To all the parents I judged before I was a parent: I’m Sorry!
I remember all the times I gave parents a secret dirty look.
“Oh why is that kid not wearing shoes or socks? It’s freezing out!”
Listening to another tantrum in Target—on karmic end, I never gave a nasty look or made any bad comments. I usually felt bad for the kid—“Oh boy, someone’s having a bad day. I’m so glad I don’t have a kid.”
“Jesus is that kid a brat! Parents these days. They spoil kids, you know?”
I was a regular old “know-it-all” yet I had barely parented a plant.
While I wasn’t as obnoxious as half the people I deal with each day in public now as a parent, I still thought I knew enough.
I thought I knew enough to do it better than the poor son of a bitch who was trying to desperately get her tantruming son to mellow out.
I thought I knew better and couldn’t imagine why a couple had to bring their obnoxious 2 year-old to the romantic restaurant on the same night I was having a date night.
To be fair, it was a poor choice on their end, but sometimes you just need to get out.
So, Miss Know-it-all, that’s me if you haven’t been paying attention, now gets to be that poor son of a bitch with her kid in public.
“I’m exercising! I’m exercising! Whee!”
A little blonde tour de force of approximately 26 pounds and 34 inches is twirling, rolling, and jumping around in the front entranceway of a busy Manhattan restaurant.
“Hey, come here. Stop it. You need to put on your coat.”
“But mommy, I’m exercising!”
Richard Simmons couldn’t have done it better. Except for he would have avoided rolling around on a dirty floor and twirling in the way of a bunch of people.
I wrangle my kid outside in the freezing cold, with no coat on.
The ghost of my Know-it-all past echoes in my head: “Why does that kid not have any socks on?”
As the hostess helps me out of the restaurant, I tell her, “I swear I’m not a bad mom, but she won’t put her coat on.”
The hostess who is probably 18 years-old smiles, and is probably deciding on proper birth control methods as I try to make myself look better.
My favorite moment though had to be at a local Starbucks. Everyone is nice and quiet and enjoying their lattes and hot chocolate, while I sit with my daughter and my friend.
She decides it would be awesome to flash people and scream, “Boobies, boobies, boobies!”
I at least got a laugh out of that one.
Sometimes I have to try not to laugh when people say, “Who is that singing?” or “Who just screamed?”
The answer would be most empathetically, my kid, each and every time.
Of course, sometimes it’s not so cute.
It was really awesome to be in Victoria’s Secret, just trying to purchase a bra, when my kid got sick of waiting in the line. A woman and man in their early twenties stopped to tell me how cute my kid was.
“She’s so cute! How do you ever tell her no? You’re so cute,” the woman says, staring into my cranky kid’s face who at this point just wanted to go to the Disney store and had had it up to here with looking at bras, panties, and other sexy things she has no use for yet.
My cranky kid looks at this lady with a scowl and says, “No. Mommy, I want out! I wanna go! I wanna go to Disney.”
“We’re almost there. Just one more person to be rung up, and then it’s me.”
“Sorry,” I tell the girl, “She’s usually friendly, but she’s cranky today,” which is true.
“No mommy! I’m going to hit you,” my kid says.
She likes to warn you before she does something bad. It’s like a preview of what’s to come.
And yup, she smacks me in the leg as I’m paying for a bra and some girl is going on about how cute my little brat, I mean, darling is.
It was enough to crush my motherhood psyche forever.
So to all the parents who I tisk-tisked and judged, “I’m sorry.”
Trust me; I’m getting enough of my share now.
A mother who knows that as good as her kid is, sometimes she’s just plain bitchy like all toddlers and preschoolers can be.