People are a-holes. No, not all people, but lots of them. And when those people become parents, they’re most likely still going to be a-holes.
The thing is, people don’t change. As women, we’ve been told this time and time again—and we’ve experienced it time and time again—in our dating lives. But yet, I somehow thought it didn’t apply to parenting.
In my mind, parenthood is so wonderful, I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t give the miserable, annoying people of this world a complete personality makeover and magically transform them into good, nice, kind, caring people.
Now before you start wondering if there’s a body-snatching pod under my bed, I’m not judging anyone whose parenting choices are different than mine. If you know anything about me and about Momsanity, it’s that I honestly and truly believe that different things work for different parents. And choice? I love it! (Also, thank God for my awesome friends—moms and non-moms—because they save my sanity on a daily basis.)
But rude fellow parents who somehow affect my kid? Watch out, because this mama bear has no interest in your crap. Case(s) in point…
• There was the mom who told me I was irrevocably screwing up my kid’s educational career because I didn’t enroll him into a $30K-a-year 2’s program. Yes, a 2’s program…for when he’s 2 years old.
• The parents who took their supersick and contagious child to a play group. Shocker: The next week, half the kids had the plague. Including mine.
• The mom who bragged to me at the playground about her 10-month-old daughter’s achievements and kept trying to one-up me—and failing until she got to the fact that her daughter got a tooth earlier than my son. (Lady, I don’t care. Also, get a grip: It’s a tooth!)
• The type-A working mom who totally dismissed me because I told her that I currently worked part-time from home…and the stay-at-home sanctimommy who whispered to me how she thought that the kids of working moms weren’t as well behaved as those of stay-at-home moms.
• The parents at the playground we’ve been frequenting who leave the gates wide open. Did I mention that this playground specializes in the 2-and-under set? And that it’s in New York City and the kids could easily wander into a busy street?
• The dad who snapped at the incredibly nice workers at a kiddie event because they forgot to give his daughter a paper plate for a crafting project…then gave my kid a dirty look when he accidentally moved a plastic table while leaning against it…and then showed off his plumber’s crack while watching his kid eat pizza.
But I still get homicidal when I think about an incident that happened nearly a year ago.
My son was 17 months old, and we were at a music class at our local gym. After it was over, he was playing with the toys around the room while I was putting my sneakers back on. Well, this one dad (who was one half of a very unfriendly couple; I mean, seriously people, it’s a kiddie music class—crack an effing smile) opened the too-heavy-for-kids-to-open glass door to the room and my son made a break for it. Did this man attempt to stop him? No. He looked down at him and held the door open for him!
Let me repeat that: He held the door open for my 17-month-old child.
I ditched the shoe I was attempting to tie and practically tripped over my feet as I rushed out of the room and called my son’s name. In 10 seconds, he had made it all the way down the hall and was pushing the elevator button. I was so lucky that I’d caught him when I did. I mean, what if he had gotten on that elevator and the doors had closed? How would I have found him? What kind of dangerous situation would he have gotten himself into? Would he have made it downstairs and out the front door, onto a busy city street? What if some other idiot parent held open that door for him, too? I still feel sick even thinking about it.
But…crisis averted. I grabbed my son and brought him back to the room so I could gather my things. I said, exasperated, to Clueless Dad, “Why did you hold the door open for him? He’s 17 months old!” He just looked at me, silently and blankly, like I was insane.
I could go on with my war stories, but I won’t. They’re universal, and we’ve all been there.
But the worst part of it all? A-holes often breed little a-holes. It’s a vicious cycle, and unfortunately, it’s never going to end.
I think I need a glass of wine.