I love our children.They are lovely and kind, wondrous and bold.They can also be willful, obstinate, inattentive and flighty. I don’t love them anymore when they’re being utterly agreeable or any less when they’re being massive assholes. They, just like you and I, have really great days and very sucky days. Thankfully, to me, it’s almost always a joy to be in their company.
Sometimes, though, the stars are in disarray or there’s some kind of pollen being released that makes kids act like lunatics. It arrives without warning and is invisible. You’re just at Target or something and shit hits the fan. Everyone was just all smiley and affable but then, in the time it took for you to briefly pause to admire the new Nate Berkus line, your kid(s) have been overtaken by whatever whacked out, personality altering allergen is in the air and boom!- they’re behaving like crack-brained fools.
So that happened to me yesterday. Target, Nate Berkus, sudden child mania. Out of nowhere tears, snot, slobber, head shaking meltdowns from the youngest two.
As I was trying to calm and reason with our kids- who were now feeding off of each other’s hysterics and gaining super-human strength and power through some weird non-verbal sibling linkage- a woman and her friend (sister? Mother? doesn’t matter, really) squeezed past us and cast the most judgy look right to my face.
“I’d beat them kid’s asses” she said to her companion after breaking eye contact with me.
“Mmmm hmmm” said the friend.
I tend to be pretty passive. I don’t love confrontation and I prefer to live and let live. Something snapped, though, and my Xanax failed me.
“Oh, yeah? That’s a great idea! I’ll smack them to make them calm down- genius!” I said and then continued my futile attempt to unwind them.
Kid’s ass beater lady: “People don’t spank they kids enough- that’s all I’m sayin’. My kids never acted like that and I spanked the hell out them. You bein’ too easy. They not gon’ respect you.”
Me: “Please stop talking right now. Please.”
Kid’s ass beater lady: “Fine by me…I can’t wait to get away from them cryin’ ass kids.”
And that was it. She walked away.
Without beating my kid’s asses, they had calmed down within half a minute. As quickly as the unexpected fit overtook them it left without any threats or physicality from me.
I want to mention that although we don’t spank our children, I am not in the business of voicing my opinion on how other parents discipline their kids. You have to determine what works best for your children and family.
Hell, there are some adults that may benefit from a good ass whooping…there was a particularly judgy one in Target yesterday.