I had vaguely heard a little fussing behind me. It went something like this;
No sweetie, you can't have a muffin.
No, honey. We aren't getting muffins today.
Holy crap. Did mommy actually just hit her child- in the middle of Connecticut Muffin?
Nope. I turned to see a smiling toddler, and a shocked mother with a rosy cheek.
|The face of an angel? Sometimes.|
Had this been a year and a half ago- before I had a child- I would have probably given mommy a look of judgement and disdain. Today- I just looked at her, shrugged my shoulders, and thought, Great. Is this what I have to look forward to? I mean, this woman was clearly a good mom. She wasn't indulging her kid, she was attentive, she kept her shit together, and she left immediately when he acted up.
Poor, tired, embarrassed mom walks out of the shop. Immediately, the women behind me start talking.
Did you see that? God. You can't tell me you can't teach a child 'No.' I have a dog, and I can teach him that. A dog. Aren't children smarter than dogs? Yes, they are. Jeez.
I have issues holding my tongue. It's been a problem for as long as I can remember. Maybe I was mute in a past life. I turn around to offer my two cents.
Do you have kids? The dog you tied up outside before you came in here doesn't count.
She answers, clearly annoyed. No.
Well then, maybe you should shut the fuck up.
In solidarity with tired mom- and just in case these women are prone to violence- I pick up my stuff and leave. So much for my relaxing morning.
Honestly, I don't know what it is about parenting that makes us all think it's so easy to do. It's not easy. At all. And guess what, just because you have a puppy, or once spent the weekend watching your best friend's child-or whatever- doesn't make you a pro on the subject. Try rearing something 24 hours a day- that you can't tie up outside a restaurant, or leave home all day, alone. I'm not saying owning a pet is easy. It is a total pain in the ass. It just doesn't qualify you to give parenting advice or judgement. Ever.
My child is 16 months old. He doesn't listen to a damn thing I say. I don't indulge his every whim. He just happens to be a young, rough draft of a human being- with no on/off switch, no real social skills yet, and no volume control.
He's a wild animal that I can't put on a leash, or muzzle. I'll repeat, that I can't put on a leash, or muzzle. That's the difference between him, and your dog. And that's why- by default- my life is harder.
So give myself and other parents a break, and stop thinking you know it all because you taught your dog how to fetch and stop chewing on your shoes. And I'll stop cursing you under my breath every time your dog's pee ruins a perfectly beautiful, fresh snowy street- or the next time I get a huge waft of dog shit when I'm on my morning walk.