I used to have a joke in my act that went something like this…
“When you’re a kid, you never appreciate it. You just want to grow up. But, when you’re a young adult, you long to be a kid again. You realize you had it good with no bills and someone to watch over you. You wish you could go back. But, you can’t. You can’t go back. You can, however, get moments of that kid. For me, I’d get into my bed. I’d be all warm and snug under my duvet blanket. I’d just revel in the comfort of that warm and snug feeling and I’d have a flash of it. I’d go…OH! This is what it must’ve felt like when I was a baby. I feel like a baby again. I’m a little warm and snug, baby…except for the fact that I’m drunk. And then I’d start chastising myself. Look at yourself. You’re a drunk baby! Can’t even walk or talk yet and already you’re full of booze…Nobody likes a drunk baby!! You, drunk-whore! You, drunk, baby-whore!”
A stupid joke, but it hits on something, now, doesn’t it?
The other day, Wifesy and I went to our favorite taco joint. It was the middle of the day, middle of the week, but Wifesy has an odd schedule and I try to match my freelance days to hers whenever I can. So, suffice it to say it’s common that we might be “off” together on a Tuesday. So, we’re there at the taco joint after yoga because we like to erase the healthy things we do with something naughty. As we walk up to our usual spot, Wifesy goes, “That woman is always here when we come.” Hmmm. I had never noticed her before and Wifesy starts talking to her right away. This is also strange, as I’m usually the one chatting with everyone in our immediate vicinity at a restaurant or a bar. Wifesy chats up the woman and I look down to see that she’s filling out some sort of adoption papers.
Our repartee with the woman goes something like this:
“Oh, hi. Good to see you here again,” says Wifesy. “We like to come for happy hour and we’ve seen you here once or twice before.”
“Oh, yes, I like to come during the day. As you both probably know, this place is packed at night. I come during the day to do some work and get out of the house,” she responds.
“Are you adopting?” I ask. Okay, there was some more small talk in there before I jumped in with the adoption question, but you know, for post-length-sake…
“Basically, my sister is a crack whore and I rescued her kids. I have 5 of my own and 2 of hers. I love them. They are like my babies now.”
Okay, she didn’t say crack whore, but really that was the gist of it. It might of been heroin, it might’ve been meth, and she didn’t add whore. She probably said, “My sister the addict,” but the thing is everyone’s thinking crack whore. So, let’s just go with it.
“Oh, wow, that’s amazing. How old are your babies, the adopted ones?” I ask.
“They are 5 and 7,” she says.
And that was it. Right there. I judged her. I thought, you’ve got two kids at home, 5 and 7? Then what the hell are you doing here, in the bar, in the middle of the day, regularly, having a glass of wine? I MEAN, WHO IN THE FECK IS WATCHING THE BABIES?
Now, I am not a judgmental person. So, it’s amazing to me that I had that reaction. Granted it was a silent reaction. I’m not going to say it out loud. However, I did fish a little more. I said something like, “Oh, do you have a babysitter for them now?”
And she said, “My older sons are watching them.”
And I judged again. I thought, so you leave your crack-whore sister’s kids with a couple of your older boys and no parental supervision to do what? Run amok? Cause havoc? Just what the feck are you doing lady? What kind of mother are you?
I found my snap reactions so strange. Here this woman was doing a good thing. She took in kids who needed caring for. Her sons are old enough to watch them from what she said. But, I’m judging her.
Meanwhile, there’s a part of me that goes, why in the hell can’t I take my own goddermned kid into a pub, when I have a kid, if I want to? They do it in Europe. Yet, here, you look like a wack-job. So, I want all of the freedom for myself, but none of it for anyone else? Talk about a double standard.
It’s as if your brain goes — I know and they don’t. Now, of course, I never said any of this out loud to the woman. But, it did make me think — MAN, PARENTS GET JUDGED SO MUCH. Every other adult is looking over their shoulder at another parent and going, I wouldn’t do that. I would do it better, differently, with more discipline, with less discipline, with more love, with less spoiling, with more meds, with no meds, etc. Etc.
It reminded me of a time, a few years ago, when Wifesy and I were in Manhattan. As we were walking through the neighborhood, we saw a guy, a hipster, about our age, screaming at two small girls.
I mean, the hipster-dad was REALLY tearing them a new one. There was something scary about it. Both Wifesy and I thought it was over the top. So, we walked over and I said, “Is everything okay?” Hipster guy was seeing red and looked at me with pure rage on his face. I said, “Are these your kids?” I said it just to gauge his reaction and the girls’ reaction. It was immediately clear that they were indeed his. The guy said something really sarcastic about us being, “Upstanding citizens,” but I’ve been a comedian for too long and I know what he really meant was, “Nosy dykes.” Regardless, I’m glad I stepped in there. I backed off as soon as it was clear that they were family and the guy had calmed down a bit. Hell, I even thought to myself, I didn’t see the moment before the yelling. Maybe the girls almost ran into traffic and he was screaming at them out of love and concern. I mean kids can be hella stupid sometimes.
Anyway, I don’t know how I would handle that aspect of parenting, if I have a kid – the constant judgement. I think I might sit my kid right on the barstool, pour myself a glass of pinot gris, and tell every human being that comes up to me to, “Feck off.”
What about you? Do you judge other parents? How do you deal with it when people unfairly judge you?
As always, I love hearing your answers.
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Photo creds: drunk-baby, hipster-stairs, feck-sleep
87 thoughts on “It’s None of My Business, If Your Baby Is Drunk.”
I don’t have kids (well, the human kind anyway), but working in the healthcare field, I do find myself judging parents almost constantly. I try to avoid it, but there are some things like common sense that I just scream about in my head. Not that kids aren’t great, but I adore having cats. 🙂
sistah, i hear you! we have a frenchie and that’s it. but, wifesy is a vet, so we’re always judging other pet owners like CONSTANTLY. but, she’s usually right. like a kitten that came in the other day – totally mauled. the owner was like, “i don’t know what happened, she was only outside for a little bit.” wifesy was like, “SHE’S A WEEK OLD, YOU LUNATIC!!!” lol. people are crazy. xoxo, sm
This is great, I judge other parents all of the time but I keep the comments to myself because I’m not a dick. I am also aware that other parents judge me that is why I like to do stuff just to mess with them like sit down at the bar and put a baby monitor next to my drink.
I gave you a shout out today right before I stole your format from last week. I would have asked for permission but you seem like the forgiving type so I opted for that. Imitation is flattering right (I hope) Great stuff SM.
cool. i was planning on heading over to your blog after i saw the headline, ‘minimal effort’ or something like that. lool. anyway, glad you liked. and i hear you on all fronts. xo, sm
You are the best!
I try to judge absolutely everyone that crosses my path, it makes life more fun. Next time when your in traffic with wifesy, point at someone in another car and laugh while pretending to say something. That’s my new pastime 😀
You wouldn’t believe the reactions you get.
i do this thing where – when wifesy’s driving, i roll down the window and yell, ‘michael, sherry?” to passersby. i got it from another comedian and it’s endlessly fun…
I’m dy-ing over here!
I don’t think it’s possible NOT to judge when a child’s welfare is at issue. Aren’t we all just a little more protective about young kids and helpless animals?
Regardless, I loved your drunk baby joke in the beginning. Hilarious. Reminded me of a line from the film “Sweet Home Alabama.” Reese Witherspoon’s character encounters a high school friend holding an infant. “You’ve got a baby…in a bar.”
i don’t know why, but i WANT to bring my baby to the bar. is that weird. i mean, the point is, you don’t get plastered and for feck sake, you don’t give the baby booze…altho my parents did, a teaspoon’s worth to calm me down…maybe that’s the current problem.
Erm…I’m not even gonna go there. However, giving kids a spoonful of alcohol to calm a cough or just shut them up was certainly the norm in the not-so-distant past. My grandmother used to make my mom drink Mogen David wine (which now goes by the name Mad Dog, hello) with an egg in it at dinner to, supposedly, put some meat on her. I think it was so that she’d go to sleep a little more quickly.
my parents ritalin was a teaspoon of my dad’s ‘tom collins’ — i’m NOT kidding. that’s the way it was done back then… lol.
I judge parents in extreme cases. Today a woman was holding a child and pushing another in a stroller into oncoming traffic and giving the finger to the cars that got kind of close to her.
This is Baltimore City….there are a lot of extreme cases.
i hear that. when i was in new york, a guy ran to catch the subway with a baby in his arms. the doors were closing, so, like a jay-hole he jammed his baby and arms into the doors before they closed, but not himself, of course. a guy on the other side of me and i grabbed the subway doors and yanked them open. i mean, there are idiots everywhere…
Oh. my. god. I’m laughing, but like, oh my god. Common sense should truly be considered a super power these days.
I judge everyone else, why wouldn’t I judge parents too? When I see parents cursing at their kids, or when I see a barely-toddler wandering around about 20 feet behind their parents and the parents aren’t even turning around to make sure the kid hasn’t toddled into a bus… things like that.
you know what used to drive me crazy in ny, weebs? i’m sure you see it all the time… parents on the subway holding their kids’ hands, but they (the parents) have got their ipod on and blaring in their own ears. i was always like, “really, you can’t pay full attention to your kid for ten feckin’ minutes??!!” aholes. they’re all aholes. lol.
-shiver- I was driving down a busy road through a shopping strip a few years back when this little boy – about 3? – wandered out onto the road right in front of me. I stopped in time and didn’t hit him but in that awful moment the scene was burned onto my brain and I can still see this image of his Mum, chatting to someone on the sidewalk. Oblivious.
If there had been anywhere to pull over I would have leapt out of my car and decked the bitch. Apologies but that incident still brings me out in a cold sweat.
yep, i might’ve got out of the car and pummeled her as well. some people need to FOCUS. seriously. xo, sm
-grin- I suspect you would have found a parking spot and told that mother exactly that. 😀
i dont really judge people but yes it happens the other way round..a lot many people try to judge me .. 🙂 😛
screw them, lil miss. i think you are the bomb! and in truth, everyone judges everyone. people judge/ dislike me all the time and all i can think is, “NEXT” as in i don’t have time for the haters… xo, sm
My friend and I occasionally go into a bar with our babies and order beers. People look at us strangely, and we know that they’re judging. But you know what? We’re not giving the beer to the babies. We’re not getting drunk. And we’re not leaving our babies alone so that we can get out. We know that we’re good moms and that by relaxing a little and getting out of the house we’re actually making ourselves better moms. Still, seeing the judgment on people’s faces can be hard. Some people really are crappy parents. I don’t think that I am. And yet I always feel like I have to defend myself and my decisions.
THAT is exactly what i’m talking about, kathy. i think i’d WANT to bring my baby to the bar. not every day for god’s sake. but, on occasion in a responsible way because i’ve earned that right as an adult. yet, i KNOW people would stare. the lady with the wine and the two kids at home, i don’t know, she might be an amazing parent, but it is crazy how fast one’s brain goes to judgement even when the sitch is probably okay. i’m guilty as charged. now, of course, rednecks being douches with their kids…that’s a whole other ball of judgement that requires and intervention. it’s all interesting nonetheless… and for the record, if i lived near you, i’d steal a baby, so i could go have a beer with you and your friend. 😉 momma
We would let you have a beer with us even without the baby. We’re chill like that.
I wrote a post like this way back when I was pregs. I saw a woman chewing out and cursing at her small child at a Subway. In the post, I resolved to be open-minded and non-judgmental of the woman since I wasn’t a parent yet and I didn’t know her whole situation. Now, however, if I were in the same situation, I would have no problem at all with judging her. She’s an asshole. I don’t care what her story is. I don’t care if she was raised by crackheads or had her child when she was 16 or if her partner beats up on her. You should NEVER, EVER take it out on your babies. Ever. I’m normally totally not a judgemental person, but when people refuse to behave as adults and their doing so harms children, I will judge the heck out of them.
TESTIFY, SISTAH, TESTIFY!! i think you are right. sometimes i think we do judge too far, so to speak. but, when someone is just being an outright ahole to a kid, i’ll be judging right with you… and probably saying something bc i can never keep my mouth shut… sigh.
I judge parents all the time even though I have no feckin’ clue what I’m doing as a parent. I should clearly be judged for the amount of time I spend with that Hugo puppet. I think it helps me parent–not the Hugo puppet, but watching other people act like mighty feck-ups and thinking “yeah, probably not the best idea to have my 3-year-old in Wal-mart at midnight.”
i think it’s what makes me think i would be a good parent…looking around at the other wackaloons doing it. of course, there are supermoms and dads, where i wouldn’t even be able to compare. but, when i see the idiots spawning i think, ‘come on, i can do better than that.’ this may also be the reason that i tried poker, but that didn’t go as well… sigh.
I agree. Parents are judged way too much these days. If only people realized that the minutiae of what parents do everyday doesn’t matter, we would have some peaceful parenting. When I was a 12, I wanted to taste beer, and my dad let me. And it was smart too, at 12, almost every kid goes yuckk at beer. I didn’t have it again for a long time. But this holier-than-thou judgment about every parental action is annoying. And you usually get that from people who’ve never been parents!
Nice post. Love the drunk baby-whore part!
i’m with you, bhara. i was just thinking today that if i have a kid, i’m going to teach them to drive at like 10 years old. that way by the time they reach 16ish, they’ll have some experience because here the car is way too necessary. now, of course, i’d teach them in an empty field somewhere where no one gets hurt not on the goddermned freeway, but i’m sure i’ll get judged for it anyway. sigh. thanks for reading, friend. xoxo
Anytime sm. BTW, it’s Bharat not bhara 🙂
oops, sorry, my friend. it’s been typo day for me. duly noted. sm
First, common sense is an oxymoron. You just have to look around to realize it’s stupidity, not sense, that’s common! I was a single parent in NYC, and I had my share of public meltdowns and tantrums – mostly my daughter’s – to deal with: the pursed lips and shaking heads, the “DO something” and “can’t you control your child?” Parenting, like old age, is definitely NOT for sissies. And I see the parent/child power plays out in public and do my best to neither purse my lips nor shake my head. I’ve walked in those shoes… And, I don’t want to say anything to an out of control parent who will then take it out on the kid as soon as I turn my back. xoxoM
agreed. we all need to be a bit more compassionate. i try, but i’m not sure i always succeed. xo, sm
Neither do I! Looks like I’m in good company! xoM
Great post. It’s so true. I have felt myself judge my friends parenting habits, but that is so easy to do when you don’t have kids. Maybe I will stop…..nahhh…;-) Thanks for the laugh!
hello there newsy, glad you liked it. and thanks for the follow. i know it’s hard to not judge right? lawd knows i won’t have the easiest time stopping, that’s for sure. but, hopefully, i can at least stop some things from coming out of my mouth…after all, i can always save them for the blog. looool. much love, sm
Baby steps, right? 😉 Looking forward to following your work!
As usual, you have 438 comments, and as usual, I don’t have the attention span to read them all, so sorry if I’m repeating.
Anyhoo… LOVED. THIS. POST.
I was the perfect parent…before I had kids. And then I had kids, and they kicked my arrogant teeth in. I was SO judgemental. I think I judged my mom the most.
I still get a little high horse-y, but I try to reel it in. I have my beliefs, and they catch their fair share of flack. But the more chill I am about other parents, the more chill I am about people’s judgements of me-as-a-mom. Y’know?
All of us love our babies.
Like the rest of life, there will always be critics. Gotta trust your gut. And surround yourself with supportive folks. And love your babies.
that’s it, sara. you nailed what this post is about. it’s about me having a moment where i went, ‘holy fuck the judgement must be hard,’ even tho i don’t have a baby. i saw it from the other side for a sec. doesn’t mean my brain stops the judging, but at least now it’s noted. because truthfully, most of the time, the parent is probably doing just fine with their particular kid. then on the other hand, you have someone doing something utterly stupid and then it’s a toss up. compassion, i think, is a key. xo, sm
This is always difficult for me, especially when it comes to little ones because I’m not a parent, but I don’t like to see parents screaming at their kids in public. I don’t think the humiliation thing works — in any situation, so I guess I do judge then. And, if you’re going to have some drinks, maybe get a babysitter? But, I’ve never lived in Europe so maybe they know something we don’t. Again, I try not to do it — judge parents — because if you’re not one, they’ll be the first to say, “You’re not a parent, so you don’t know….” I just keep my mouth shut and my judgements to myself.
it’s true, we are not parents. but, i like to think both of us have common sense. so, yeah, i totally try not to judge as well or at least i don’t voice it out loud… and then i see someone doing something completely ridiculous and whether or not i’ve passed an entire human through my lady parts or not, i judge, very loudly. like with the octomom, i judge… sigh. xo, briges, xo. sm
Picking apart the parenting skills of others is pretty much any of us have to hang onto. Our kids are just kids, with flaws and hairlicks and a little too much resemblance to ourselves at that awkward age. Not criticizing the parenting of others is like going to the movies with a blindofld on – pointless!
In the event that people don’t have kids, we can then feel free to criticize peoples’ choices of pets, hairstyles, clothes, significant others and political parties.
honestly, i’m so glad you exist. how right you are, how right. 😉 sm
This adulation is going straight to my head – which is better than premium vodka on a day like this one
Judging is part of the fun of being human, don’t you think? Just grab wifesy and go people watch at the local mall, or better yet, Wal-Mart! What fun you can have! It’s better (and cheaper) than a night at the movies. Rainey
oh, rainey, i so hear you. i so hear you. sometimes it can be devilish fun… it can. i may go to hell for it, but – oh yeah – i’m probably going there for a million other reasons too says the westboro baptist church… at least it will be fun..lol. xo, sm
I’m a teenage mother, and I get judged so harshly. People see how young I am and immediately comment on something my daughter is doing, even if it’s just the fact she isn’t wearing socks, they make it sound like the end of the world. Because I know what it’s like to be judged I try not to compare myself to other parents. I know exactly how hard it is to raise a baby and we all have our own way of coping and reacting.
emma, you are right. everyone deserves a little less judgement and a hint of compassion. it’s that whole, ‘never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes’ kind of thing. i for one am terrified of parenting and i find myself together and practically out of my 30s. so I CAN NOT IMAGINE doing it as a teen. suffice it to say that i think you are both brave and courageous and unfortunately when people give you the stink eye, you have to say in your head, ‘feck ’em’ because what you are doing is a very hard and awesome thing. much love, sm
I liked this post Mother. I think the only person that ever judged my parenting skills was my mother-in-law, who believes that everyone who didn’t have it as tough as she did is wrong. Anything that makes your life easier as a parent, is wrong for the child. The only time I judged other parents were if they were doing things that harmed their child. I remember one woman with a newborn who heated her baby’s milk too hot. I told her it was too hot SEVERAL times but her pride prevented her from taking my advice. I left because the thought of beating some sense into her crossed my mind. Also, if I see or hear of parents who over-discipline their kids, it makes me angry as hell. I believe in discipline for sure, but there is a big difference between teaching your child a lesson taking your anger out on them.
oh man, that hot milk thing would’ve drove me nuts too. i totally understand why you extracted yourself from the sitch. i would’ve done the same. and your monster in law sounds like an ahole. i’ve got your back. xoxo, sm
She is and thank you. 😉 xo
Oh hell yeah I judge. I usually keep it to myself, though. One time I didn’t. I have this neighbor that always screams at his kids, I mean this is the normal way they talk to each other. It’s horrifying. Little One had had one of his vomiting episodes and this one was particularly nasty. We had to take him to the ER twice in a 24 hour period. So after we get home for the second time, I open the car door and hear my neighbor raging at his kids. It was a pretty day, they had their windows open. Well I’m exhausted and here I’ve watched my kid go through the ringer and I have no compassion for anyone being mean to their kid. So I yell at the top of my lungs, “Oh my God, take a freakin’ Xanax and shut up”! He did. We never spoke of it.
i love this story. it’s both hilarious and justified. i also love it when people don’t think a woman will do anything and then she schools them a new sunday suit like you did. just awesome. much love, sm
Oh yes, I’ve been on both ends of this. And for every person who thinks you’re a mean mom, there’s another who think you’re not mean enough. There is no winning in this thing called parenthood. At least not if you listen to others’ advice. I’m for that pub thing with the kids like you said.
there is no winning. this summarizes my thoughts on this subject perfectly. i’m for the pub thing with the kids like you said — summarizes my thoughts on pretty much everything else. 😉 xo, sm
I don’t have kids because I can’t bear them, being a cross dresser and all. But if I had them I think it would make me want to be a crack whore. Also, I’m scared I would hit them. And i’m too selfish, too unreliable and too poor.
Every time i see a parent I feel sorry for them and me in equal quantities,
ok, portia, i read this comment in the evening 2 days ago and i literally laughed out loud. you are hilarious and i so relate. well not to the crossdressing, tho, i think every woman is a crossdresser in a sense. katherine hepburn started that with the trousers thing. it was this i related to most, ‘every time i see a parent i feel sorry for them and me in equal quantities’. gorgeous, portia, just gorgeous. much love, sm
I think you think like I think when I see people doing stuff like this. My immediate reaction is usually judgemental and would burst out of my mouth on occasion. I didn’t think I was judging, I was just RIGHT. Then my husband told me I WAS judgemental. Now I only think judgemental thoughts, examine them and promise myself I’m not going to do that anymore. It’s a process.
I’m a would-be comedian myself I would love to know more of your comedy and will continue to stop by and read. It sounds as if you no longer perform, but if you still do, I’d be interested in seeing you if you’re in the LA area.
Thanks for writing. I’ll be back.
‘i didn’t think i was judging, i was just right.’ ohhhhh, appleton, if you had any idea how many times i’ve said that sentence me self. lol. i do still perform and will probably be performing until i’m really, really old and have chicken legs coming out of my mini skirt like phyllis diller because i just like it. however, i don’t perform as much as i once did (back in ny). that’s mainly because i’m spending more time writing these days, but the stand up will never stop. it is my first love, so to speak. my upcoming la shows are — august 5th at the westside comedy theater. i believe showtime is at 7pm. and then august 12th at the spitfire grill in santa monica. i think that showtime is 7 too. after that, i’ll be in san francisco performing — august 21st at harveys in the castro. aug 23-25th at the punchline. much love, sm
I think I know where both those theaters are. I hope to be able to go to either or both! Exciting. I’ve only done comedy on stage a few times, but I always want to do more, so I totally get why you still do it. I never made it far, and figure if I can’t do it, I want to watch someone who does. I’ll be there.
sounds great, appleton, definitely come up to me after and say ‘hi’. much love, sm — becky donohue, on stage. ;0
Hopefully it’s not so much judging as learning through observation and hopefully not doing the same to your kids because you remember how shitty that looked.
I have, at times, been guilty of losing it on my 3 year olds in public (and private). Some weeks are a marathon of whining, cajoling, temper tantrums and meltdowns, and I defy anyone to go through that for a long period of time without flipping the feck out. I think it’s the parents who recognize when they’re hitting these peaks, and have the resources in place to put themselves in a time out who are the most successful. That lady sitting in a bar in the afternoon getting shit done while her older responsible kids are taking care of the younger ones? Smart. It is kind of a shame that we judge parents in the moments when they’re just trying to take care of themselves and their own well being because I think that’s one of the best things you can do as a parent.
As for the bar, well, my kids have been in many. And we’ve been in Walmart at midnight, and took them through really scary haunted houses, done lots of things that people probably should judge us for. But, I don’t give a rat’s ass, because I know my kids are happy, smart, healthy, well developed little kids and I do my best all the time to keep them that way. My supermom cape deflects criticism.
I re-read that and I think I came across a little preachy when I didn’t mean to… I just think that in general we should be kinder to parents because they’re on a marathon and mostly doing the best they can. Parents get judged for their worst moments all the time, and rarely by the hours and days where nothing really happens except they’re present and available. And what I mean by all of this is that it’s all about me.. I don’t want anyone to judge me. 😉
hey there, roller, i didn’t think you were preachy in your previous comment at all, simply stating your very valid opinion. and i thought you brought up a great point — MAYBE THAT MOM IN THE BAR WAS JUST TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF HERSELF — the caps emphasis is mine. i think that’s a great point. everyone is a better parent when they look out for themselves and their own needs, even just a bit. what’s the old saying, ‘always put the oxygen mask over your own face BEFORE you put it over your child’s.’ okay, maybe not an old saying, but it applies to way more than airlines, if you ask me. thanks for leaving your awesome comments here. much love, sm
I judge constantly! I even sometimes say things, I am rude that way. Bring loud and obnoxious babies to restaurants, let them wail and see if I won’t suggest you take them outside. I will, I have. I have also sent my bill to their table since you allowed them to ruin my meal.
I travel by plane a great deal, in fact this is the first year in a very long time I have been grounded for more than a month. I use to carry pacifiers, small bottles of Pedilite and cheap child leashes in my purse. Most people don’t know children (infants) cry on planes because their ears hurt, if you can get them to suck / swallow during take off and landing they won’t squall. I have been known to send / give out pacifiers and Pedilite to parents if it doesn’t appear they are prepared.
I have also been known to hand leashes to parents in malls and airports who run screaming after their ill-mannered tile monsters screaming ‘come back here Johnny, I will count to 10’. Really? Can Johnny count that high? What will you do when you get to 10? Start counting again? Unless there is a consequence such as an azz whopping at the end of that count, don’t bother!
Parents are odd creatures, they can’t see their children the way the rest of us do. If you don’t raise them correctly they won’t act correctly, I don’t judge the child but I surely do judge the parent. Those little cherubs may look all sweet and angelic but if you raised them to think they are all that and a bag of chips, they will be a misery to all the rest of us, forever.
ok, val, i always like you. but, when you say things like, ‘so i send my bill over to their table because they’ve ruined my meal’ well, then, I LOVE YOU. just hilarious. absolutely hilarious and justified. i think people like you and i, well, we say what everyone else wants to say and is thinking. it’s a great cathartic place to be, but we probably take the goddermed heat for everything too, even when we are right. regardless, i’m glad you exist. xo, sm
I do occasionally judge other parents and then I judge myself for judging because I’m nowhere near perfect and have never claimed to have all the answers. In fact, when I saw that cute picture with the baby and the beer I thought it was hysterical and then I thought, “what’s wrong with me, that child looks drunk and that’s wrong,” and then I thought, “oh back off, Buzzkill, it’s just a funny picture.” I’m conflicted.
i think the baby was just tired and the dad is holding the beer next to her, so she looks drunk. what i question, is that he’s allowing that picture to be ‘shared’ on flickr…because she’s going to grow up and say to her dad, ‘why in the feck did you let me look like a drunk baby all over the internet…’ wait, that’s my joke… loooool. much love, sm
Oh people judge something fierce. They want to assume the worst about every parent that is not them, and then they want everyone to do it their way.
true, true, true. we are an annoying species, us humans. very annoying. sigh.
I remember taking my daughter to a park when she was around 8 and I was teaching her how to ride a two-wheeler. She was getting really frustrated, irrational, and overly dramatic each time she fell. I was very patient, but after one dramatized fall/injury/insult/mother is torturing me even tho I want to learn how to ride a bike too many, I just left her where she lay, and continued walking around the park. She needed to deal with herself and learn that my responses couldn’t be manipulated with tears and screams. I ran into a friend at the park and stood talking to her while also keeping an eye on the heap of bicycle and emotion that was my child. Another woman passed by me — we were the only three adults in the park — and gave me the hairy, disapproving eyeball as she looked back and forth between me and daughter. I could almost hear her thoughts, “Look at this poor child! No one is helping her! How COULD you?! Should I call Child Protective Services?! Poor dear!” I did nothing, and eventually, my daughter pulled herself together and rejoined me in the land of the living. It was an important lesson about power struggles, but to the passer-by, I was a cold, uncaring mother!
laura, i loved this story. and i think it illustrates my point perfectly, so i’m really glad you left it here. this is what i thought about the hipster guy…i thought, i did NOT see the moment before. maybe has HAS TO teach them a lesson because they just did something incredibly stupid and life endangering a moment earlier. so, i gave him that and left the scene. that’s the thing about parenting and the story you relayed, it seem you have to not give a sh*t about the perception of things and judgemental passersby when you are, indeed, doing the right thing, as you were with your girl. it’s the same thing with pets – not for nothing – if you reward or comfort when they are ‘acting up’ the bad behavior gets reinforced and they keep doing it. what you did there is you curbed what could’ve developed into a lifelong behavior trait for your kid. and that, TRULY, helps them and all of us. much love, sm
Thanks, SM. It was great to have the opportunity to leave the story, that you opened the door. Yes, I agree that parenting and pet training have common traits! (and effects). Mind you, I’ve made plenty of decisions I wouldn’t repeat, too, but at least they have not involved verbal or physical violence directed at my child. It’s hard for me to see that, like the hipster, and not think about other ways that whatever emotions were being triggered could be communicated.
I admit to passing judgement on parents occasionally, which I find hypocritical of myself since I have not children. Usually, though, I pass judgement on the parents who won’t discipline their children or aren’t paying any attention to them.
“no children” Oops!
purple, i am equally guilty as charged! it’s like i can’t help it. sigh. xo, sm
I used to work at a toy store, so I pretty much judged every parent that walked in the door, but in my defense it was in Beverly Freaking Hills. How could I not judge really? The thing that really got me about parenting in that town was the lack of it. We’re talking Persian women in high heels and diamonds who obviously don’t work coming in with their two or three children AND one or two Hispanic babysitters. A one to one adult to child ratio. Obviously she’s too busy getting her hair done and going to yoga and talking to her friends and being on her phone to pay any attention to her kids. She-sus Christ almighty!
On a minor note, you said hella in your post! Now living in SF I hear it freaking everywhere but I will not cave. I cannot say it myself. Or hecka. That is also too strange.
Sigh. Yes, I judge.
I try not to judge differences in parenting styles. It’s my belief that usually just being consistently present works and your child will adapt regardless. Let’s face it, even Prince Charming and I have different parenting styles and we raised the same — perfect — children.
But to listen to a parent negotiating with their child when a simple yes or no would do? It’s painful. I’d rather listen to the tantrum, just as long as that parent isn’t caving into it. (Loved Laura’s story. Priceless.)
And, dispatchers are the ones who get the calls from parents who want the police to parent their children. I mean, really? We are not going to send a police officer because your 10 year old will not get out of bed and go to school. Lift that child up, put some clothes on them and drive (or walk) them to school. We’re not gonna do it for you! (There are more examples, but in the interest of space, I think I’ll reserve them for a stupid people part 2 — parents post. In fact, it may even be part 1.)
Good on you for recognizing there may be a good reason or two for her decisions. But, yes, some parents just scream to be judged.
BTW, love “feck” — gonna have to start using it myself. (Because the Prince just doesn’t care for that other f word, but I can’t seem to help myself.)
Honestly, I would have thought the same thing you did, and asked myself why she was in a bar when there are kids at home.
I guess I think that when someone chooses to be a parent, they don’t get to go bars in the middle of the day, or at all.
Thanks for this post. Just over the weekend, we were traveling from Atlanta back home with our 9 month old son. He had refused to nap or sleep at night the entire time we were there AND was just being a total “angel” at the airport. We were both burnt out. My husband had bellied up to the bar, gobbled down a sandwich and swallowed a pint while I held my screaming son and tried to choke down a few bites near the terminal. I finally wheeled the kid over to the bar and had at least 5 people look at me like I’d lost my mind.
I needed a G D drink.
So I asked for one. A bourbon and soda. And the bartender just looked at me and went about his business, presumably would get me the drink at his own leisure. During this time, a waitress asked if I was ordering something or just taking up seats with all my “stuff.”
I have never felt like such a second class citizen in my life. I finally cancelled my drink order and left. But jeez. If anyone needs a drink it’s a parent with a kid hell bent on draining them of all sense.
this is such a good comment, new friend. i couldn’t agree more. you deserved a double and one thrown into the faces of a few people, it sounds like. i don’t know how parents do it. i sincerely don’t, but i DO know we could all use a little more compassion. thanks for reading, sarah, it’s nice to have you here. sweet mo
I’m glad my kids are now in school. You still get judged when they’re older, but not as much as when they are babies. Or even before they are born! Breastfeeding is a big one. I got a LOT of criticism for not breastfeeding my daughters, as if it was anyone’s business! I might as well have been handing them beer bottles instead of formula. Crazy.
yeah, i can’t even imagine the judgement moms get. we are all judging all the time. sometimes that’s a good thing, like when you’re trying to figure out if the guy behind you is a mugger or not, a lot of other times it’s a bad thing. life is hard enough, so why judge everyone? sigh, but it’s human nature, i suppose. much love, sm