I wish "shut up" didn’t sound so rude

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chick fil a halo With CareerMom out of town visiting her sick brother, the boys and I were left alone last night (and tonight) to fend for ourselves. Of course, I’m completely capable of doing this, but I’ll admit that it’s much more difficult to cook a meal when you are also breaking up fights, getting various beverages, cleaning up emergency spills, mediating over toy usage and other sundry parental duties.

So I did that most venerable of single parent traditions–we went to Chick-Fil-A. The one near us has a fairly small indoor playground, so that even if it’s raining like it was last night, the kids can still get their play on.

But even Chick-Fil-A isn’t without its problems. For one, the boys know the playground is there, so while I’m trying to order dinner and get it all to the table without dropping it, they’re doing their darndest to get to the playground. If it were just MLI, I’d be like, “See ya! Have fun! Don’t fall outta the tunnel or anything!” But since MLE is still really little, I don’t want them in there without me.

But dinner was quasi-finished within minutes, and of course, I finished whatever they didn’t (final tally: 1 grilled chicken sandwich, 1 bowl of fruit, 1 large sweet tea, 2/3 of a small order of waffle fries and about 3 nuggets). Coulda been worse I suppose. And…I wonder why I can’t drop those last five lbs…hmm.

Anyway, while we were playing, another little boy comes running in there, full of energy. He looked pretty young too, so I looked back out to see where his parent(s) were and spied his dad sitting there at a table talking on the phone.

So my boys are up tunneling around and this boy looks up at me and says, “HI!” I replied back and, trying to be polite, asked how old he was. He said he was 3 1/2, and I realized, looking at him, that he had some kind of growth issue. He was very skinny, and short for a 3 1/2 year old and his eyes weren’t quite right. But hey, I look weird in the morning before my coffee, so who am I to judge.

Well, over the course of the next fifteen minutes, this other child proceeded to drive me nuts! Have you ever been around a child who won’t stop talking to you? And they will keep asking you something over and over until you acknowledge their question? Well…this kid…times three! And add to that a strange voice that sounded something like a ventriloquist trying to do ELMO.

I kept looking out at the dad hoping he would see me talking to his kid and maybe wonder what this strange guy is talking about and come see. But nope. This is apparently one of those dads who is perfectly happy not being involved.

I finally got so annoyed, that I grabbed the boys and left.

I just don’t understand parents like this. If you’re not going to be involved with your kids; don’t have ’em! And if you do take them places, take ownership and don’t leave it up to other parents, who have their own raggamuffins to watch, to do your job for you.

The me of 10 years ago, probably would have walked over to the guy and said something, but the me of today is too afraid of losing his cool in front of his kids and getting in a fight. I can just hear the phone call now, “Hey honey…um…don’t worry, the kids are with your mother. And um, I’m in jail.”

Yeah, that wouldn’t be pretty.

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4 thoughts on “I wish "shut up" didn’t sound so rude

    Allison said:
    August 14, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Must be something about chik-fil-a. Some 8-yr old boy kept trying to tell me that my kid was breaking a rule (I don’t even remember for what…something about shoes or socks). I tried to ignore him, but he became louder and more persistent. Finally I snapped and told him that my child was none of his concern and that he needed to mind his own business. He slunk away. After he left, I looked at the rules and my kid wasn’t violating any of them. Sometimes I don’t like OPK’s.

    RE: Oh thank the lord it isn’t just me. I did actually say something kinda rude to the kid, which I immediately felt bad about. I should have said it to the father…it’s not really the kid’s fault I guess. I did have a fun moment where I flustered a mother that was there with her daughter. For whatever reason, she completely fell apart when I brought my boys in. Coulda been my tight t-shirt.

    HA HA HA! RIGHT!

    romi41 said:
    August 14, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    “And add to that a strange voice that sounded something like a ventriloquist trying to do ELMO.
    “…..is it wrong to do this to that comment? HAHAHHAHAHA…but seriously there wasn’t something wrong with him was there? ‘Cause I quite enjoyed your depiction of the little runt…hahaha…and as I was reading it, and thinking about your post-title, I thought: “OMG, did he tell some 3-year-old to shut up?!?!!”…..hahaha, maybe in a movie, but it’s true, it just doesn’t come off right in real life 😉

    RE: No, but I wanted to. I did finally say in a rather LARGE voice, “You need to go get your daddy to come watch you; I’m busy watching my children.” He pretty much left me alone after that. But yeah, he definately had something wrong with him…

    Rose said:
    August 15, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Wow–=I had to read a lot to catch up to your goings on. I have been mia for a bit.

    It amazes me how rude some parents allow kids to be. I have a neighbor who lets her two children run amok in the library yelling, chasing, hitting etc. during story time without ever telling them to stop. They disrupt the other children and the reader. Then days later will say “the kids had such a good time at the library I wish that I could take them more”. I replied “it was too hectic for my kids, they like to listen to the story.”

    I have to be carful with my son Alex, he can easily become one of those annoying children that just keep talking and talking. I remind him daily before pick up/drop off for daycare not to bother the parents they are here for thier own children and want to talk to them. At 6, he is improving but still slips up at times–especially if he is going or doing something very special.

    joe said:
    August 29, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Uh, nobody doesn anything special at 6

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