’d said, she probably said it only because she’d heard me ranting and raving that same word several times last week.
Because let me tell you: Last week was STUPID. That is not an opinion. This is sooooo stupid! How stupid is this? I can’t believe the stupidity. Am I stupid for thinking this is all so stupid? Yes, those are personal quotes. I’m not ashamed.
It may’ve been out of context, but my toddler’s honesty honestly didn’t bother me. She had it right. Last week was STUPID. In my little world, that stupid straw finally broke that stupid camel’s back. None of the issues that got me all fired up had anything to do with what’s really important in the universe (health, family, love, relationships) but I’m almost embarrassed to admit how worked up I got about them. I was furious. Beyond pi$$ed. I let myself get driven so far up that ‘wall’ by outside forces having nothing to do with my family/kids/home, that I really struggled to come back down (still working on the coming back down part a bit I guess). And WHY??!? These things weren’t even worth half-a-brain-cell of frustration.
So I chose to call it out. Over and over, within earshot of my girls (it was a real mother-of-the-year week for me). THIS. IS. SO. STUPID!!!!! They saw me yell at something intangible, they saw me upset at someone invisible, they saw me work through my frustration in front of them (between our happy tea-parties on the kitchen floor, that is). And in a few days I got better.
I wasn’t inhibited for my girls to see me upset… moms are people and people get upset. (I know, hollering the word “stupid” is very immature and probably not the best behavior choice to showcase to toddlers, but sometimes it’s the only thing you know how to do. We’ve all been there.) Why was I so upset? It was the wasted-time factor. Time is valuable, and we all have a finite amount of it. I want to spend my time with my kids. I want to spend my time doing productive work. I want to spend my time aiming for new goals and fulfilling my potential (whatever it may be). I want to spend my time organizing my closet. When stupid things waste my time, I get MAD. The sooner my girls can identify the ‘stupid’ in this world, and learn how to separate from it on a productive level, the better off they’ll be.
Stupid is not a bad word if you’re using it to point out something that doesn’t matter in the long run. Stupid is not a bad word if you’re using it to separate the important from the non-important. Stupid is not a bad word if it’s taking you to a more focused and honest place so that you can regroup, recharge and recover. Stupid things happen in life, and I’m not afraid to identify them out loud so that my girls learn the difference between “stupid” and “non-stupid” when stupid things strike them in the future.
Because, there’s no time for stupidity when you’ve got animals to pile up.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH STUPIDITY AND SET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT?