1.17.2009

Parenting

Thursday evening I took the boys to Chick-Fil-A for supper and to play on the indoor playground - I'd told myself that the boys and I would eat out the two Thursday evenings Paul was away, and both nights were greatly anticipated by myself. It gets to feeling rather claustrophobic without Paul around!

I took a book along with me and let Judah play for almost two hours on the playground. He had so much fun climbing and sliding and exploring! It was fun watching him have so much fun and *ahem* wear himself out for bed time.

While we were there dozens of other children came and went. I was blown away by the obnoxious children and the parents that enabled/ignored the behavior.

There were two snotty-nosed sniffling sisters that were obsessed with Wesley, who was right beside me in his car seat. They kept trying to touch him and get up in his face.
I told them they could say "Hi" and look at him, but I didn't want them getting close. They didn't listen and continued pushing themselves on him.
I told them again to get away from him, and I put a blanket over him so they couldn't see him. One of the girls pouted and went to move the blanket.
I again told her to leave him alone.
She said to me "No, I don't want to."
I said "That doesn't matter. I said not to touch my baby and you are not going to touch my baby."
She pouted again and whined "But why?"
And I said "Because he is my baby. Now leave him alone."
She backed down right away and left Wesley alone. The mother was right there watching, but never once stepped in to tell her girls to leave the baby alone.

Then a bit later a little boy came in with a Pez candy dispenser. His mother came in a few minutes later to get it from him so that he "wouldn't ruin his dinner" by eating all the candy.
She asked him for it and he said "No way, it is MINE."
She explained she didn't want him to eat any more before dinner and took it from his hands and started to put it in her pocket.
He stomped his foot and said "Give that back to me now."
The mother handed it right back. I think my jaw dropped at that moment.
The boy tried to get another piece of candy out of it, but the dispenser was jammed and he couldn't. He handed it back to his mother and demanded "Get me a piece out now."
And she did! She unjammed it, gave him the piece, and passed the whole thing back to him!

It was at that time I decided I wanted to leave. There'd been ornery kids in there all evening, but this boy - and his mother! - were by far the most obnoxious and I didn't want Judah being around him - and I will admit - while watching the terrible behaviors I couldn't help but think how well behaved my children are.
I told Judah it was time to go and to come over and get his shoes on.

God certainly has a way of crushing my pride and keeping me humble. My sweet child got mad and didn't want to leave. He threw a temper tantrum right there, in front of all the kids and parents.
In the middle of me dealing with Judah the mother of the Pez boy approached me and said "Oh, just let him go play."
I was somewhat taken aback and said "Pardon me?"
She said "He wants to play, you should let him go play."
I politely said "No, he doesn't get to play any more. It is time for us to go home."

While she was talking to me I was still dealing with Judah. I was trying to get him to sit on a bench and continue his tantrum sitting, away from the other children and away from anything "fun." I was at a complete disadvantage with Wesley, a diaper bag loaded with books and a toddler throwing a tantrum. I couldn't leave until Judah would walk out with me. I physically couldn't manage all three!

Judah finally got seated on the bench, all the while continuing his little rebellion. He had somewhat calmed down (which I knew would happen once I got him sitting) but he was still crying and declaring "No, no home. NO! Sllllliiiiiide!"
The mother then says to me; "What is he doing?"
I wasn't quite sure what she meant, so I said "Protesting going home."
She was pretty much shocked that my child wanted to slide and I wouldn't let him.
I turned my attention back to Judah, who soon calmed himself down enough to listen and obey when I told him to stand up and walk out quietly.

I think the mother didn't like me... she stood five feet away and watched me try to open the door while carrying the car seat, diaper bag and holding Judah's hand. She simply watched - didn't budge or offer to help. It was definitely the oddest situation I have been in in awhile!

I am very grateful that I am able to be at home with our boys right now and that they aren't witnesses to such obnoxious behaviours on a daily basis. I really do feel for the children, they are simply a product of how their parents are - or are not - raising them.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

i totally feel for you! but at least your family arent those annoying and enabling parents and those annoying bratty kids arent your niece! so any time we go out with my sister shes always giving the kids candy (which i dont really give them!) or if i go to my moms (which she babysits my niece every nite!) where her behavior is completely apauling and accepted!
and my mom is always yelling at me in fornt of my kids telling me to just leave them alone! and my sister says im a mean mom in fornt of them cause i dont allow them to have candy all the time! its def. hard to have well behaved kids when this happens ALL THE TIME!!!!! -ashleigh

Heather said...

I am all fired up just reading this and I wasn't even living it like you were! OH my goodness!!! You certainly handled everything so well, even with a mother hovering over you and questioning your parenting. You will be so happy that you are not afraid to say no to your boys and that you set limits for them. Good job!

Rachel said...

This made me angry to read. I am so shocked at the stupidity of some people, and that the mother of that naughty little boy thought you needed a few "tips" from her on how to parent yours. You sound like a very wise and wonderful mom. You are doing your kids a HUGE favor.

Stacy said...

Good for you for standing your ground!
I was in the grocery store a few months ago and overheard a little boy (maybe in the 3-5 y/o age range) say "you have to buy that for me or I'm gonna kill you!" I didn't hear the parent say anything at all.

Anonymous said...

*_* Great Job Jessica and Kudos to your mom raising you! ^_^ It shows...
Eder

BeckeyZ said...

You go girl! I know it's difficult when your surrounded by ignorance, but you handled it well.

I hesitate to take the kids to indoor playgrounds. Generally, we go when most other kids are in school.

Your boys are blessed.

Catherine said...

Wow, that is quite the story.

Nicole said...

Wow, what a time huh? What nerve did the other mother have of telling YOU how to parent? If she wanted to help she could of said "I will watch your baby while you calm him down" or something....
You did great Jessica!!! You are a great Mum!!

TammyIsBlessed said...

Wow!!

The biggest difference between their kids misbehaviour and your kids misbehavious is the response by the parents. Way to go!

TammyIsBlessed said...

I still can't believe she had the nerve to question your parenting after her and her kids display!

Crystal said...

Wow.

Donna said...

All kids push the boundaries (and some more than others...HA!). What matters is what you do when they do what is natural for them.

Good job, Momma!

The Rock Chick said...

You just proved that good parenting is hard work! I have seen things like you've described many times over and it never ceased to amaze me. There's one couple here on "Hysteria Lane" who have raised their daughter in a similar fashion to the Pez woman. This kid has complete run of their house and their lives to the point that if she doesn't want to go to school, but wants to go to The American Girl Store, one of them will take off work and take her. Last week we had a get together at a neighbors house and when it was time for them to leave, this girl threw a temper tantrum like I had never seen. And she is 12!

You keep doing what you're doing, Jessica!

Jeanie said...

At least you didn't have to go home with Pez Boy.

Jenny-Fair said...

We were at the doc's office once, when my boys were about 8 and 10 or so and the little girl I took care of was about four. I don't let them play on the toys there as they have to be full of germs, so they were all three sitting in chairs looking at magazines.

A family came in with a preschool boy who was literally climbing the walls, on tables, throwing toys, screaming and making a nuisance of himself. His mother's butt never left her chair and all she did was repeat, 'Junior, stop doing that. Stop doing that and come here' Finally she said, 'If you come here I'll give you candy!' at which point all three of my children turned to look at her with incredulous expressions, and then at me, not even knowing what to think of the situation.

Julie said...

I so totally get what you mean and reading this makes me SO angry! It's a disease and it's spreading! I just wrote a review on my blog about a children's book I checked out from the library about good manners which basically told kids it was OK to misbehave because they were kids and good manners were for boring grown ups! Arg!!!!!

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