Friday, March 04, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some

And this is exactly why my next stop is password-protected posts. Because these are the times when I cannot stand the muzzle I put on myself, and choking down the words is, well, choking me. Yet what I want to write will hurt another, so I can’t bring myself to do it. I am an open book with (most of) my life, but it is hard for me to share portions that directly involve others. So, no post. Instead, I sit here, close to midnight, unable to sleep, with this burning away inside me. Can’t call anyone this late and can’t pound out a blog post. Yeah, maybe I am being dramatic. Burning, choking, muzzles, mixed metaphors… classic me. But there are times when I feel completely overwhelmed and just not capable to dealing with situations on my own.

[and this next part was deleted this morning….]

Thursday at the Post Office, an obnoxious and disheveled man shushed the girls. The best part is, they weren’t even being loud. My last trip to the post office included the girls knocking over of velvet corral ropes and general antsy mayhem, and culminated in Avery biting my ass (literally) while I tried to make that very important decision of one-day, two-day, three-day or parcel post mail.

This time, polar opposite. Madeline sat like an angel in a chair while Avery stood next to her. They were passing a plastic Lego tree back and forth, laughing and obviously happy. Avery would pretend to take a bite out of the tree and Madeline would laugh and say “Avy, do it again!” And Avery did. (Maddie calls her Avy…)

This grinch kept shushing them, in a loud and undignified way that sent spittle spraying in their general direction. First time, I ignored it. Second time, I told the girls to quiet down, all the while thinking to myself “What am I doing? They are not being loud.” But the third time, I let loose a little. I told him that the are not being loud and he can stop shushing them, as they have been taught never to take orders from strangers.

I was angry. Maybe sort monthly chemical shift (which gets worse as we get older? WTF?) prompted that not-very-controlled response, but it was rude, and he needed to not get away with that. And he struck me as the type of man who has gotten away with a lot. I’m pissed that I had to be semi rude to him, and that I must have seemed like that defensive mom, and embarrassed that other people waiting on line had to see that. And I am pissed that I will not be able to protect my girls from losers like that. I love my girls more than anything. How will I ever be able to protect them, from spittle spraying strangers?

That’s my state of mind. Let’s hope sleep cures this. Friday has to be better.


Debbie said...

Why not use your private blog to vent? I was always so worried about my kids bothering other people in public, sometimes with good reason and sometimes not. I wish I wouldn't have worried so much. I can see clearer now that most people enjoy kids being kids. The man at the post office deserved to be put in his place. I hope he doesn't have kids. And if he does, how sad.

Carey said...

If someone shushed my kids, I would be livid. Say something to me, the parent - you know, the adult?? People can be so rude and forget that kids are just that... kids. Good for you for saying something!

cynthia said...

the girls are getting so BIG.. lurker, but love reading..

Lisa in NJ said...

wow I wouldn't have been able to tell the man off, Good job... I was going to to say the same thing about your private blog, vent there it will help.

Amy said...

Totally good for you for standing up to that gross sounding stranger!! Sorry you're feeling shitty right now, hopefully the fact that it's the weekend will help : )

Hope said...

It is important that you stood up for the girls, and that they say you do it. To children, adults are authority figures, and little kids can easily be intimidated by them, even (and maybe especially) strangers. That's why younger children are at such risk to predators. To teach any young child that they must obey their parents and the extended family circle, but not strangers, is difficult- especially since the list of "approved" adults is constantly changing- teachers, babysitters, daycare, doctors & nurses, etc. It has got to be confusing to kids, and for you to very bluntly express "you are a stranger, and you will not tell my children what to do, and they know that they should never listen to strangers" is such an important demonstration of what you've been teaching the girls. It also teaches them that it is important to stand up for yourself- just like Momma! Don't be embarrassed, be proud! These are the little things that can make a huge positive impact on the girls!

judy said...

I would have let loose on that guy! You did a great job standing up for your girls and yourself.

Shelli said...

oh sweetie - I've had MORE than my fair share of run-ins while waiting in line with both cherubs at various NYC establishments - it's just part of the culture. Most SANE folks are on your side - there's always a wack job or two willing to spew venom, or shhh's as the case may be.

Speak up, let them see you stand proud in defense of them, and they'll adopt the language, too. And be tall, and proud, and strong.