Mother Hater #1: Construction Worker
We are standing in front of the bagel stand. Phoebz and Lollz have bagels from CBS, I am there to get a donut to try to take care of my nausea (I swear). Lolly decides she wants a bagel from the stand, with cream cheese on it. I say NO, you already have a bagel. So she looks at me and throws hers on the sidewalk.
I tell her that is the only bagel she is getting, so she better pick it up.
Construction Worker (CW) tells her she shouldn't eat that, that I can't let her eat that.
Me: Why, you think it will make her sick?
CW: Yeah, there's Dog Sh#t on the ground and stuff, she can't eat that. (to Lolly) What do you want?
Lol: Bagel with cream cheese?
Me: No, please, she is fine with that bagel.
CW orders her a bagel and cream cheese and then picks out a juice for her.
I SHOULD have walked away. I SHOULD have explained that she deliberately threw her bagel on the ground and this was a lesson in anti-bratism. I SHOULD have, but I didn't because I needed to stand in that line so I could get my donut.
I spoke no further about it to Lolly.
Mother Hater #2: Angry Grandma
Usually when we ride the subway I can tell when my children are bothering another passenger. I try to be sensitive to our surroundings most of the time. I don't plug in my ipod or read my book, I actually parent my children.
Today it was crowded. My kids were getting into each other's business a bit, Lolly screamed a few times. I asked her to please be quiet, and pointed out that people around her were trying to read etc. When they started squabbling a bit, I sat in between them, a tactic I use quite often. As I was sitting down Angry Grandma (AG) shouted in Lolly's face something like: STOP IT!
Not sure the exact words but it didn't matter, her intention was quite clear.
I looked her in the eye and calmly asked if I could help her with something.
AG: You could discipline your kids.
Me: Would you like me to move my daughter so that she is not sitting next to you? (I didn't wait for an answer, just moved her to my other side so that I was sitting right next to AG).
AG continued to page through her paper with very angry, turning-the-page movements.
Me: Are you a mother?
Me: Do you have some tips you could share with me about how I might discipline my children?
AG: You don't INSIST they obey you. (that wasn't advice, that was criticizing me)
Me: How did you insist your children obey? Did you hit them? Put them in timeout?
AG: (now looking me in the eye) I would NEVER hit my children.
I decided it wasn't a good time to share with her that I do spank my children (one in particular guess which?). Instead, I said:
Well, it's a difficult venue, the subway train, so if you have any ideas, I would love to hear.
I made eye contact with a few other passengers who had their eyebrows raised I believe in sympathy for me, Lolly asked if she was in trouble and I just kept staring at AG while she paged and ignored me until she got off the train.
Upon reflection I found it interesting that CW and AG both verbally abused (CW with his language, AG with her rage-in-face) my children, whilst criticizing my parenting, trying to save them from me. I thought both jumped to conclusions so quickly about my skill as parent. I also wished there was an APP for giving an intruding stranger a glimpse into the relevant/current challenges involved in this trio of mother and daughters and how damaging their words might have been to me, say on any given day last year?
It's bothering me enough to buh-log about it, but I am also just in awe at the intrusion today. Kind of reminded me of the guy at Costco that one time.