Monday, September 6, 2010

Somewhere in Minnetonka...

...an angry mommy is telling all her friends what an asshole I am. Why? Let me tell you why.

This morning, I'm trying to find a parking spot in the Barnes & Noble / Target parking lot and there were precious few. So, I turned the corner into a new row and see not one but two spots, one each on either side of a mini-van. I see that all four doors are open. On one side is a 12 -13 year old girl assisting a younger sibling in to a car seat. On the other side, the mom is helping another child in to a car seat. No problem, I can wait for that. Shortly, mom is done and hops into the front seat, but doesn't close her door, blocking that side of the van.

Then, 12-13 year old daughter finishes with the car seat business, shuts the back door and proceeds to stand by the front seat where she starts very slowly picking french fries off her seat one by one, and dropping them gingerly into the parking lot. Meanwhile, mom still has her damn door open. So, I make a move to begin pulling in to the parking spot next to the daughter, thinking this might prompt her to pick up the pace or just sweep the fries on to the floor of the van (it was no prize, it could have been done), shut her door and let the nice man in the SUV have his parking spot. Oh no, daughter looks at me, then goes back to slowly picking french fries off her seat.

So, here's where it gets interesting. While the slow french fry picker is trying her damnedest to ignore me, I tap the horn. No, I did not lay on the horn, I tapped it to get the daughter's attention. She looked at me and I gave her a questioning look that communicated nicely "Can I have this spot now?" Well, that didn't go over well with mommy because mommy jumped out of her seat, rushed to my window and screamed "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! THERE ARE CHILDREN!!!" I calmly but firmly replied "Well, what is wrong is that you are taking up three parking spots between your van and your open doors and neither you or your daughter appear to be courteous enough to share the two that are not occupied by your van." Mommy then did the dumbest thing I've ever seen. She ran to her daughter's side, put her arm around her and looked at me as if to say "See the injury you've inflicted? Poor child." At this point, I shook my head, rolled my eyes at her and gave a low finger out of her eye sight, and took off to hunt for another parking spot, which I found eventually.

This only fueled my long standing opinion that many parents lose their minds at the first sight of their child wet and squirming from the womb and become over-indulgent nut bags for the next 30 -40 years. This is not all parents, mind you. In fact, most parents that I'm acquainted with would have told the slow french fry plucking daughter to hurry her ass up and get in the car and give the nice man his parking spot.

As someone who has chosen not to have children (it would ruin my hips), I am still able to appreciate and respect the desire of those who want children. I also understand completely that parenting is demanding. And of course I believe the children are our future. La la la. However, there are still a few ground rules for parents to follow around those who are not:
1. Your baby stroller does not have the right of way. It would be nice if you pushed it to the side when you stop to look at something in a store aisle or at the farmer's market.
2. When two mommies meet in an aisle, it is impolite to stop your baby strollers side by side and carry on a conversation lasting more than 4 seconds. You are in the way. Make a play date.
3. If I have covered all your duties at work while you are on maternity leave, you had better consider buying me a big damn gift or, at the VERY least, a nice thank you card with some Dairy Queen gift certificates tucked inside. Don't come back and critique my way of carrying on business in your absence. This makes you an asshole and the object of my scorn.
4. When eating out, don't let your darling little children run all over the restaurant and carry on as if it were your home. I don't care how cute they are. I don't want to see their toys, hear their sing-song rhymes or listen to them fight. I once sat in a restaurant with my friend Ruthie and her then 3 1/2 year old son while we received the most horrible service imaginable. After an hour of waiting for our food, her son was still in his seat, behaving like a gentleman and having a conversation with the adults there. Parents, this should be the standard to which you hold your children.
5. Trying to reason with your darling little one in the throes of a temper tantrum is not going to work and, frankly, looks ridiculous. You would do far better to completely ignore them. It won't make it any easier on me to hear the tantrum, but at least I won't need to listen to the additional nonsense of you reasoning with the unreasonable.
6. My out of work plans are just as important as yours. Don't you dare ever play the parent card when trying to determine who will work late or on a weekend. Your child will have another fecking soccer game. I assure you he will. Just because my plans are "only" dinner with friends I haven't seen is six months, doesn't make your darling child any of my interest or concern. Share the load.
That's enough for now. Can't wait to hear from my mom and dad friends. :O)

9 comments:

Kate Bee said...

BRAVO.

kirelimel said...

I wholeheartedly agree- I am the Mom in the neighborhood who doesn't believe her children are angels and never wrong- quite the contrary...I probably blame them too much but I am surrounded by those Moms who will ALWAYS take their child's side and claim innocence even when the facts beg to differ. The very few times I have confronted other parents about their kids I have been yelled at or had nasty phone messages or emails. And these are the parents who will not hesitate to yell at my kids for something that should be between the children and not the adults (like my kid saying "horses are stupid" to the kid who loves horses). Some parents are just plain crazy.


I can't stand the babystroller issue- hated that when I had one- we seldom used it because I didn't like getting in peoples way- plus we didn't go places where babies aren't welcome.

Mnmom said...

Mom-of-three agreeing with every single word! One parental duty is to teach your kids to live "out there" in the world at large. If slow-french-fry-picker had been mine you KNOW I would have said "get your ass in the van so other people can park there!". Then the teen would have been in the van yelling at me for being rude. But that's my job.

I even had TWINS in a stroller and bought a front-to-back stroller for the very reasons you mentioned. And strollers in public are like large semis. If you have to stop your giant semi and unload, you need to pull over to the side.

My Mom always said "Remember, your kids are the sun, the moon, and the stars to you. But to everyone else they are just another annoying kid".

Little Sister said...

MG-Thank you for the wonderful compliment-but you need to know that there have been times when I have left a restaurant or two because my darling little man was just damn ornery...but I do leave. NO EMPTY THREATS-follow through SUCKS!

BentonQuest said...

Amen Brother!

Missy said...

Encore!!

brenda k said...

I once had a co-workers wife say to me, "Well, you just don't get it. When you have kids....CALL ME."

This was in response to what I thought to be some very positive, supportive suggestions I made to her after she shared her, "PROBLEM".

Her "problem", as she shared was that, "her children are irritable and treat her like garbage" and she had NO CLUE why. As her story unfolded one little tid bit just had me so baffled I could not help but say something....

Her daughter of 14 sleeps with her EVERY night, in mom and dad's bed with mom, dad has been reduced to sleeping in a pink, childrens size, Sleeping Beauty bed for more than a decade and the son of 4 was now joining mom and daughter in mom and dad's bed, because he was feeling left out. They all fall asleep with the TV on every night and the trio wake up ornery, late and tired every day. (Dad no doubt wakes up feeling like he spent the night in the bathtub....)

Hmmm...any thoughts as to what the PROBLEM might be? LOL

But, since I don't have children there would be no way I could possibly know what might be contributing to her childrens sorry moods....and she told me so!

kirelimel said...

As if she knew about your post, youngest offspring made a very bad decision today- some of the neighborhood kids had decided to gang up on her and tease her and call names(I didn't know this until later) ...she came home in tears, said she didn't want to talk, went to her room for about 2 minutes, left the house again. I figured she'd just calmed down and decided to try again. Nope, she went out and wrote in LARGE chalk letters on the street at the end of our drive the names of those kids and the fact that they were "idiots" and they "sucked"- I knew this because the mom of two of the kids came to inform me of this and to let me know that my youngest is not welcome at their home for a week. I made youngest go out and tearfully spray the evidence off the street. We came in and she spilled about what the kids had done- I gave her a hug and told her never to do such a public retaliation again- and that I probably should ground her for the next afternoon but that I would play dolls with her.

Mommy Lisa said...

We talked about this SATURDAY! Man she SOOOO deserved the honk and she was such a beyotch I can't stand it!

Boo Boo is not allowed to behave badly in public or around adults.

We take her to nice restaurants but EARLY - like 2 or 3pm on Saturday for late lunch/early dinner.