"He's a screamer."
That was my introduction to my firstborn. The nurse laid him in my arms, tsk-tsking because of all the babies in the nursery (where he'd been swept away to so I could rest after sleepless night and long day of labor), he was the only one dissatisfied with sugar water. "He," she advised in a snarky tone, "knows what he wants and won't accept anything else, just screams all around the nipple." Like knowing the difference between rubber and skin, sweetened water and nourishing breast milk--at the ripe old age of six hours post-birth--was some sort of crime. Twenty-three years later, that "screamer" is a hard-working journeyman carpenter and responsible young man who has owned his own home since he was nineteen because he was dissatisfied with living in other peoples' homes under other peoples' rules. Too bad I was too young and too naive to dismiss the nurse's professional insecurity for what it was, and embrace my child's ferocious independence and solid inner self masked by that temperamental focus; I wasted a good many years trying to discipline it out of him. Thank Dog I failed.
Other things people said to me I wish I had not listened to:
"You can finish college later"
"You should apply"
"But you have a good job!"
"So what do you do all day?" (as a stay-at-home mom)
"You're too easy on them" (my kids)
"It's just a virus"
What words of wisdom do you wish you had ignored? Please share in the comments!