I was sitting in Parents’ Discussion Group at the pre-school last week, mildly enjoying the chit-chat and very much enjoying the coffee cake. We were discussing what is most challenging about parenting a three-year-old. Different things were brought up by different people, and I listened and nodded to these comments, but not really paying too much attention to them. I’ve been at this parenting thing for fourteen years now and I feel I have a pretty good handle on the little one. She tosses me some surprises sometimes, but for the most part, I feel confident about what we’re doing with her. I’ve moved past a lot of the typical issues regarding this pre-school age, because I’m not at all worried about how to progress with my little one or how to deal with her difficult behaviors when they come up. For a lot of the mothers in this group, their three-year-old is their oldest child, so these things are all new to them. I know they get tired of my advice and know-it-all lectures about how their kids are normal and will grow out of this stage, so a lot of the time I keep quiet and eat the cookies or brownies or coffee cake. I tend to tune in and out to the conversations make grocery lists in my head, or think about what we might want for lunch, or write blog entries to put on paper later.
“Yeah, Babywise, that’s the book! By Ezzo! You have GOT to get that book!” One mother squealed.
I whipped my head around to see who said that. Who was it that recommended Ezzo to another mother, out in public?
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I think the piece of pastry I was chewing actually fell out of my open mouth, bounced off my thigh and fell onto the floor. It was her? I like her! She’s an Ezzo follower? No! I could not have been more surprised if this mother had shouted “Heil Hitler,” or passed around snapshots of her kids dressed as Klansmen, or pulled up her sleeve to reveal the mark of a Death Eater magically etched into her arm. Ezzo?
Another mother chimed in favorably about his advice. The group facilitator looked a little alarmed, but then said she’d never heard of him. I studied her face to see if she was maybe lying and pleaded ignorance to get out of having to tangle herself up in this. A couple other mothers squirmed uncomfortably in their chairs, but most of the moms had not heard of Ezzo, so the two moms enthusiastically highlighted some of his ideas, but of course, putting a spin on them to make them seem not at all crazy or maybe dangerous.
I really have put all the infant care stuff behind me. I’m not at all interested in debating breast or bottle (although I do tend to root for the underdog), nor am I interested in circumcision discussions or attachment parenting or cloth diapers. It’s all long past now. I still have some opinions, but really they’re old and irrelevant to the life we’re leading now. But, Ezzo? I just can’t move on from that.
I went from feeling horrified to just disappointed. I liked this woman, but just like if she were a Nazi or belonged to the KKK or faithfully awaited the reincarnation of Lord Voldemort, I find this particular belief system hard to overlook. I realize that maybe some of the people I like and respect most are former Ezzo followers, I mean anything’s possible. But, I don’t know that about them, and apparently that makes all the difference.
Are there any deal breakers for you? Any as maybe irrational as this? Is there anything that someone has believed in that you found you just could not overlook in forming a friendship with them?
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