Society is a fickle beast. They don't want you to hit your children or yell at your children in public because it would be so bad for the child's self esteem etc, etc. However, they want you to control your child in public and make them behave like little robots with no expression of feeling. So if they misbehave and you buy them something to shut them up, you are a bad parent, however if they are good and you buy them something you are still a bad parent, it's like you can't win with society. So I take a middle of the road approach, I don't overreact in public because if my child is causing a scene I won't cause a bigger one. I don't buy him something all the time but if that was the agreement to begin with then I will comply. So when strangers come up to me to offer me unsolicited 'parenting' advice, my hackles are raised.
I went out to a craft fair in Lacombe today and I took Little Man so Adrian could tile the bathroom floor. My friend Tamara was out there with her Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellry (have you seen the new line, it's AMAZING <3) so we went to visit her. I noticed a Scentsy table and I went to see if she had any of her warmers for sale so I could get another warmer, she did so I mulled over my choices. Beside the Scentsy was a Discovery Toys table, Lil Man was enjoying the marble toy and playing with that, he was being very good.
After I made my purchase, Lil Man let his stubborn streak show. He did not want to leave the Discovery Toy table without taking their stack able spoons. I told him no and he started crying, then he laid down on the floor. I deal with this in two ways, one I ignore unwanted behaviour, and I pretend to walk away hoping that will get him to fall in line, if those two methods do not work I will pick him up and haul him out of the store to speak firmly with him. While I was waiting to scope him up this little old lady in a fuchsia hat and matching wool jacket (not the nice fuchsia either) comes up to me and this is the conversation as follows. What is in parenthesis is my thoughts.
"Excuse me," the lady begins, "but your child needs discipline." (Is she really talking to me) "You need to discipline him now or when he's older you will have problems."
Taking a deep breath and plastering a smile on my face, "Oh thank you for that advice." (for real what does she want me to do in this crowd of people?)
"Yes you need to discipline him or he will get out of hand."
(Thanks tips) "I actually have a 13 yr old at home who turned out great so I am aware that he needs to be disciplined." (Why is she still staring at me and blocking me from reaching my child,
"Yes well you should work on disciplining him before it's too late." She continued shaking her head at ME!!
(Seriously, is this woman for real?!?!?!?What did she want me to do, break out a spanking stick and whip his ass so he would listen??? Seriously she was a nut job) Smiling even larger and more fake now, "Thank you for that." I stepped around her wrestled my son, and his boots, and my package and purse into my arms and then I left. I said good bye to Tamara then I left.
I was fuming, as I was leaving I noticed the old woman and her daughter were behind me, as I opened the door, I said snidely, "Come on my discipline problem, we have to get you home."
It's so irritating, I get that I may not win parent of the year and that my children will test the boundaries every chance they get, but I feel I am a fair disciplinarian, and really my eldest has turned out fantastically. Lil man is only just 2, he's in his terrible twos, and he may be a little more spoiled than my eldest, but I don't really think so, he's just a lot more temperamental. If crazy Fuchsia hatted Lacombe lady hadn't been in my way I may have been able to get out of their sooner to discipline my child. But if it was her hope that I would swoop down and swat his ass in public, she was hoping for snow in July. I will not swat my child in public, I don't choose to do it in private, so that everyone can be all upset and call Social Services on me, and I will not raise my voice and yell in public so that I look like a mother that can't control her child. Maybe my choices today looked like I didn't have control over my child's behaviours but I didn't lose my cool until having to deal with her.
I wish people would just mind their own business, it is not up to her to be judge and jury on my parenting skills or to be my Dear Abby. I didn't ask her for advice, she just threw it in my face then looked up at me in a condescending manner. Good thing I was taller than her so I could look down on her :) So that was my day. Yeah!!!