Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I Am That Mom

Inspired by a post about ice cream breakfast-in-bed here, it's an impromptu blog carnival... Join in!

I am that mom... the one who fosters rolling eyes, strange looks from strangers and laughter mixed with confusion for the things I say.

I'm that mom, who when faced with a whiny kid who wants to know why she can't have the contents of the chocolate impulse-buying rack, says 'because you picked the mean mom this time.'

I'm that mom, who when a teenage friend of one child got into the car and said 'oh my god,' turned around with feigned amazement and said, 'you have your own god? That's so cool!'

I'm that mom, who while following a child standing while being pushed in a grocery cart, quips off-handedly to whichever child is with me, 'did I tell you that 75% of all head injuries in children under 5 are from falls from grocery carts?'

I'm that mom, who when accosted by a nearly-teenage child who snaps, 'nobody understands me!' just stares for a moment and then laughs, while trying to say 'I can't believe you just said that!!'

I'm that mom, who after saying the same line (following the same set-up) over and over again for nearly 20 years, has a child who says 'say something different, your lines are so tired.'

I'm that mom, who when told 'I want a pony/puppy/hamster/rat/hedgehog/chinchilla,' would respond, 'when you grow up and move out of the house, you can have as many as you want.'

I'm that mom, who upon hearing any greed-borne sentence starting with 'I want' responds with, 'there sure are a lot of things to want, hey?'

I'm that mom, who when any child says 'that's not fair' replies with 'did you buy a ticket? Then this probably isn't a fair.'

I'm that mom, who upon being requested to put this child's gloves, hat, shoes, coat, shirt, sweater or mittens on, actually tries to put them on --me.

I'm that mom, whose children learned before they were five to say, when bringing the cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, bread and a knife, 'I want all this on a sandwich, but not the knife.'
photo Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread by Little Blue Hen used with permission (Creative Commons, Attributed-Derivative)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

No, Actually, I Do Not Want Your Kid to be Quieter in the Restaurant --you do

I find restaurant dining one simple joy in life, offering opportunities for everyone at the table to follow their own whims about what to eat without imposing themselves on anyone else. I like the vibrant noise of restaurants, the mix if smells, the comings and goings and different timings. Knowing about the frenzy behind the scenes and the fact that I don't have to do the dishes just adds a layer of enjoyment to the outing. I like food, and I like variety, and I like trying new things.

What I do not like is parents with their children.

Let me be clear: children, I can deal with. Even the random and chaotic noises children make, I have no problem with. I haven't eaten in a hushed restaurant in probably 25 years, so child noises fit in with the noise of forks, breaking glasses, moving plates, the music that many eateries feel is a necessary part of the ambiance, and people talking and laughing over the noise.

I find it mildly annoying to listen to parents trying to hush the natural and inevitable noise children make in an environment that they're barely making a contribution to. I lose my tolerance when parents lie to the child.

Stop Lying to Your Child, and Stop Blaming Me

If you want your kids to be quieter, just tell them to be quieter. If you need to get other people's opinions involved in the request to be quieter, own it yourself. Do not tell them that I want them to be quieter unless I have already confirmed that story, because I probably don't. In fact, out of all of you at your table, I want you to be quieter --I don't want to listen to you using me to pressure your kid to behave the way you (not I) want your kid to behave. I certainly do not want to listen to you make noises that sound like an air compressor. Of all the noises in the world that are louder than the ambient sound in any large, people-filled space, shushing is only slightly less attention-getting than gunshots.

photo Pay No Attention to the Blues by goldsardine used with permission (Creative Commons, Attributed, Non-Derivative)