Today, despite my loathing of the August heat in Georgia, we went to the park to see some very missed friends. Mini Gwinn and the other little ones were getting their sweat on while we moms were chatting away, catching up on the past few weeks. While we were there, another group of mom friends arrived, all with similarly aged children. When a high strung mom in neon arrived and immediately began shouting her daughter’s name (let’s call her “Stella Cate”, because she insisted on calling her child her full name), I considered leaving the park altogether, but missed my gal pals enough to stay, and just relocate to a different part of the playground for a while. Once “Stella Cate’s” mom’s friends arrived, though, the situation escalated quickly.
This poor little girl, who I later discovered was just a month younger than mini Gwinn, was (literally) being yelled at for every turn that her mother didn’t find approving. At one point, she touched a little boy’s face, at which point her mother screamed her name three or four times before making it to her daughter to whisk her away and reprimand her sharply for gently exploring. “Stella Cate, DON’T TOUCH THAT”, “STELLA CATE DON’T TOUCH THAT LITTLE BOY,” “STELLA CATE DON’T BREATHE!” It didn’t help that this mom had an unfortunately grating voice. If she was my mom, I would run away too, Stella Cate.
So from behind my sunglasses I watched Stella Cate, and the other little ones (all around ~2 years old, give or take a couple months), play the way normal toddlers play. There was no pushing, no shouting, just the normal toddling towards interesting things and around other toddlers, with minimal interpersonal interaction between them. She was a pretty quiet little thing, and was just doing what toddlers do: explore.
Let me pseudo- tangent for a minute, ya’ll. While pregnant, many moms do lots of research and reading about the upcoming delivery of a human, some delve into the first few months with a baby, and the bold read about the first year of a child’s life before they actually have one in their arms. I won’t lie, I read several (over 10) books about all of the above mentioned, but when it came to life after the first six months or so, I wasn’t really worried. Instinct kicks in, and I’ve been around children in both a “learning” environment (teaching) and a natural environment (home life). No one parents identically, and I’m no expert on other children, but I’ve got my grasp on my parenting style, and I try not to judge others. My axiom with moms now is, “Unless she’s feeding her kids glass, she has her own way of doing things.” But, interwebs, this woman obviously knows precious little about toddlers, and if I ever see her again, we are promptly leaving.
Why so harsh, mombie? Lemme tell you. As long as psycho mom didn’t interfere with mini Gwinn and myself, she wasn’t feeding her kid glass (well, not physically. She’s just screwing her daughter up for the future, whatevs.), “not my monkeys, not my circus,” right? Until her daughter gently touched my son’s face, which mini Gwinn was totally cool with. I was totally cool with it too, until the neon whale came swooping down like a vulture onto dying prey. She screamed at her daughter, who by this time in her life is obviously used to the screaming, but she screamed in the same direction, very close to, my nearly angelic child’s face, which made him BAWL. For the record, my kid doesn’t really cry about anything. So I said to her, as she’s freaking out, “Your reaction and yelling scared him, he was fine with Stella Cate touching his face. Really.” So she began to defend her totally psycho reaction by saying, “I have to nip this in the bud now.” I wanted to say, “DEAR GOD DON’T LET HER EXPLORE!! CORRECT HER IMMEDIATELY!” But I instead asked how old she was then calmly explained that toddlers explore through sensory play, including touching one another. If you’d like to further your own education, interwebs, look it up on your own. You’ll find documents from universities, educational websites, early childhood development professional websites, ETC. My point: kids explore through touch. And I looked at that poor little girl, who had an expression of confusion on her face, and I felt bad for her. And I wanted to punch the mom.
You see, psycho mom, this is why your husband and child hate you. Too harsh, interwebs? If I had to be married to her, I’d leave her .And her daughter is going to (at the very least) go wild when she goes to college because her every move won’t be controlled by someone who yells as her “go to” method of parenting. I realize that this post is horrendously judgmental, but when someone makes my child cry because of simply screaming, they’re lucky I don’t go full Sarah Connor on them, particularly this woman. And when I see a toddler, with no reasonable amount of logic or self control, do what she is supposed to do naturally to grow mentally, I am reaffirmed that some people shouldn’t have kids.
This woman probably adopted a small dog nine years ago and abandoned it because she refused to learn anything about dogs, put it in her purse, and then threw it across a room when it peed in her Coach bag.
My point? Learn about that incredible human being you are raising before you verbally destroy her. Also, stop being a crappy human being. AND don’t shove yourself into workout clothes if you have no intention of actually working out.
I’m gonna go eat a sandwich. Maybe do some deep breathing exercises. Clearly I haven’t calmed down.
Happy (or aggressive) Friday!