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“For the longest time it was impossible to calm her down.  She…


“For the longest time it was impossible to calm her down.  She was a baby you always had to carry.  She hated the stroller.  She hated the car seat.  She’d scream for the entire journey.  On the bus people would always stare at us.  I tried not to pay attention, but whenever somebody expressed concern, I’d immediately pick her up.  I knew that she was perfectly fine.  But I was afraid of how it seemed.  So I always gave in, and I sustained the behavior.  Toddlers are really smart, especially Fate.  So she learned that if she kept pushing, eventually she’d get her way.  It wore us down.  My husband and I were so tired.  And eventually we had to say: ‘It stops here.’  The stroller was the hardest, because the rest you don’t do in public.  I took her to the supermarket shortly after we made the decision.  And she was screaming.  I kept my calm.  I was wearing my headphones.  But after a few minutes, a woman came charging up to me.  She yanked my headphones out of my ear.  She started yelling at me.  ‘I’ve been watching you for fifteen minutes,’ she said.  ‘Why don’t you talk to her?  Why don’t you pick her up?’  Before that moment, I’d always suspected people were judging me.  But it was the first time anyone had spoken up.  And honestly, it was the moment I stopped caring about what others think.  It’s my daughter.  I know that she’s safe.  I know that she’s OK.  I’m preparing her to live.  To be a fruitful adult.  And life isn’t about getting what you want.”
(Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

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