Wednesday, January 18, 2012
One time I was in line at the library with a friend. Two of my six were running around like Huns screaming and trying to denude the place of intact books. Nothing I tried seemed to be working. I tried the asking nicely thing. I tried the icy glare which used to send me bawling to my room. I even tried the We're-in-church-be-quiet-or-else hiss to no avail. I'd have left the whole library without books next. I looked at my friend and said jokingly (and it was obvious to my friend at least), "Sometimes you just want to whack them in the head with a hammer."
The lady behind me was atrociously scandalized. "That's child abuse!" she bellowed. I told her that I was kidding and that no child had heard me say it (accept apparently her), but she wouldn't leave it alone. She was still hacking on me like a lumberjack chopping down a tree when I finished checking out and left. What a sanctimonious cow!
I swore to myself that I would NEVER be that cow. I'd remember the times when my children were setting every dancing hamster in the store singing "You aint nothing but a hound dog" or dumping the shopping cart over trying to reach the nerf guns, and not go up to the struggling mom who has just popped her last nerve and make her feel like a loser.
Clearly if I were the kind of monster who would actually whack my child with a hammer, (which I am definitely not) I wouldn't announce it to the world. (But then, if I were someone who did whack, I guess I'd be stupid enough to announce actual intentions--which I'm not.)
I actually want my children to get smarter. Yeah. And have better manners. There shall be no more whining or secretly stuffing things into the cart at the store. There will be no arguments about who gets to push the cart. There will be no more romps through the cloth section or hiding inside the displays. There will be no more 59 journeys to the bathroom.
But sometimes that comes with time. There will come a time when I can take them out in polite company without feeling like a complete idiot. Unfortunately that usually happens about the time they leave home.
So when I see that frazzled mom having the 'Calgon' moment, I'm going to be the one who makes her day a little easier. I'm going to make her screaming baby smile. It's the least I can do to pay it forward and make the world a better place.