Saturday, October 1, 2011

If That Was My Kid........

Another busy day in Lisaland. I am still working on making myself feel physically better. The headache is gone for the most part, but there are still remnants that keep rearing their ugly head and make me cringe thinking that it is going to be back in full force. So just comes and goes.

Well, I was called on the carpet last week by several who felt that I had "woosed" out of ranting. Apparently to full on ranting is not only appreciated but also looked forward to and when I hold back or don't rant....then there is some kind of cosmic disappointment. So not to disappoint is today's rant.

We have all been in a store at some time and heard/seen/and heard some more.....the child who screams incessantly while mom tries to shop. For those without children, you can see the dirty looks given to both child and mom and you can just read the thoughts going through their ever so judgmental minds. "If that was my kid I would........" To them I ask......just WHAT would you do? You have a two year old who decides in the store to suddenly have a melt down because you said "NO!" to soda. You have a weeks worth of groceries to get and you are not relenting on the what do you do? Do you stop the grocery shopping and completely rearrange your already overfilled busy schedule just so you can take your child away from judgmental eyes? Do you give your child the soda so that they now know anytime they want something in public all they have to do is throw a fit and they will get it? Do you pick your child up right there in the store, spank him in front of everyone so that even more judgmental eyes will be on you and yes.....risk having the cops or SRS called for child abuse, you tune your child out knowing that eventually he will tantrum himself out and finish doing what you have to do?

Any parent with kids has experienced a situation such as this and we all know that even the best of kids has a melt down from time to time and they are never in the convenience and privacy of our own home. On the contrary, they are in church just as Father is getting ready to give his sermon and you tell your child he can't jump off the pew, or at the doctors office when your child suddenly realizes where he is at and why, the grocery store where the shelves are filled with lots of goodies and Mom is saying "No!". It is not enough that we have a child who is turning red in the face, screaming and getting louder by the second, but now....we also have at least one pair of eyes on us letting us know that we are quite possibly the worst parents on the planet because our child chose this moment in their presence to become possessed by the terrible two's.

This last week I saw not one....but two cases of this and in both cases a poor mom was obviously made to feel crappy because of intolerance from what sure seemed like people who had never had kids but felt it was their place to judge those that did. The first incidence happened in one of our local grocery stores. I had run there for lunch to pick up a salad. A young mother had her daughter with her and had turned her back to check something out on the shelf. I watched as the little girl became enthralled with something she could not reach so she decided to try and stand up in the child seat. As she started to do this, I began to walk closer in order to catch the little girl or warn the mom or something. Just as the little girl got to full standing the mom turned around and grabbed her. She scolded the little girl and sat her down. The girl then started reaching for what had originally grabbed her end rack with a picture of Barbie on it. The mom said "No!" and immediately the little one burst into loud inconsolable tears screaming "Bobbie! Bobbie! I need's Bobbie!" The mother told her to hush but the little girl was having none of it and the tears and screams continued. Another woman, very well dressed was standing close by trying to read the labels on the boxes she was looking at. The young mother also was trying to read labels giving side glances to the child making sure she was no longer trying to stand. Periodically the child would let out a louder than normal scream for "Bobbie!" and then go back to her sobs and heart broken cries. The well dressed woman you could tell was getting very agitated. Another lady also reading labels parked her basket close by and soon the well dressed lady said very loudly and very rudely......"I need to know which of these has more fiber in them but I can't even hear myself think let alone concentrate on what I am reading. I think I will just be telling the manager I will take my business else where if this place is turning into a ghetto Walmart." The young mother never looked up but turned a bright shade of red as her daughter continued to mourn her lack of Barbie. The other lady looked shocked and walked up to the young mother putting her hand on her arm saying....."I've had kids. I've been there." She smiled at the mother and the little girl who immediately stopped crying with the distraction of this stranger talking to her mother. It was now the rude ladies turn to turn red. She looked at me as if to look for an ali in all of this and I just glared at her. She then swung her basket around and hurried off in the other direction. I smiled at the young mother and her now quiet child and walked off......wondering how some people find it so easy to be so rude?

The other incident happened today. I was actually in Walmart. There was a woman with three kids. One was about two, one was little more than a newborn and one was bout five. The two year old of course was having a major melt down. I could hear the child long before I saw the situation. The child was upset because the new baby was in "his" seat. He wanted to be in the part of the basket that the baby was in. It was pretty obvious that there was a little unrest in this family with the new arrival. The poor mom was trying to calm the uncalmable and even the older brother was trying to distract him, but neither was having any luck. The two year old in his tantrum was hitting the baby seat and the mom was trying to adjust it while keeping the tantruming two year old from falling over the edge of the basket. People were stopping and staring and one lady said loudly to the guy she was with, "Why don't these people keep their crying f***ing kids at home?" But with all the one lifted a finger to help this poor mom. I pulled my basket up next to her (blocking the rude woman in) and asked the mother if I could help her. She looked apologetic and relieved all at the same time. I reached for the baby seat so that she could quiet the two year old and keep him from toppling forward. Much to my surprise, this mom did yank him out of the cart and swatted his behind right there in front of everyone. Immediately there was silence from everyone including the child. She told him she was going to put him back in the cart and he was going to sit down and behave and that was it. He did as he was told. Mom then took the baby seat from me and readjusted it all the while thanking me for my help. The rude lady watching the whole scene said to the guy...."did you see her hit him?" The guy said, "No...I saw her spank him. There is a big difference. And it worked because now he is quiet. "  I turned to the mother and said, "if more parents spanked their kids, I think the world would be a better place." The mom smiled and the lady I had blocked in huffed and shoved my basket so she could get out. Again....what are people thinking?

So I ask those of you who read this. The next time you are in the presence of a child's melt down, first of all....don't just assume it is bad parenting. Kids are kids and even the best parents kids will throw fits from time to time. Second....don't judge. Don't sit there and tell yourself that if it were your kid you would__________, because chances are if it were your would be doing just exactly what that poor parent is doing. You would be wondering how you could shut the child up short of muzzling him/her and wishing that all those judgmental eyes would stop staring. And finally.....if this child annoys you, walk away. If the parent spanks the child.....don't call it abuse (it is actually called discipline). And if the mother looks like she is going to drop the baby in her arms or the two year old is about to topple head first onto the is perfectly okay to step in and help disaster be adverted.

You know it would be great if people remembered that no one is perfect, parenting is tough and sometimes we can all use a little more help and a little less judgment. So there you have it rant for the day. Here is hoping that what is left of your Saturday is wonderful and stress free. Happy Saturday everyone.

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