Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THAT Lady...

Think back to the days before you had kids. Remember THAT lady? You know the one I mean. The one with the screaming, asshole kids. Maybe you were in the grocery store and you rolled your eyes as she gave in to her screaming toddler's candy tantrum. Maybe you were in Target and she was the absent one, presumably, I don't know, fluffing her hair and buying fancy chocolate in another aisle while her little beasts terrorized the entire store. Maybe, god forbid, you were in a restaurant and you just wanted to enjoy your cocktail and appetizer and WHY WON'T THAT KID SHUT THE FUCK UP?

We've all been there. And we've all wondered (judged? Let's be real. We fucking judged. Hard.) why she couldn't simply control her kid. We realized the kid was an asshole, but also realized it was through no fault of his own. Asshole parents= asshole kids. There's just no getting around it. SOME people just shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

And then. YOU. BECOME. THAT. LADY. The asshole. With the screaming, heathen kid. And all your judgment for other people's parenting (mostly) goes down the toilet. The mom with the toddler tantrum? Yeah, I've given my kid candy to shut her up too. Those little bastards in Target? THE GOOD CHOCOLATE IS ALL I HAVE LEFT, AND I HAVE TO FUCKING HIDE IT AND EAT IT AT 11:00 AT NIGHT OR SHARE WITH A ONE YEAR OLD. The restaurant? The part you don't hear is me begging my daughter to "shhhh... please stop screaming!" while she chucks food and crayons at me, tries to knock my drink over and grabs at anything hot or sharp that is even remotely within reach. My husband enjoys his meal while I shovel cold food into my gullet 15 minutes after it arrives because by the time Caitlyn's food is just cool enough for her to eat, mine is inexplicably ice cold absolutely every time.

Now, when I see a toddler throwing a tantrum, I wonder to myself if I have any toys or wipes in my purse that might help that mom out. I smile knowingly. What do I know? That kids are, in fact, assholes all on their own.

Let me rephrase that. Caitlyn isn't necessarily an asshole. Not all the time. In fact, not even MOST of the time. Most of the time she is sweet and lovely and charms the pants off of nearly everyone she meets. I think this is probably the case with most kids. And if you really think about how many kids there are at any given time in a grocery store or a Target, realistically, a good majority of them are being really good. But you don't notice the good ones. You only notice the assholes because those are the ones fucking up your shopping experience.

So I guess I'm saying sometimes kids are bad. And sometimes they are SO fucking bad that you want to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment because you know everyone in the restaurant hates you right now. And no matter how quickly you shovel your food, grab the check and hightail it out of there, the 22 year olds at the table next to you are still going to tell everyone about the horrible mom with the jerkiest, whiniest kid EVER that they shouldn't even take out in public who sat next to them that night and ruined their good time.

Caitlyn has been on the receiving end of some bitchin' ass molars for the last month or so. And really, I've never seen her so volatile and easily irritated and prone to just going completely off the deep end at the slightest inconvenience. She's generally a little, ahem, used to getting her way anyway, but she's also usually easily placated when she doesn't get what she wants. But molars, man. Fucking molars are baby PMS. Between the mood swings and only wanting to eat ice cream, there simply isn't a better way to describe it.

So what I'm saying is, if you see me at the grocery store feeding my baby cookies while she stands in the cart and whines, don't fucking judge me. Because really, she's usually pretty awesome.


Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

I am nodding my head. Took Alice out to eat - she refused to eat anything, but was climbing out of her high chair trying to grab my Diet Coke. Like i am going to give her caffeine.

Jen said...

Are you fucking kidding me? One of mine has autism and the other one has ADHD -- I am A-L-W-A-Y-S "that lady". I actually went to far as to have cards made up that say "My son has autism; to learn more, go to Until ten, your tolerance is appreciated but your parenting advice is not." Handing these out to the judgmental asshats at Target proveda lot more effective than my preferred response which was to punch them in the sack and call them cunts.

Front Desk Ninja said...

Soooo completely off topic, but I squealed like that kid at Christmas who lost their shit over getting that BRAND NEW bike that they ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted when I saw you started following my blog.
Because you're fucking cool.

On topic,

I'm not a mom yet. I'm a kickass aunt, though, and having lived with my niece when she was 5 months-just over a year, also spending pretty much every waking moment around kids my entire life, not all of us youngin's are assholes. My car is always stocked with baby wipes (those things are gold, people. Kids or not, they clean up better than the bald guy) and kids toys for ages from newborn-4 years old.

In a restaurant, or wherever, the only time I'll look at a mom like she's THAT LADY is when the kid has fallen and hurt themselves, or they're losing.their.shit. on the kid in public, making things worse. I may not know the whole story, but no matter what, I think a parent/caregiver shouldn't ignore a hurt children or scream at them when the kid wasn't doing anything horrible. (I kid you not. It was an awkward scene to watch...)

I know kids are assholes. I was an asshole, too. I'm assuming as payback my kids will come out with the kind of attitude that reduces me to tears. It'll only be fair.

It's totally okay to be THAT LADY, yo.
That lady is clearly kickass.

Jaclyn said...

@Angie- why do they always want the ONE thing on the table they aren't allowed to have?

@Jen- I think people are much more aware of autism now, but even so I'm sure it doesn't occur to most people that there might just be something else going on there when kids are acting out. I think the card idea is AWESOME because you don't have people judging your son (and you) unnecessarily but also it probably makes them feel like TOTAL dicks. Which they are.

@FDN- That's awesome. I reacted similarly when I saw you were following MY blog :) I worked in retail for a decade and now I'm a receptionist so I know what kind of crazy you must deal with on the regular. I loved your post about the hookers (and I really hope you didn't turn them in). As far as you being the cool aunt, that's awesome. My sister was the cool aunt... I was definitely the "this is why I don't have kids yet" aunt.

AbsoluteMommy said...

Did you happen to see me this morning in WinCo? I was the one with the 1yr old screaming for the bag of Doritos in the cart. I happily gave her a peanutbutter chocolate chip granola bar, my starbucks iced tea, and a small bag of cheetos so I could finish buying milk. Lactose free I might add that is 60 cents more. Oh did I mention it was 8:15? I keep telling myself that cheetos are a very respectable breakfast.
Yeah, I was totally that lady, back in the day. Now I just smile at the mom with the screaming asshole kid, because I've been there. I am there A LOT, and not just with my 1yr old, but with my 4yr old who loves to buy EVERTHING The My Little Pony Company shit out.
Thanks again for this awesome post! I feel ya!

Anonymous said...

I was a judgmental young person pre-kiddies. Now I am that lady all the time.

My colleague and I had a similar discussion about how sometimes, the love of your life, the apple of your eye, that little precious darling you would give up your life for? They are total assholes. There is no buts about it, sometimes they. are. just. ASSHOLES. For no good reason and no fault of ours. Maybe they are tired, maybe they are teething, maybe they are getting sick and you don't realize it. But they are just unbearable little twats and there is nothing you can do with them, and god help you if you are out in public.

Jen - those cards are brilliant. I hate it when I get parenting advice from strangers, and my kids are not challenged as your are. I mean, like I said, they can be assholes, but that is all them. I need a card that says "please feel free to fuck off. Go to another aisle if they are bothering you." I don't know something like that. I'll work on it.

Mandy said...

Jen, I definitely need those cards too! The Autism Society here in Wisconsin actually has some of those and I have a purse full of them ready to whip out faster than my debit card (and I'm a pretty fast draw at that).

Jaclyn, I am, without a doubt, that lady. I'm the mom who will preemptively buy her kid an Icee and a popcorn just so I can get my shopping done at Wal-Mart. We can't even go out to eat anymore because his sensory overload goes insane and last time we went out I almost went off on a nutjob who told me to wrangle my kid and then moved her seat.

I still say "That kid could use a nap!" but it's also following "It's not mine!"

Jaclyn said...

@Megan- Personally I give my daughter Starbucks and Cheetos for breakfast pretty much every day. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me! And I also buy lactose free milk (for myself, not Caitlyn) and I fail to believe that those shitty little enzymes they add are THAT expensive.

@Misty- I feel you. I was exactly the same way. I believed that MY kid would NEVER behave that way in public! Ha. Please.

@Mandy- that sucks. He's still really young so I think you need to cut yourself some slack. I know you get a lot of shit from other people about your kid. You both need time to adjust and figure out exactly what his boundaries are. And your "good day" might not be the same as mine, but that doesn't mean you deserve anyone's judgment. People need to fucking educate themselves. It's ridiculous how judgmental some can be.