Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Comment

I will be the first to admit that I don't have the foggiest idea what the hell I am doing when it comes to being a mother.  I begin everyday with grand ambitions and lofty goals, only to feel like I have fallen short and that my child will ultimately hate me and end up having a shrink who will inform him that he is the way he is because of his crazy mother.

Deep down, I know this isn't true.  Sacha is a good kid.  He is very happy-go-lucky by nature, always smiling or laughing, loves to read and play pretend and dance the freaken mambo with Dora.  He is, however, becoming a terrible two: he knows how to throw a tantrum (and HOW!) and get on my last nerve.  He has also developed a lovely habit of scratching and pinching other kids.  For no real reason.  Just because he is a 20 month old boy.  But everything I've read tells me that this is normal, and that he is not a bad kid, nor am I failing as a parent.  Then there was The Comment.

I had signed Sacha and I up for a Messy Play workshop at a local drop-in center for preschool children and their parents.  Sacha and I frequent the center a LOT.  The staff are amazing, the toys are great, and it gives me a chance to visit with other moms while the kids play. I had taken Sacha to a Messy Play workshop before and he loved it: a craft, doing some baking and cupcake decorating, what's NOT to like?  Today, apparently everything.  He didn't want to wear a smock for sponge painting, nor did he want to use a sponge.  He didn't want to sit at the table long enough to even see what type of baking we were going to do.  He put his body into full rigor like a plank of wood and refused to do anything that was "organized".  At that moment, in a room filled with moms and their 2 and 3 year olds, one particular mother of 4 looked at me, fully pregnant at 38.5 weeks, struggling with Sacha and said: "If you can't control him, what are you going to do when you have two?"

Huh?  WTF?  I think my jaw dropped to the floor, I probably urinated myself a little, and stood up with Sacha and pretended not to hear her.  But how could I not?  It is one thing to think that you, yourself, are an inadequate parent.  It is entirely another for a bitch of a woman, a fellow mother, to share my opinion and voice it in that way.  I've been stewing over this all day, and I still don't know what I would have said to her.  I know her little boy is no angel (I think Sacha picked up his screeching habit from him), but I still can't come up with a retort that would have put her in her place, the way she did me.

We left about 10 minutes after the comment.  I still don't know what I could have done or said.  I know I will see this mother again, as she frequents the center a lot, but I really wish I could just crawl in a hole and die instead.  Or that she would do the crawling and dying for me.

28 comments:

  1. Dont even worry about it time passes so fast and one day you will look back and laugh , I am working on my blog to go over some of the crap i went through with my own kids and even though I learned on the fly they are all doing well in school , no drugs , no bible either but overall good kids

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  2. Women that make ignorant comments like that are only exhibiting their own lack of self esteem. When your own Mother- In-Law tells me that you are a good and loving mother you have nothing to worry about.

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  3. I'm just floored by this.

    I can only hope this remark came from a deep-seated insecurity. Otherwise, it is just too awful.

    You're doing fine. Better than fine. Screw that woman and her judgmental crap!

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  4. Ooooo, I'd be soooo mad.

    I suspect she was trying to make herself feel better.

    I wonder... can a pregnant woman bitchslap someone and use hormones as a defense? ;)

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  5. Ditto what grandma and Krista said. She was trying to make HERSELF feel better. You are a great mama, you will be a great mama of two. I know it's hard for me to get over comments like that (it takes hashing and re-hashing it again and again for me to get over it.)

    Try to let it roll off your shoulders and enjoy the next two weeks with Sacha. *hugs*

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  6. I don't think my jaw has come up off the floor since we discussed this yesterday. I can't believe the nerve of some people! Honestly, this is one of the rudest things I've heard in a long time. I'd be stewing for days.

    But you know you're a good mother. And that everyone else is right - there is probably some deep-seated insecurity on her part to say something like this to someone she barely knows. Every kid is going to have a bad day (even, I suspect, this woman's perfect angels) and it is so horrible to judge someone else for what is a tiny snapshot of their life.

    Oh, and Krista's comment about the bitchslap had me rolling. That would have been quite the hysterical scene!

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  7. Just say to her c- u-next -Tuesday and watch her jaw drop because she won't figure out that you've just called her a bad word. Or say doublavay, te,ef??

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  8. She's a bitch. And making you feel bad somehow makes her appear to be a better person in her estimation. She is, of course, wrong.

    Hold your head up. You're the Mom of a toddler and pregnant to boot. That isn't easy. Believe me, I'm right where you are.

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  9. Girlfriend I feel your pain. When I was near the end of my pregnancy Bubbie started with his terrible two tantrums. I would be trying to walk him into daycare as he threw himself on the floor and then I would have to pick him up and carry him the rest of the way in. This occurred as many people passed us by and occasionally had to step over him in the middle of the floor. These same people would say to me, " you really shouldn't be carry him in your condition", like I had a choice. I would be so angry. Only one other parent ever came to my recuse and carried/wrestled Bubbie into daycare for me.

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  10. Such a great role model for her kids. I wouldn't have known what to say either...I probably would have left sooner than you in a state of shock. Kudos to you for holding your head up high.
    She should write a book since she seems to have the magical secrets to having perfect children...but no, she would need tact for writing, and we know she doesn't have that.

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  11. 20-month old boys (I can't say children as I have no girls) are terrors (my Stink is currently exactly at that stage). This has nothing to do with parenting. No matter what any bitchy-ho says to you. And the whole putting done other mothers things is just so, 1990. Haven't we progressed since then??

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  12. wow, and double wow. That is just rude on so many different levels. Kudos to you for NOT stooping to her level by even giving her a response!

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  13. [...] your reading pleasure with random shots of the little dude, who may be hanging around with his crazy maman a little too [...]

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  14. Oh what an experience...patience some more.

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  15. [...] Why do moms do this to each other? I know that most of them do it to make themselves feel better. Or they think [...]

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  16. i think we just have to realize in life there are assholes. i try to NOT hang out with assholes b/c they suck the life out of me.

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  17. My second born is a lot like your Sacha. My little girl is assertive, bossy and knows who she is at 22 freaking months old. I will not squash that spirit, even when she hits strangers with flying shoes mid-tantrum.

    Your kid is normal. Who the heck wants a little sheep that does everything that he's told?

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  18. When I was at the doctor's office with Andi when she was about 9 mos., this old bag said to me, "You're not very old, are you?" I replied, "Well, I'm 21". She just looked at me like she was disgusted and said, "Well, you look like you're 16". I was so taken aback that a perfect stranger would say that to me. I had a happy chubby baby sitting on my lap, obviously well cared for. I felt like saying, "What - are you the age police" or better yet "Well, you look like you're 85!" But of course I said nothing because she left me speechless.

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  19. What a skanky ho that mom is.

    YOu're doing great. Toddlers are hard! Chin up girlie! This will pass too.

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  20. I am with Larsen. I LOVE that phrase. I would have alos used my pregnancy hormones as an excuse to bitch slap her. Think of the great endorphins you would have released...ahhhh

    We have all had bad kid moments - NO child is perfect. I have plenty of Bad Mommy Stars to prove it. the fact that she thought otherwise...well sad to be her.

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  21. I'm shocked and ticked that another mother would say such a horrible thing to you. Ok, maybe not shocked since people say things all the time without thinking before engaging their mouths. But she had no right to do that. I would wait until her kid acts up, glare at her, and say 'can't you control your kid' in a real nasty tone.

    As for the bitchslap thing, you could probably get away with it being so pregnant and hormonal. I almost smacked the crap out of BIL when I was pg with #2. I asked a Sarg with the police department if I could've gotten off and he laughed and said yes. I don't recommend trying it just in case.......... *grin*

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  22. I'm just aggressive enough to say something to her next time I see her. I'd go with the 'I want her to feel really bad' kinda comment like,

    "I've thought a lot about what you said to me last week about not being able to control my child..." "I'm frankly so sad that you said that to me. Here we are, Moms, doing the best we can on the good days and the bad. All we really crave is some support, friendship and compassion. And when you said that divisive comment to me, you weren't able to give me any of that last week." "Isn't it sad that we can't stand together as Moms?"

    That'd make her think.

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  23. Seriously? She must have major issues. That's really the only answer. And no compassion, or empathy. And her life is probably stark and empty and bleak. And the only way she can feel even slightly better about herself is to say terribly hurtful things to other people. Why else would she say something so inhuman?

    I'm sorry, that's the kind of comment that would bug me for way longer than it should, even after I'd convinced myself it didn't matter.

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  24. I guess at 38 weeks you probably can't get your leg up high enough to kick her in the teeth. May I suggest lifting up Sacha and having him do it for you? After all, you just can't control him.

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  25. This post nearly made me cry. Who the hell does she think she is??!! First you don't speak to people that way, second you don't speak to VERY pregnant women that way.

    I'm so sorry she was such a bitch. You're doing great, he's not out of control...He's an active 2 yo.

    I know if it had been me in that situation, I would have said nothing...unless of course it was one of those days my alter ego, Trixie LaRue, was out and then I would have said something along the lines of, "You didn't REALLY just say that did you??? Go to hell. Bitch."

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  26. Something similar happened to me when I was pregnant... I was in Target shopping and I accidently picked up someone else's cart and when I realized it I went back and apologized she told me I'd better get it together before the baby came because if I didn't I'd end up doing that with the baby in the cart! I love how people feel they have the right to say whatever is on their mind without a filter! I also did not say anything but wish I would have said - "kiss what!?"

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  27. Hi Sarah....I saw your Blog entry title through Facebook, and thought I would check it out. Cool blog by the way. I remember the incident...After you left, I told her it was very ignorant of her to make such a comment to a fully pregnant, wonderful mother with a toddler acting age appropriately. And that she should take a good look at her own mothering skills by checking out her own child's behaviour. (you know what I am talking about!) Okay, I didn't say it like that. I just told her it wasn't very considerate and that I don't think anyone would have taken that well. Oh, and I really think most moms were uncomfortable when she make that comment.
    So there! I was just as insulted as you were. See you soon! Nathalie

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  28. and here I thought that moms supported each other. I applaud you for not lowering yourself to her level. That is tacky, tasteless and trashy for her to comment to you that way.
    She either has zero people skills and is socially backwards, or she's just a bitch.

    I have a 22 month old little boy who is learning the hellacious heathenish art of tantrums and the glory that is the word 'No'. I feel your pain, I sympathize with you and I tell you that it will get better. You will laugh at this one day.
    Because you are strong.
    God Bless ya dear.

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Thoughts? Comments? Questions?