Are you the proud parent of a wild child, a mini Tasmanian devil in diapers… a ‘terrible twos’ or ‘ferocious fours’ survivor?
If any or ALL of the above apply, you and Mary Katherine Backstrom may just be spirit animal mamas. You are one of a tribe of many who is the caretaker of what the mommy blogger calls a “feral child.”
While by technical definition, “feral” implies that the child has lived isolated from human contact, Backstrom argues that some children are just born feral — and regardless of what Mr. or Mrs. Know-It-All down the street may tell you, they can NOT be tamed.
As the parent of an adorably wild and total terror of a 3-year-old, Backstrom is all too aware of this reality.
In a viral Facebook post, she decided to share a few bits of wisdom about raising ferals that have all the mamas of strong-willed and free-spirited kiddos cheering “AMEN.”
Read it in full below:
“Some children are just born feral.
Parents can potty train and sleep train and teach manners until their brains are about to explode, but there are some children who, for some reason God only knows, can’t be tamed.
They are the kids who pull their diapers off and paint the house with their own poop.
They are the kids who eat dead bugs off the floor and shove TNT snap-n-pops into their ear canals.
They are the kids who meet your emergency room deductible by February.
They are the kids who are responsible for your forehead wrinkles and every, single gray hair.
They play too close to the water, run through the hallways with forks, and somehow (like really, HOW?) climb the fireplace mantle.
Like I said, some children are just born feral.
So what should parents do with these tiny little wildebeests?
Society certainly has opinions. Experts have their theories. Authors have their books. Pharmacies have their pharms.
Little old ladies are gonna stop and shake their heads and their long wrinkled fingers, because they think they know.
But, parents, listen to me right now because I’m gonna save you some serious heartache and stress:
NOTHING 👏 IS 👏 GONNA 👏 TAME 👏 A 👏FERAL 👏 BORN 👏 CHILD
So cover your electric outlets with plastic plugs and anchor your furniture to the floor. Hide your batteries on the highest shelf and lower that crib mattress a little more.
Hide your pets, put your forks and knives in a secret drawer (Then maybe move them once a week, just to be safe.)
Because you aren’t going to tame that feral child. Best you can hope for is to simply survive them.
And if some Know-It-All wants to tell you otherwise, you go find them a drunk and hungry hyena. Shove it into some Doc McStuffins pull-ups, and drop it off at that Know-It-All’s house.
Tell them it likes to eat broccoli and really needs a bath.
Then go back in 24 hours and see how confident Mr. Know It All still feels about parenting your feral born child.
Now it’s true that parents of feral children are tired. Our hair is all frazzled and our houses falling apart brick by brick. We have long since given up on trying to impress the world with our awesome, awesome parenting skills.
We are okay with the fact that our child is wild. We are okay with the mess and the noise.
Believe it or not, we even RELISH IT.
(A little bit.)
Because only a feral child can teach you to see the world through an unfiltered lens. Only a feral child can see a world of adventure in 1/8 acre flat, grassy lawn. Only a wild, unadulterated spirit knows the joy of streaking through the house after a bath, screaming like a banshee and feeling the wind on their buck naked skin.
It’s a little crazy, but let’s be honest: it’s pretty freaking fun.
Some children are just born feral. It’s true.
The sooner we accept that, the better off we will be. And just a thought, but maybe…just maybe
We have a little bit to learn from these wild at heart, freedom-filled, life-relishing little humans.”