Please allow me to
Today I was at the library with the kids, and there was another mother there that just made me wanted to scream. But I couldn’t. Because that’s rude. And we were at the library. No screaming allowed.
It was a typical trip to the library for us this morning. Charlie and Henry were searching for books in the big kid chapter book section, and George and Annabel were with me in the kids' section, looking for books and playing with puzzles. Like most public libraries, the kids' section of our local library is very family friendly, with an activity table, computers, games, and shelves overflowing with lots of great books.
There was another mother in the kids' section with me today, and she was repeatedly trying to force her two daughters to sit in her lap and read books with her. Both daughters were having none of it. Her older daughter was a cute, spunky little thing, and she looked to be about 3 years old. She clearly wanted nothing to do with the whole sitting-down-and-reading-thing that her mom wanted her to do so badly. The girl wanted to play with the puzzles. But the mother persisted, and kept saying over and over, “We came here to read books today, not to play. Now sit in my lap and let me read to you!” I chuckled to myself and thought, “Good luck, lady. Your daughter has other ideas.”
But that wasn’t the annoying part.
Annabel picked up some hand puppets and started playing with this woman’s younger daughter, who looked to be about her age, 2 years old. The two of them were playing with the puppets, naming what animals the puppets were, and giggling with each other. It was quite adorable. At Annabel’s young age, I always get a kick out of her making a friend. I also didn't think they were being too loud. The kids' section is in the back of the library where a little bit of noise is tolerated. After all, why would the library put all these great toys and games back there if absolutely no noise of any kind was allowed?
Clearly the mom was perturbed that her other daughter wouldn’t sit in her lap and read either. She just wanted to play with Annabel. So after the little girl giggled loudly when Annabel “mooed” with the cow puppet, the mother grabbed her daughter and said quite loudly, “Andrea! (not her real name) We do NOT act wild like this in a library!” Then she harrumphed a bit and continued, “SOME mommies let their kids act like this, but I do NOT! You need to remember OUR family’s rules!”
I guess that means my kids are uncivilized heathens.
It took me about 3 full seconds to realize that this woman just insulted me and my parenting. I swiveled my head and turned to make sure that I was indeed the mommy she was referencing in her diatribe to her daughter.
Um…excuse me? Mama said what? Passive aggressive much?
Lucky for her, I have a thick skin, and I’m not the confrontational type of gal. So I just pretended I didn’t hear her. But little does she know, I have my own blog, and this is how I vent.
So…na na na na poo poo.
Of course I just let Annabel continue her totally appropriate playing with the woman’s daughter.
And because I didn’t think it pissed this lady off enough the first time.
It was actually quite comical watching this woman and her skewed expectations of her two girls. Her children were well-behaved, and very sweet. They were doing exactly what most other 2 and 3 year olds do, but this mom was trying so hard to look like the perfect mother with perfect little daughters, and it just came off as pretentious and incredibly unrealistic.
I also kind of felt sorry for her, because she just looked worn out. She finally acknowledged me and said in a very tired voice, “I can’t wait until preschool starts in the fall. I need a life again.”
And then she said, “I noticed you have four kids. I don’t know how you do it.”
I wanted to say something totally passive-aggressive to get her back, but I took the high road and just said, “It’s not so hard.”
Well, maybe that’s not really the high road. And maybe it’s a teensy bit passive-aggressive.
And it’s also also a total lie. This job is very hard.
But I didn’t really feel like telling her that.