I was reading this blog post today about how rude we have gotten as a society. I found myself reading and nodding along at just about everything the writer said (you can read the comments I left on there too, if you just can't seem to get enough of me here). One of the things that I find unbelievably rude and out of line is when people take it upon themselves to point out something I am doing wrong, especially when it comes to raising my children.
Several years ago I was listening to a radio talk show and they were discussing how people seem to be so rude to their loved ones while being perfectly pleasant to complete strangers. That struck a cord with me, and I decided that day that I would treat the people I love with love and respect, and I wouldn't bend over and take it up the ass when a stranger was rude to me for no reason. I am still pleasant, well as pleasant as I am capable of being, to strangers who are pleasant to me, but I am not going to stand there and smile as some out of touch old bitch tells me what to do. That idea is what lead to the story I am sharing here today.
2 years ago I was in Kansas City visiting some family. Bug was about to turn 3, and I was 10 weeks pregnant with the little guy and had just been fired from my job (read here for that story), and was about to get in the car to drive 9 hours back home. Needless to say, I was a little on edge. We were at my grandma's church, and if you know me, you know I wasn't thrilled to be there. Bug hadn't slept well the night before so I hadn't slept well, and sitting through church is not something that either of us is very good at. He wanted me to read him a book, and when I wouldn't read it loud enough he flipped.his.shit. He threw the mother of all fits right there in the middle of the congregation. I took him outside to calm him down, and for whatever reason, this was the day he decided to act like a terrible two for the first time ever and NOTHING would calm him down. We walked outside for a while, we sang songs, we played with a bug. I tried everything. Then I remembered that my 12-year-old cousin was in the nursery. Bug, like every other kid ever born, absolutely adores this girl. Her natural child-care instincts are awe-inspiring. I thought maybe, just maybe, she could distract him. At this point I had been dealing with a screaming toddler for a good 30 minutes and to say I was worn down would be an understatement. We went into the nursery, which I should mention is far enough away from the church auditorium that no one can here kids crying in there. Bug smiled at my cousin, but he wasn't quite ready to stop crying. She got him some animal crackers and we were making progress but apparently not enough progress because the crotchety old bitch that runs the place came over. And it nearly cost her her life. She looked Bug in the face, never once speaking to me, and using a very stern and inappropriate tone for someone who has never met my child, she said, "It is ok to be upset, but it is NOT ok to cry". Um. Fuck you. I had already had enough. I was pissed to begin with. I also hate angry old church ladies who think they know everything and that tone of voice was NOT ok with me, so I immediately turned Bug away from her and using the same tone she had said, "He is MY child, I will do the parenting THANK YOU". I turned and stormed out the door, and as I walked out I let me true colors show: "fucking bitch". Yes, I really did say that. In a church. As the door slammed shut behind me. It felt good, really good. Knowing that cantankerous bitch was standing in the nursery shocked at what had just happened totally justified my reaction. And for some reason, the whole thing calmed Bug down. Maybe he hadn't recognized me before because I was being nice and sitting in a church, and as soon as I lost my cool and used profanity he realized it was me. I learned later that my grandma, my calm-minded and gentle grandma, had also recently had a run-in with this woman and had expressed her opinion. Somehow I doubt it involved the same words as mine did.
I have zero patience for people who think they know everything. If you have specific child-rearing ideals that you feel are perfect, get your own damn kids. If your old enough that you now have grandchildren or even great-grandchildren, then you need to realize that you are old and out of touch and you should just be thankful that you don't have to deal with temper tantrums anymore. Your kids were not perfect, and no one will believe you if you say they never behaved that way. You are not making a difference by speaking up, so sit down and shut your mouth. You're just wasting your breath.