Monday, August 11, 2014

OMG!! Do Something About Your Child!!

I'm sure we have all had the experience. You are in the check-out of the grocery store, standing in Starbucks waiting for your grande latte or passing by the toy section in Wal-Mart and the incident takes place: the snotty little brat next you starts to throw a tantrum. All I want to do is look that mother in the face and say "OMG! Do something about your child!". Then I do look into her face, see the desperation plastered there, and remember an incident with my own kids when they were young, and my heart softens just a little. Here's my story.

Jess was two, Jeff five. This of course is the perfect age for a young child to understand public etiquette, to be reasonable in every way and to have such a calming effect on a mothers nerves that she is ready to deal with every situation...... ah ya, right! More like little time bombs, ready to explode at any moment, or have their heads start turning on their shoulders as if possessed by some unseen demon only holy water can vanquish. We know it could happen at any time and we are like a child sitting in front of the Jack-in-the-Box just knowing at any minute that damn clown is going to come popping out into our faces. Ya, I would say we mothers are on edge for a good deal of our child's upbringing.

I had been dealing with my little hellions all morning. They were in rare form on this particular day - it was like a shark feeding frenzy and I was the chum. We had a scheduled date at the library for story time in the afternoon, and I thought it might calm them down a bit to have something fun to go do. Story time went lovely, and we were finally starting to have a pleasant day. *Sigh* I digress, the clown popped out of it's box.

I was perusing the isles of books, completely relaxed and enjoying my moment, when I heard on the cusp of my consciousness some laughter and squeals. I tuned it out, as all good mothers become very efficient at doing, and continued my tranquil lingering in the section I had settled on. There it was again, a noise familiar, but just not willing to be allowed into my full awareness. Then it happened - my complete humiliation.

One of the library workers came up to me, sternly pointing in the direction of the noise that I knew to be true but was unwilling to admit, and asked: "Are those your kids?". My shoulders slacked, my head fell and I said yes. "They are disturbing everyone in the library, we have had several complaints, and I am going to have to ask you to leave". That was it, I was the worst mother ever invented. I was one of those mothers. I left the library with tears stinging my eyes, feeling the stares of all those I passed burning a hole into the back of my head. 

Now, when I am frustrated with a kid who is throwing a fit, wishing that their parents would do something, anything to deal with the situation, I remember my own experience 20 years ago and my heart does soften just a little. Being a parent isn't easy and sometimes that little Jack-in-the-box takes you off guard. Give them a minute to gather their wits about them. Yes, there are just some bad parents out there, with even worse parenting skills (I'm not excusing them), but I think most are good, and do their best so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Next time you see the tornado building in the kids next to you, go easy on the parent. It could have just been a bad day and they are doing the best they can. 

picture taken from SAKIDSONTHEGO

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