Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Open Letter(s) to People Who Hate Kids

Dear People Who Hate Kids,

Please rethink your kid-hating status.  We should be friends.  We have more in common than you think.  But you need to chill out just a teeny, weeny bit.  If you can do that and take a few minutes to read this letter, than I promise to do everything I can to socialize my children so that they do not annoy you in public places. 

I met one of you recently, while shopping with my kids.  I know my stroller is big and the aisles are narrow.  But that was no excuse for some skinny whore lady in Michael Kors to demand I get my stroller out of her way and then kick it when I didn't move it fast enough to suit her.  She kicked the stroller with my child in it.  She could have very easily walked around me.  Or waited ten more seconds.  And though I wanted to square up and kick her in the taco that would not have a proportional response or modeling good behavior for my children, who are all too inclined towards kicking people in the junk anyway.  This woman was obviously in the middle of a vintage 1965 snit, had her B on and was not about to move one inch for one more fat suburban mom with her snotty kids and enormous stroller.  But no matter how pissy she was feeling it does not excuse what she did. 

But karma is a snitch because I saw her in the parking lot, getting screamed at by someone she had nearly backed over.  And that someone was large, angry woman who looked like she was in the throes of an even bigger snit then the stroller kicker.  It looked like it might come to blows and my money was on the woman she nearly ran over, who was a raging B is there ever was one - probably with good reason.

Dear Stroller-Kicker with Impulse Control Problems,

Do you think I enjoy shopping with three children?  I would rather get vajazzled than go to Target with all of my kids.  But I need diapers and a wine cube so we are going anyway.  And how about not kicking my stoller with my kid in it?  Or almost committing vehicular homicide in the parking lot because you're in a crappy mood?  Get yourself a t-box and tap it.  Or dial back the caffeine.

xo, Lydia

Just as I was recovering from my experience, I saw on Yahoo headlines this thing about a restaurant in Carolina Beach, NC that posted the following sign:

According to the article, the sign went up and now business is booming.  Don't believe me?  Google it.  I mentioned all this to the Cap'n and he reminded me of an article that was published last spring in the Washington Post that caused a big sensation. It was all about how in certain neighborhoods in the city, there's conflict between families with young children and the urban hipsters, who don't really want to deal with children or strollers or diapers or any of it. 

For example, there are problems between people who bring their kids to play at the park and people who bring their dogs to play at the park. When a parent complained that a dog was jumping on their toddler, they were told to keep their kid in the fenced-in area of the playground. When an urban planner tried to blog about the need for families to get around the city on public transportation, the comments were so virulently nasty about babies and strollers on buses that the blog's moderator had to shut it down. And apparently, the idea that there are people out there who just don't want to deal with kids and feel hostile that they're forced to, is still causing a stir because now some political magazine just a wrote a piece based on the Washington Post article.

So this whole kid-hating thing is now everywhere?

I'll be the first to admit that I have moments where other people's kids make me nutso.  Especially whining and tantrums.  But I am able to tune it out better than most (thanks to a vigorous seven-and-a-half-year desensitization program).  Often I'm also relieved that the tantrum in progress is not being perpetrated by one of my own offspring.  On the rare occasion (bi-annual) when I am able to go out alone with the Cap'n, I am not super thrilled if I have to deal hearing someone else's screaming toddler.  But I only get annoyed if the parents seem not to care that their kiddo is being disruptive.  Sometimes they don't and that is not cool.

Here's a little story to illuminate: When the Cap'n and I were on vacation in Amish Paradise, he stepped out to the hotel's bar to grab us a couple of drinks and bring them back to the room.  It was 10:30 at night and our kids were passed out and snoring.  He stayed at the bar for a little while, watching ESPN and chatting with people and when he returned he told me all about the Jackholes.  They had just driven in from NJ, checked into the hotel, gone to the bar and then let their little kids fall asleep in arm chairs next to the bar while they sat there drinking.  Everyone else there was disgusted and when one of the kids woke up sand started crying, the bartender said something and the parents got all huffy.

Dear Parents From NJ Who Make All of Us Look Bad,

Just in case you wondering, taking your four year old twins to a bar and tucking them into a chairs next to the pool table maybe isn't the nicest way to have a wholesome family vacation.   Next time, why not leave them at their grandparents?  Otherwise they're going to come home from vacation knowing how to hit a combo and asking for whiskey sours.  And yo - I'm from NJ.  Why do you have to have to at like that?  Now we all look like Jackholes.  Way to represent.  If I see you again, I'm getting your kids these shirts.  And yes, mine already have them.

xo, Lydia

If all parents acted like that, I could understand the stroller kicker's behavior a little better.  I also understand that it must be frustrating to deal with other people's noise and taking up too much room and generally being inconsiderate furckwads.  In my neighborhood, the people that are noisy, inconsiderate, take up all the parking, let their pit bulls run around off-leash and set off fireworks at 3 am are all childless and in their twenties.  Does this entitle me to hate all people who are young and don't have kids?  No!  Just the d-bags

And do you not see the irony?  The Michael Kors lady objected to something (a stroller not moving fast enough) so she lost her temper and kicked it.  She nearly hit someone with her car and instead of asking if they were OK, she flew off the handle and started screaming at them.  I think these behaviors could be accurately described as having a tantrum.   So she hates kids but she behaves like a two year old. 

And the parents who have kids and then ignore them, let them run wild, bring them to totally inappropriate places and then complain when people ask them to be responsible and courteous?  Usually, they'll throw out a "You don't get it because you don't have kids" comeback or some such nonsense.  So they act like childless, feckless, twenty-somethings and then pull out the "But I'm a Parent" card when they are confronted.

I don't want to deal with any of these people and I bet you don't either.  The last thing I want is to be one of these jackholes.  See - we have more in common than you think.  Truce?

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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