Thursday, February 11, 2010

What to do?

Monday, I was out and about running around town with Hunter, and I decided since we were close to a friend's salon; we should probably get someone to mow down the mop that we were still trying to call hair.

Going to a hair salon with a 7 year old boy is always an adventure, and for me an exercise in patience, because he likes to move about the cabin, and I want him to sit still.  There is always that delicate balance between encouraging your child to have good manners, and obsessing about it( not to mention sounding like a shrew).  The shop was busy, and we wanted my friend to cut his hair, so we were waiting our turn, and  I was answering Hunter's personal and very unintentional game of 6 zillion questions.

About 10 minutes into our wait, three boys walk in.  They look to be between 10 and 3...  I turn around looking for mom, and she is slowly walking in from her Expedition with a infant car carrier that looks like a bottle of pepto-bismol exploded.... I guess she finally got the girl she was trying for.  The mom was a waif of a woman.  You know the type, 5'2" and even after 4 kids, maybe weighed 95 lbs.  The car carrier might have out weighed her, and you could see that she was run ragged by these boys.... they all sit down quietly enough, and stay in their seats, which is more than what I could seem to get Hunter to do.  Then a few minutes into it, she looks at a boy, who had been moving his feet back and forth, and she screeches at him about sitting still, smacks his leg and tells him he is getting hair all over the baby's car seat cover.... and to KNOCK IT OFF!  muttering under her breath how disgusting it all was.
I know I was not the only person that thought she was a little overly loud, because 2 of the stylists also whipped their heads around to see who was yelling at whom.  Later, she repeated it again with another of her boys.

Now, I say all that, to say I have been there.... plum out of patience, and snappy as all get out....It happens, to all of us that care to be honest about how some days of mommy life go.

As two of the boys were called into the stylists chairs.... the mom started smiling... and looking more relaxed... and 180 degrees different than the one that had just flipped out on the kid.....  It made me wonder, how people have perceived me, if and when I have acted that way in the past.  Had they entertained thoughts that I might have needed medication?  Because these were the thoughts I was beginning to entertain about this poor girl.   I had wanted to say something to her after she had wigged out..... but I sat there in my chair lost in thought.  I couldn't think of something witty or casual to start a conversation with, I wanted to let her know that the baby wouldn't die if it got hair on it's car seat.....

I don't know what I should have done that even would have helped.  I just sat there and thought about what I would have done, or how I would have felt if someone approached me, and I was in a fit about something...  Would I have been grateful?  or would I have been snappy at them too?

What do you think?  What would you have done, if you were sitting in the same waiting room and saw the same thing?  What would you do if a stranger intervened while you were trying to maintain order with your kids?  I just left feeling like I should have done something.....


  1. I wouldn't have said anything. Everyone has an edgy day now and then and who knows... Her boys could have been acting like punks the whole way there. Only time I've really wanted to say something to another parent is the time a mom whose kids were being kids kept screaming, "Stop! Stoppit! Santa won't come! Shut up stupid! No way is Santa coming now!!!" I wanted to smack her. Generally I have a pretty high tolerance for moms who are obviously trying to do right by their kids... and the small bit of time I come into contact with them is a very small sliver of their life and not always the most accurate representation.

  2. that's funny. i had a similar day today... but first... i resent the "waif of a woman remark" some of us would love to stand over 5' and have the option of gaining 10 pounds without also looking like we have a growth... see pictures from wolbi days when i hit 130 and everyone thought i was preggo... but i digress. =) anyways. i snapped at eli and lee at the library today because they were not being perfectly still and were touching random computer items as i was trying to find some elusive form online so i could print it. i was seriously impatient and kinda felt embarresed, like i was a bad mom cuz my kids were wiggly- i was surrounded by other online users- then the old dude next to me says- "wow you have really well beahved kids, how old are they?" "2 and 4" i answer with a look that says you've gotta be kiddin me, they are SO NOT well behaved. then he says, "most other kids their age would be running all over this place while you tried to work". light dawns on marble head! my kids were being good, as it sounds like this lady's kids were. but when you expect perfection from 3 boys 3-10 or a 2 and 4 year old be sure they won't meet your expectations hardly ever, let alone everytime you're in public. so all that to say... i was really glad that guy said that to me. it reminded me that my squirmy kids were not the worst out there and all the other parents were not thinking i was such a bad mom. it encouraged me to keep on them so they don't turn into bad kids, but more importantly to praise my kids for being so well behaved! (for their age. tee hee hee). my rule of thumb is when you see someone's kids being "bad", give 'em a knowing smile- let em know they're not alone. when they're being horrible, shield your kids eyes and turn down the next grocery aisle asap, but when you see a perfectioist mama with pretty good kids- encourage her and praise them. luv ya.

  3. Totally agree with Katrina's last points. I have gotten random "props" from strangers about how great my kids are and it's SO encouraging!


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