Tuesday, October 1, 2013

To the fellow mother I encountered at a certain children's store last week...

Lady, I do not know you. You do not know me. Chances are you will never read this. But I feel compelled as a fellow mother to give you some parenting advice. Who am I to give anyone parenting advice? No one really. But as an observer to the madness that ensued in a certain children's store last week I feel the need to give you a clue as to what the situation looked like from another mother.

As I (with Val in stroller), and other customers, were quietly browsing through racks of clothes your children were causing what could best be described as a "raucous." I am assuming they were twins as they looked of the same age, which I would say is about 4 (my next question would be why weren't they at school?) You stood there at the register, worried about getting as much off your purchase as possible while your children terrorized the store. They were running under clothing racks, bumping into people and behaving like little animals.

So what did you do? "Mommy's not happy. Please stop. Mommy's not happy."

If I had to hear "Mommy's not happy" one more time...

At one point, while looking for this precious coupon on your phone, you realized that one of your kids had actually left the store. Come on lady!! Once you wrangled in said child, what did you say?

"Mommy's not happy."

And then went back to looking for a coupon on your phone while ignoring your Tasmanian Devils.

When you finally did find that precious coupon on your phone (which ended up not being valid) you left with your children, after they knocked over half of a display. I think my favorite part of this scene was the store clerk running after you (while you were still looking at your phone) with your child's shoe that they left in the store.

Where do I begin my judgement?

Let's start with leaving the kids at home. I know, easier said than done. Could you not have waited until later, when someone could have watched them or they were in school to come to the store to shop? No? That is fine...some people don't have the luxury of having child-free time, and I understand that.

So if you have to bring your kids out here is my advice...PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS. Especially if you know they are a little more hyper than the average kid, and won't be able to control themselves in public. Did you seriously not realize that one of them had left the store? How is that possible? If you can't keep an eye on your kids and shop at the same time you shouldn't be shopping.

If you have to bring your kids with you, and you can't keep an eye on them here is more advice...bring them entertainment! How about a book? A toy? By the looks of what you were wearing, and the very expensive bag that you were carrying, I am sure there are some i-type electronics in your house that the kids could be entertained by while you get your necessary errands done.

And if all of this isn't possible, and your kids are still acting crazy, you take them aside and you lay down the law. Your kids obviously don't care what you say, because it seems like you don't care. This monotone "mommy's not happy" obviously isn't working. You need another approach.

I am not judging your kids. They are probably sweet little angels. I don't blame them for wanting to run around and get their energy out. At that age who wants to go clothes shopping? Especially with a mother that pays more attention to her phone than she does her kids. It is you that I have a problem with because you are one of those mothers that is oblivious to everyone else around you. You are one of those mothers that doesn't care what their kids do, or how they act in public. You also didn't seem too worried about where they were most of the time either.

As a mother I feel we need to stick together. We are part of a club, and we need to watch out for one another. We need to be conscious of those around us. I will be the first to hold the door for a fellow mother with a stroller. If I see a mother near me with an upset baby when we are out to eat, I will offer that mother an extra toy we have. I will wave hi to babies in strollers, and smile at the mothers pushing them. I don't mind a crying baby, and feel sorry for the mother who has this look of guilt on her face while she tries to console fussy baby as quickly as she can.

You, I kind of want to slap (did I go too far - probably :) like Cher does to Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck. 

Again, I do not know you. I do not know what is going on in your life. But I feel for your kids. I worry you will leave one somewhere some day and not realize it. Or that one of them will run into the street while you are looking at your phone and not at your kid. Or something worse. For your kids sake - Pay attention to them!

This has been a public snark announcement from Mama J.

1 comment:

  1. It's human nature to pass judgement... but we never know the full story. Perhaps her mother died that morning, or she ran over her cat on the way to the shops? Or maybe she just finished a round of dialysis and felt worse for wear... you just never know why someone isn't upping their game when it's clear to others they need to. It's always best to bite your tongue!