"These kids are driving me crazy." I wanted to say: So sit your little speed racer in a seat and tell her not to get up and put cranky pants on your shoulder and walk with him. Instead.....I just smiled and tried to go back to my "non" texting. She was having none of that. And so she continued. "You know.....I don't believe in spanking or raising my voice to my children. I believe in giving them space and letting them learn from experience. You know, my mother was always yelling at me, making me do chores and yes.....even spanking me." She paused looking at me for a reaction to this shocking proclamation that she had actually been spanked as a child. I glanced at her sideways widening my eyes which she took as shock but what they actually meant was "Why are you still talking to me?" Once she felt that I had given her story the proper facial expression, she continued on. "And you know my mother was so lame, I had a curfew....midnight if you can believe that? And it took nothing for my mother to ground me. You know once she grounded me for telling a little white lie? I told her I was going to spend the night at my friends house, but actually I went to my boyfriends house.....her daddy," and she pointed at speed racer who was now trying to shimmy up the reception desk and grab the receptionists clip board. Without taking so much as a breath she continued on, "Can you believe that. One little fib and I ended up grounded for two whole weeks. And then she caught him in my room after he had snuck in one night. That's right....I was grounded another two weeks. Man how lame! I am never going to do that to my kids. I am going to be a cool mom. They are going to have co-ed sleep overs and when they are 16 I am going to buy them beer and let them party at my house and I am going to trust them enough that I am not going to give them a stupid curfew or have a cow because they want to hook up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Nope.....I am not going to make the same mistakes my mom did." And she stopped.
"Do you have kids?" she continued on at break neck speed apparently oblivious to both of her children. "I bet you do and I bet they think you are cool. I bet you never spanked your kids or yelled at them or grounded them for stupid stuff. You understand what I am saying though don't you? You understand that some things are just not cool to do to your kids and my mom did them all. So like I said, I am not going to make the same mistakes that she did." And then she looked at me and said "Right?" as if she needed me to confirm her last statement.
Okay...speaking of no filters, mine it seemed had hit its limit. I had heard just about enough and between her overly exhausted baby, her inexhaustible two year old and her incessant yammering about how awful her mother was....I could hold back no more and so the conversation went something like this: "Will you make the same mistakes your mom did? Absolutely not, because you will be way too busy making your own. And if you are just the teensiest bit lucky, through all those groundings, curfews, raised voices and spankings....yes I said spankings, maybe you just might have learned something. And I hope for your kids sakes, by the time they are old enough to have chores, curfews and be hooking up.....that you have matured to the point that you realize that your kids don't want a "cool" mom. They want a "real" mom. They want someone who tells them to clean their room, be in by midnight and stay away from that boy because he does only want one thing." Without a breath I continued on, "And further more, it sounds like your mom was the real deal and you better get down on your knees every night and thank God that you had a mother that cared so much for you and whether you know it or not.....taught you all the skills you need to be a damn good mom yourself. Now go pull your child off the x-ray techs leg and rock that tired baby to sleep." As I finished my last words to her, her face was ashen and the older woman whom speed racer mistook for preggers yelled out "Amen....you tell her how it is sista!" I was a bit embarrassed at this point as all eyes were on me, including those of the tech who had come out to call my name and had been attacked by the two year old whirlwind. I started to turn to the young woman and apologize for my out burst....but as I turned to her, I saw that she had already grabbed speed racer and plunked her down in the chair next to her with a stern warning to sit still!....and now she was holding her little guy close obviously trying to sooth his exhaustion. She didn't look up as I walked back for my test and during the test (about 45 min.) the whole scene played in my head and I felt really bad about going off on the young girl like I did. Maybe it was because I was already in an anxious mood over the test, or maybe it was because I just don't seem to be able to hold my tongue very well anymore, or maybe....and I think this was probably it....I hate to hear someone who has barely lived sit and talk negatively about a parent who has spent this child's entire life trying to make them the best they can be. Whatever the case....I wished that I had gone with the old adage....if you can't say something nice....don't say anything at all!
After my test, I walked back out into an almost empty waiting room. As I was checking out with the receptionist she said, "I heard what you said to that girl and it must have hit a nerve." I was a bit perplexed as she continued on...."She sat right there," pointing to the seat the girl had occupied, "and she didn't let that little girl get up again. She held that baby and he went right to sleep and she didn't say another word to anyone. So thank you. You just said what we were all thinking."
Hope your Friday is the perfect ending to a perfect week!