Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Fail Me Now

*Sylas demonstrating proper behavior in public

I have a method to posting on this blog. It is called, "I will not write anything new until I have received ten comments on my last post." It is arbitrary and nonsensical, but it works for me.


I must make an exception to that rule every now and then. But most especially every now.

You see, I am having a crisis that I will call, "What happened to that nice little girl I used to be?" I am feeling snarly and growly and judgmental and mean. And I wonder how charitable I am expected to be? Cause I really just don't have the patience for it sometimes. Plain and simple.

Like tonight at Saylor's gymnastics practice. I already have a little chip on my shoulder about this one parent, because the first week as soon as I arrived, her 4-year old kept running into my ankles (which, I must add, had blisters ALL over them from an ill-fated trip to IKEA in heels) on the car he repeatedly rode down a ramp. She didn't do anything. Then her 15-month old (I overheard her telling someone the ages of her children) screamed non-stop the entire hour. I don't mean scream in the normal sense of the word. I mean stomach-turning, eardrum-bursting, dog-whistle screeching. Just for fun. Let me remind you we were all in a high-ceilinged, echoey gymnasium hallway. Trapped. My ears literally ached when we left. Am I the only one who takes her children out when they are loud? Novel idea!

I avoided further interaction until tonight when, first thing, her kid rammed into my ankle on his car, then swung a yo-yo around and around, making finding a seat precarious business. During the course of thirty minutes, my entire family (I had my two youngest with me) was mowed-down by the car, which was inconvenient enough for me, but which reduced my children to lip-trembling. Whatever. I'm not one to coddle my children. It builds character, right?

But the last straw was when her kid started swinging that blasted yo-yo around again (his mother told him to go up to the top of the ramp to swing it, but instead he wandered over by the other children. Hey, how about telling him to STOP swinging it? Or throwing it in the trash?), and smacked Samera square in the head.

This is where my charity failethed.

The mother told him to tell Samera he was sorry, which he did. Then she mumbled, "sorry," as she walked past. I said nothing. NOTHING. Am I the biggest jerk in the world? I think I might be! I had to bite my tongue not to say, "Oh, it's fine. Don't worry about it." Cause that's what I ALWAYS say. But I'm sick of always being fine.

What's come over me?

And now for the rant I had in my head, but can only now vent:

Ya know, if you want to Positively Parent your children, be my guest! But do it at home. Is it asking too much to teach them to be polite? To be somewhat aware and respectful of other people? Lady, we all have kids. I have a hard enough time thinking my own are cute and funny. What makes you think I have any patience left for your kids? I SHOULD, but I just don't. I know that I SHOULD have charity. That I SHOULD give you the benefit of the doubt, like maybe you're doing the best you can, and you just have your hands full. Cause, after all, we're both women and we shouldn't judge one another, but SHOULD support each other and all that bullcrap. Well, Sweety, I draw the line at letting my kids bug perfect strangers. It's not a rocket ship - all you have to do is say, "NO!" and mean it. While my children will probably grow up less confident in themselves than yours, at least they won't bother people. Which, quite frankly, is an attractive attribute in my book.

And now I'm finished. And I hope I didn't offend anyone. But if I did, then you should probably quit letting your kids run amok in public.

p.s. I'm no perfect parent. In fact, I am not even a GOOD parent. But some things just seem so obvious. Am I right? Or am I just a snob? You watch. Next post will be me eating my words. Can't wait!


Nicole said...

No way Andrea, do NOT delete this blog! I feel ya! Only I can say "NO" to my kids and mean it and they still don't care. So basically we go nowhere. Maybe they will learn. I feel so embarrassed sometimes. And I feel ya on EVERY other point!

sharlee said...

You ARE right and I've had situations very similar. And it's o.k. not to be polite when politeness isn't deserved. Maybe if you'd have given her the evil eye, too, she would watch her kids next time. Sorry for your frustration.

Tigerlilly said...

I've noticed that too.

Do you remember when you were little and ANY other parent (or adult) could tell you what to do? You were scared of being a snot in front of ANY adult!

But now, if you tell someone else's kid what to do, YOU get in trouble. Even if you're trying to keep the little twerp from jumping off a cliff. The parent feels somehow threatened or something, I don't know.

I don't think there's such thing as a "perfect parent," though. But I do think that some parents are more aware than others. This woman may just be out of touch and not realize that her kids are being so obnoxious, because they are like that all the time around her. Maybe she really is doing all she knows how to do, poor dear.

Parley and Anna and family! said...

amen. Amen. AMEN! I have been feeling many of the same frustrations lately; it was nice to hear (read) that someone else feels the same way.

Mardee Rae said...

You know what I thought while reading? I got to the line that went something like this: "and you know what I said, I said NOTHING". And I thought: "Wow--she really is charitable." I really didn't see where you were going with it because I was just thinking, "how nice of her to not make a snarky comment to that woman". I hope that made sense.
But I'm with Nicole. If I want my kids to know that I really mean no when I say no, I have to say it in a way that would cause someone within earshot to call animal services about the wild bear that is in the neighborhood. But I am certainly not afraid to take a toy away when they are using it to irritate or injure strangers. I like your rants.

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

I thought I read "I don't write another blog post until I read the 10 commandments". I had re-read that sentence at least three times. My brain is dead.

I am sorry Andrea. This makes my blood boil! I don't know what I would have done in your situation. Turning the other cheek isn't always fun.

Emily said...

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Which is what you did, so no worries about being rude. Rude would be to grab the yo-yo & throw it away yourself. Rude, but effective.

My biggest pet peave is when other parents/adults talk to my kids instead of to me. Like at the store when they're hanging out of the grocery cart. "Little girl, sit down, you don't want to fall out!" I don't know why it bugs me so bad, but I wish they would have the guts to tell ME to take care of my own kid, not try to tell my 4 year old, whom I have taught not to talk to strangers, what to do. Now, if my kid were swinginga yo-yo at them, then they'd have a right to say something.

Hope you don't mind me writing an essay on my pet peaves on your blog. :)

Christy said...

oh Andrea, if I were in that situation I probably would have said something like, "Lady, your kid just smack my child in the head with that thing. He should NOT be swinging that around or you will be paying my hospital bill. thanks."

You did the charitable thing, you maybe didn't feel charitable inside, but it's hard too when some parents just don't get it.

I have a friend, who, I love dearly, but her kid is wild. Just wild. He jumps on furniture, throws toys at others, hits, kicks and she doesn't do a thing about it! Just says to me, "that's a boy for ya!"

hello?-!!! Crazy I think.

Amber said...

Other people's kids are dumb. If I don't know you, just automatically assume I hate your kids. It's mean. It's harsh. But it's reality. There are days I can barely stand my kids, so tolerance for someone I do not know or love is very minimal. As far as parenting, I try not to over-parent and give them freedom to make their own choices as long as those choices NEVER involve annoying or hurting others around them. I think that strikes a good balance. But the second they cross that line they will be hearing from me.

And if I would have been in the same situation I would have kindly gone up to the mother the first time I saw her child swinging a yo-yo so close to me and asked her if my daughter could perhaps borrow her child's yo-yo so she too could use it as a weapon. You were WAY too mice.

Paige of Pearls said...

Andrea, I'm going to post the tenth comment so that you can put another blog post on here that makes me laugh aloud.

I totally understand this dumb situation! It's a big challenge as a mom to get your own kids to behave themselves in public, and it's tough to know what to do when you see other kids misbehaving as their parents look on idly. I'm bad at expressing myself in such situations. I bet if I saw a kid swinging a yo-yo around, dangerously close to my kid, I would try to distract the kid by telling him I could show him the RIGHT way to use a yo-yo, or one of my kids could show him how. That might get his mom's attention if she didn't like me talking to her kid. But at least if she felt uncomfortable, her attention might be drawn to what her kid is doing. If it was my kid swinging a yo-yo around, however, that yo-yo would be snuffed out so fast that nobody would know where it went. Kids should be allowed to be themselves, but just like adults, if it bothers someone else, it needs to stop. Thanks for sharing your venting! It was great! Perfectly worded!

T-licious D-zire and C-hillins said...

I totally feel like I'm reading my own blog! Remember my recent rant of undisciplined/unattended to children? I experience this kind of thing WAY too often in my life. And I agree that you were not mean at all....not at all. I feel like I never stick up for myself, or my kids, and am just too quiet and nice.....but I'm getting fed up and I guarantee you I would have taken that yoyo from him, politely, and told him he could have it back once he made things right with those he hurt/scared, and promised to only use it in the correct way. The look in my eye probably could've caused him to wet his pants tho lol. So let me just praise you for raising your children right, and biting your tongue when the lazy people around you don't.

sharlee said...

Okay, 11 comments....where's your next post?

Heidi said...

you make me laugh so hard. you are an awesome mom. i wish we had gotten to know eachother better, but frankly, I was intimidated by the "perfect mom" appeal you have. Seriously, you are a great person. Just start thinking what dangerous toys your kid can take next time. Please tell Ginger hi for us. meggan misses gym.

Lena said...

Parenting is the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. I am currently bungling the job so badly that I really fear my children will be permanently scarred, not to mention unskilled at contributing to society. I need a good parenting class.

Jordan said...

Okay, so I thought you were gonna be proud of yourself for not spouting off some rude passive/agressive response, but instead, you thought you were rude for not saying anything at her attempt of an apology. That in itself tells me you really are a very nice, not rude person. Good for you; someday I may have that kind nature, but not anytime soon.

Matheson said...

LOL! I've been there too. I feel I'm always saying "it's fine" and really mean "get your kid away from us". I took a stand once and the mother hasn't spoken to me since. Ha ha!

Amber said...

Um, please, pretty please use that title. I almost felt shameful using it for such a short post and you need to do it justice. I was looking through my pic files in search of a picture of Cora for that post and I stumbled upon that second one and that was my first thought. She looks so little and pure and I wanted her to stay gold forever and not let the world wreck her. Sadly, there are very few who will understand all of that from just reading my title. I knew you would be one of them (if not the only one).

Lena said...

Andrea, I was trying really hard to not sound like the pathetically depressed and frustrated mother that I was! Thanks for seeing through it and leaving your best ever comment #2!

Maybe nicknames are part of our gene pool (first the prego sickies and now nicknames--what kind of gene pool is this?) because I have a terrible issue with it as well! I have probably offended many people by calling them or their child a nickname!

The Kelly Variety said...

Lena told me to go to your blog because I would like it. She was right I do. I wish I was that perfect parent with those perfect kids so we could be translated and not have to deal with those "other" parents/kids!

T-licious D-zire and C-hillins said...

It was so good to see you tooooo!! You are such a cutie! I am so excited for these get togethers to be set up yearly! Hopefully it will be a bit warmer :) Thanks for doing the thing.....ummm spread the word thingy lol :) You're awesome! oh and you're well beyond 10 comments ;)

Christy said...

just waiting for the next grand post...please don't keep us waiting long! ;)