I'd like to think that after parenting for almost nine years now, I've grown a pretty thick skin, but then it happens and I just want to go over to the stupid TSA lady and her mean glare to tell her why my 2-year old is still drinking out of a bottle.
As if she really gives a shit. Or if I really give a shit.
At least it wasn't a bottle of Jack.
I'm the first to admit that I've dished out my own fair share of judgments, in weird glances and snooty blog posts, because I'm human and I hate spanking and kid leashes and babies drinking Coke out of their bottles and WHY JUST WHY?
But I also know that parents have reasons for doing most of what they do, at least I try to tell myself that anyway, and that the kid with the leash might have a disability and the baby drinking Coke might... yeah, sorry, I can't think of a good reason for that one.
Doesn't get enough sugar and sleeps too much?
Hey, I tried.
So I hope that other parents will offer the same courtesy to me when my 2-year old walks through the airport with a bottle of almond milk becauase that is how she takes a nap and goes to sleep at night and I like sleep and I had three non-sleepers who wouldn't take a bottle and ... you get the picture.
If it makes a difference to you, she only drinks milk from it. Not Coke.
See the whole thing about parenting is that it's a collection of moments made up of things we thought we'd never do. Ever.
We pick up their chewed food and we wash poop off their butt with our bare-ass hands and it's all crazy.
So are we really in the position to look at a mom of a toddler with a bottle and be all "WTF HOW COULD YOU LET HER DRINK FROM THE BOTTLE AFTER THE AGE OF 1!" or whatever the age is.
I haven't checked my baby manual lately.
I'd say that if we took the time to stop and ask the parent giving their kid the gigantic bag of jelly beans at 8am and got the full story, the one where the kid wouldn't put his pants or shoes on and the mom (or dad) had to get out of the house for an appointment and she was like "OH JUST TAKE THE JELLY BEANS FOR GOD SAKES!"
Then we'd totally get it and laugh and maybe even be BFFs.
That is until she pulled out the bottle full of coke.
My point: Just because you *think* you'd never do it doesn't mean you'll never do it. If there's anything I've learned about being a parent, never ever say never.