Tuesday, 3 April 2012

"they" are idiots.

Mike and I were talking about the day we will finally be rid of diapers. Of course that means we will have to potty-train Sam, who currently is only five months old. For obvious reasons I’m dreading that time in our lives. Mike on the other hand, informed me that they say training a boy is much easier than a girl, so we shouldn’t encounter too many issues with our son.

This started an interesting discussion because, based on what I’ve heard, I have always thought the opposite. Obviously girls are easier; it’s boys who will give you trouble. Why you ask? I have absolutely no idea! Why would Mike have assumed one thing, and me the complete opposite?

This got me thinking: who is this “they” everyone casually refers to and what the hell are these “known facts” based on? What do “they" know and, really, who cares what they think? I picture it to be one person, at some point in time, perhaps agreeing with another – and now suddenly whatever they decided on has somehow become a standard. Passed on from generation to generation; inherited like an old family recipe. Either that or one person said it, nine agreed, and now not only is it constantly repeated, but now somehow bears truth.

I then started thinking of all the things “they” say – things that society has just accepted as facts. Like, for instance, “they” say that a good baby will usually result in a bad toddler, and vice-versa. I can’t tell you the number of times that line was delivered to me by a sympathetic voice while my infant daughter had a full on tantrum in public. This almost always happened while surrounded by other mothers who, incidentally, had perfectly calm and collected babies. I would joke that it’s the universe providing balance; the louder Isla screamed, the more peaceful her infant playmates would become. So I suppose if these mothers were right, basically Isla’s temperament would improve with age, and these sweet little angel-babies would transform into monsters. It had to be true – I can’t imagine “they” would lie about something so important.

So, back to my original question: who are “they” and where did they get their facts? If I had to venture a guess, I might assume that these subjective snippets are nothing but old wives tales, based entirely on one’s opinion. For instance, I think baby-talk is stupid. If we’re going to teach our kids how to speak, how about we teach them the right way? That would save a lot of time and confusion later on when they discover that a cookie isn’t a “num-num” (or whatever the case may be). 

 If I can convince one other friend to join me in this ideology, and two other friends perpetuate this as fact (and so on); I think I could possibly become this “they” everyone refers to. Next thing you know, mothers everywhere will be reciting to their mommy-groups that “they” say baby-talk is redundant and confusing to children.

Now here’s an idea: maybe, just maybe, “they” don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Maybe it’s all crap. Maybe every child is different and instead of trying to conform to a social norm(that we aren’t even sure is an actual ‘norm’), we should just let our kids be. Screw ‘them’.

Guaranteed that whatever the topic; there’s little research supporting it. Generally speaking, we tend to not ask questions when it comes to things “they” say. Instead we either take comfort or become anxious, depending on how it affects our current situation. Sam is a good baby; does that mean he’s going to be an awful toddler? Should I worry? Probably not – but I can’t remember what “they” say about worrying.



  1. Yay! Your first comment! I have often wondered who they are as well. They seem to know everything, therefore they are most likely female ;0)

    1. I couldn't agree more, medicgirl! Thanks so much for your comment....I was starting to develop a bit of a complex :)
      To my other readers - I appreciate every visit to my blog and would love to hear your comments!

  2. this is so true and goes way beyond kids. I love when I do something and people say: "you know, they say....."
    WTF?! Do I look like I care about what anyone has to say?????