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Monday, September 26, 2005

To The Withered Old Woman At the Library Book Sale

Having arrived at the ripe old age that you are, I would think that you would have learned that children sometimes cry and scream, especially two year old children. Two year old children who do not get their own way (for example coloring all over the books that are for sale with a pencil she just found on the ground) are particularly notorious for this type of behavior.

And really who can blame her. When you are two year old and surrounded by thousands of books finding a pencil on the ground seems like a stroke of good luck.

When you give me dirty looks and sigh loudly, it doesn't help the situation. When you loudly complain about my screaming child it makes me angry. It makes me want to grab you by you short gray helmet of hair and twist your arm behind your back while shouting "Who's crying now? HUH ? WHO'S CRYING NOW???"

As I was trying to calm my daughter down and wrestle the pencil out of her little hand, while she tried her hardest to gouge my eyeballs out of my head with it, I suddenly realized that I was allowing you to steal my joy.

Yes, it was aggravating dealing with her tantrum, but at two years old, her behavior is to be expected. Now your behavior, that is a different story.

The entire day leading up to this event was beautiful. The weather was warm and sunny, with a slight breeze that cooled you off just enough to enjoy standing out in the sunshine. I was pushing my sleeping infant in his stroller while three of my children skipped ahead of me on the sidewalk, my daughter with her ponytails swinging. I was thinking how lucky I am to live in this town with it's well funded public library, paved sidewalks, almost Norman Rockwellesque appearance.

It was at that moment that my anger dissipated and was replace with pity. You must have a very sad life if you can not bear to hear a two year old scream for all of 90 seconds. For that I am sorry.

That is why I smiled at you.

But say anything to me again like you did today, and I am taking you down.


Blogger Meg said...

AH! What did she say?

We're just starting to get the dirty looks now that Sophia looks big enough to control herself (and she's not).

9:06 AM  
Blogger just me said...

That was so well said. Thank you.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

My theory is these people were probably nasty young people. Just mean, mean, mean their whole lives.

9:24 AM  
Blogger buffi said...

You tell her. Well said.

**note to self: Don't piss Chris off...*

10:19 AM  
Blogger novaks8 said...

Thanks for giving me a chuckle!

People can be so crabby sometimes.

I bet her grandchildren don't come visit her very often!

heck, she probably doesn't even HAVE grandchildren or children OR a husband.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I HATE that! It happened to me once at the grocery store, I was seeing red. Kudos to you for handling it so gracefully.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

It is so frustrating to me when this happens. Do people not understand it is how the kids learn? If we give into them just to shut them up for these other people's sakes then we are merely creating even bigger monsters. Monsters that will grow up to be a menace to society in one way or another.

I swear I'd love to educate this type of stupid human but I know it would be futile.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

thank you so much for posting this right before I go grocery shopping. Now when people start giving me dirty looks for my 2yo screaming, I can imagine hurting them and saying "who's crying now?!".

you made my day. hope your day is going better.

2:15 PM  
Blogger dazeymae said...

good fer you.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Tammie said...

Oh my! I used to be one of those "whose crying now?!" people, until my niece and nephew stayed the weekend and I learned just how hard it is to take care of kids and what happens when they have a meltdown. Yes, I did eat crow soup that weekend, and it was the best lesson I learned!
Sure, it's easy for a stranger to say, "hey, can't you keep that kid quiet?!", but it just isn't that easy, as I learned.
It sounds like this person should have more empathy, as they were older, but from the sound of it, they are just old and bitter, which is a shame. I would have bought the book(s) and let you kid write in the until her heart content!
I say next time, take her down (and give us the details)!

6:02 PM  
Blogger robiewankenobie said...

i have two kidlets (not near your experience level), and i'm never annoyed by crying UNLESS the parents are ignoring or aggrevating the situation. she should be glad that you weren't letting her run hog wild, but let her know that her behavior was inappropriate. kudos to you!

6:36 PM  
Blogger MommyRobin said...

Oh, man, that was good! Eloquent writing! Bravo! I only have 3 boys, but have experienced similar things. Right (write) on!! You rock, sister!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I LOVE your writing! Thanks for shrng a story that a lot of us can relate to...actually, you are giving me new insight, my husband comes from 7 and I love to read your perspective. It makes me appreciate my mother-in-law all the more.

10:14 PM  
Blogger eko said...

Your perspective, and funny/lovely writing blows me away!
Sorry about the ol' hag ;)

2:20 AM  
Blogger Lammy said... always, a good laugh at the visual! :)
One lady I knew had a few little kids all at once... when they would pull a "two-year-old" and someone would say something in the store about what her kids should or should not be doing, she would calmly hold out her hand and ask "Would you like to contribute to their college fund too?"
Thanks for the chuckle.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

If I hadn't finished me tea already, I would've had to bill you for a replacement keyboard!

That was great!

5:08 AM  
Blogger Mama Heffalump said...


(You'd love some of the looks I get when Lil Lumpy has a "meltdown" in public...)

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Lori Ann said...

It happened to me too just yesterday. I swung the cart around and it hit my 2 yo in the face. Of course it hurt. We happened to be standing in the ice cream isle and people would just give me cold, dirty stares, like what a brat. I wanted to say "here let me run into you with the cart!" And we wonder why we have lost the art of compassion!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Hind's Feet said...

robiewankenobie, sometimes the quickest way to quiet a Two in a Tantrum is to ignore her. ;)

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You gave me a good laugh Chris

I will join your hit squad. Giving the persistent whingers a filthy look also works

My boss who is a dear soul but childless or childfree until she married late in life and inherited stepgrandchildren was complaining about these little boys doing what little boys do being annoying.
My mum and I had a good laugh because she has no idea aobut kids and most of the little boys I know are good at running around just like her inhertied grandsons

I do also think if people have had kids and are now older, tend to forget what kids are like and then complain read whinge about little kids being little kids because they have forgotten.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

::Nodding in mom agreement::
Heck, I know some adults that have far worse tantrums than the average 2 year old.

5:50 PM  
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7:35 AM  

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