So okay, I have often said that I try not to judge other parents. I mean, parenthood is a very difficult thing and no two people do it the same way, and no way is really the wrong way. Well, unless you like lock your kids in a closet and spoonfeed them mold or something horrible and evil. But in general, how you parent is up to you. I don’t care if you breastfeed or bottlefeed, so long as the kid is fed. I don’t care if you jump out of bed every time they wimper or let them wail for 20 minutes to be sure it’s a real distress call, that’s totally up to you. I don’t care if you let them wear 14 pairs of socks and no shirt to Mother’s Day Brunch or make them wear a frilly dress. But I draw the line at manners and not intervening when your kid is being a dick.
We went to the town pool today. We have a family pass, and the kid LOVES going there. Usually it isn’t too crowded and the kids are all pretty nice, and everyone brings toys that float around the pool and everyone sort of shares them and you just collect them when you leave. Everything is lovely and delightful and I was looking forward to today because it was the first pool day of the season!
However, today there were a bunch of jerky little kids at the pool. And of course their parents seemed to be the real reason they were acting that way. Allow me to explain:
First off, my Kid is 19 months old. She clearly looks like a baby. She does not look like she is going to swipe some four year old’s toys and run away with them for forever. She is going to look at your toy, wave at it, and set it on it’s merry way. We are hopping around in the giant kiddie pool and she picks up a football, which says Dylan on it. I go into my usual speech parents give in such a situation in case the owner is nearbye:
“Oh no that isn’t our toy, see, it says Dylan on it. He might want to play with it, we should leave it here.”
I put it down, kid picks it back up cuz she doesn’t get it. I look around, and the kids are all playing and no one seems to care we are playing with a football so I figure, okay, when Dylan comes back, we’ll give it to him. So I say so to the kid. No sooner are the words out of my mouth than a big 4 year old comes RACING UP and SNATCHES it out of her hand. Like violently. I look around and see no one who might be his mom or dad. Great.
“Sorry, she was just looking at it, she was looking for you to give it back!” I say. He looks at me and walks away without a word. Lovely.
Moments later she picks up a truck. I am about to make her put it down as it also says Dylan on it and guess who shows up out of thin air and snatches that away too!? “She just wanted to share, maybe you could share with her since you weren’t playing with it?” I say. Again, beastly boy just WALKS AWAY.
Then my kid sees a pink watering can. No name on it so I figure, okay, this one can’t be that kid’s, so we can use it for a minute. Again, the brat comes storming over and I go, “Oh, is this yours? It doesn’t have your name on it.” To which he goes, “No it’s not mine. But its my friends.” “Oh, where is your friend?” He gestures into outer space. “Over there!” and grabs it again. At this point I loudly say to my kid, “Let’s go to the other side of the pool where the children are nicer and look like they might share with you! Next time we will bring our own toys since no one seems to like to share here, how sad!” She agrees and we move on. I finally hear a very halfhearted, “Oh give the baby that watering can….. you aren’t using it….” from some lady sitting in the shadows talking on her phone. He ignores her and she doesn’t push it, so apparently Dylan is always going to be a jerk who doesn’t share and who snatches toys from babies.
A little later we are playing with nicer kids and another older boy is playing with a water gun with his friend. My kid drags me in between them and the kid SHOOTS ME RIGHT IN THE FACE WITH WATER! I was like, holy crap! Again, HIS mom is on HER phone and actually says NOTHING at first. I say to the boy, “Wow, you kind of missed and hit me right in the face! YIkes!” in a teacherly way and HE says nothing! His mother tells him not to play with the guns but does she remind him to say he was sorry?! Nope!
I just don’t get it. Being polite and treating others with respect is like the first and most important aspect of being a human being! The fact that neither parent even CARED that their kids were rude and nasty makes it even worse! I know that many parents are not like that, but when you encounter two in one afternoon, it makes you kind of doubt humanity and worry about your own kid’s future in school. I for once, will never stop reminding her to be sweet and kind and polite,and always treat others the way you want to be treated. One day my kid will be doing something amazing with her life and stinky old Dylan is going to be sitting around working as a lifeguard at age 45 telling kids not to touch his toys!!!