Bad Grannie

 photo of Mia by Grace Bon

Photo of Mia by Grace Bon

We went to the zoo this morning. Mia, who’s not quite two, was much more interested in the animals this time around and when it came time to leave, she wasn’t so willing. But I told her we could stop by the park near the entrance of the zoo, where they have a few slides and some sand. When we got there, Mia was standing on the sand and a little boy tried to push her away. I didn’t say anything because his mom said, in a really sweet, high-pitched voice, the same tone of voice you’d ask a baby if they wanted a bottle, “No, no, Matty.”

That’s all she said. Didn’t apologize or anything… So, anyway, fine, I’m used to rude moms. I just let it go, since she said something, at least, and it’s not like Mia got hurt. But, then he tried to push her again. He puts his hand flat on her chest and pushed. It wasn’t hard.  But it was mean.

So I said, quite nicely actually, “No, we don’t hit people. It’s not nice.”

I felt like I should say something, because his mom didn’t say a damn word this time when he did it. I wasn’t really mad because Mia wasn’t hurt and he’s a toddler. Yes, he was rude, but I was more annoyed with his mom.And what do you think happened after I told little ‘Matty’ that we don’t hit people because it’s not nice? His grandma pipes up behind me, “It’s not nice to step on other people’s hands, either!”

Apparently, Mia had stepped on his hand while she was trying to climb up the slide. Well, if she did, it wasn’t very hard, because the kid wasn’t crying.

So, I turned around and looked at Stupid Grandma and said, “Well, I didn’t see her do it, but if she did do it, it was an accident.”

Look- if my daughter stepped on some kid’s hand accidentally, I’m sorry. I didn’t see it, but if I had, I would’ve apologized on her behalf, since she doesn’t quite understand the concept of ‘sorry’ yet.. But for that grandmother to pipe up behind me, after her demon grandchild pushed my daughter twice – I mean, come on! How dare she? What – I can’t say anything to her little angel? What – he’s so perfect he does nothing wrong?

TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR CHILDREN, for the LOVE OF GOD. Your kid is JUST AS BRATTY AS MINE. Your kid is NOT any better than mine. I am fully aware that Mia does naughty things. Yes, I think she’s cute, and yes, I adore her more than anything!  But, if she does something wrong, I will not turn a blind eye to it and I wouldn’t make excuses for her.

(Okay…I will, but only when she’s hungry and tired and I know that a nap or a snack will fix her bad behavior.)

I can’t believe that the mom didn’t say anything and that the grandma said something so stupid. I honestly believe that part of our society’s problem is that we are all so self-centered. We believe the world revolves around us and our progeny, as well. As though  somehow, they’re more special because they’re our children. We don’t take the time to teach our children manners anymore. We don’t discipline them. We don’t teach them to apologize. We spoil the crap out of them.

My husband thinks that I’m too hard on Mia sometimes. But I think I could probably be a whole lot harder on her. And this grandmother, by defending her little devil-grandchild and his mom by not saying anything, they’re just encouraging him to be more aggressive and to hit other kids.

And NO – I did not apologize for Mia stepping on that brat’s hand. Why? Because I’m petty, too, that’s why. Am I just perpetuating rudeness? Maybe. But I’m a little person (in stature, anyway,) and as a little person, I have to be mean. Otherwise, people try to take
advantage of me.

What? That’s totally true.

Anyway, the point of this is – your child’s no angel, so stop treating him/her like one. Your job as a parent is not to be their friend. It’s to be their parent. It’s to teach them what’s right and what’s wrong. Yes, part of showing them love is disciplining them.I don’t know why people just don’t understand that.

Oh – one more thing? Can we get away from using that icky, sticky sweet baby voice on kids older than, say, 6 months? It’s grating.

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