This weekend we went out for a Mom and Olivia Date. It was far long overdue – and it had been a good month since we have had our one on one shopping time. While we were shopping we saw a young boy and his Mom shopping for a gift for an upcoming birthday party.
We’ll call her Target Mom.
Dear Target Mom:
Kids can be jerks. I know that – you know that. You clearly know that and you’ve clearly had enough. I know it’s the end of the day. I know that you’re probably tired, you’ve probably worked all day and that shopping for the birthday party gift for your son’s friend isn’t the first thing that you want to be doing right now.
Browsing through the toys and snapping pictures that she could send to Santa, I could hear the frustration that you were trying to mask. I sent you an understanding smile. A smile of ‘Oh god, I’ve been there. Believe me, I’ve been there’.
When your son’s behavior began to escalate and he started saying rude things, you held it together. We kept shopping, Olivia kept snapping her pictures.
Then, it escalated further, you had enough, you were leaving and the birthday party was no longer on the agenda for the weekend.
Your kid of about seven is too big to carry out of the store over your shoulder. Your kid is too old for the threat of taking away the daily good behavior stickers. Your kid is too old for the whole ‘Santa’s watching you!’ chat. Your kid is too old for all of that.
I think that your kid is too young for the words that I heard uttered from your mouth. I think your kid is too young for the words that hurt, tear down and words that shouldn’t be spoken to a child.
“When we get to the car I am going to slap you so hard across the ******* face”
The sound of contempt in your voice and the fact that you made no effort to say this under your breath caused two little eyes to look up at me in fear and inch just a little closer to my legs as we were shopping.
I can’t know what kind of day you had, the circumstances you’re facing. It’s not place to judge you. I’m not the perfect Mom.
I got down to her level, looked my kid square in the eyes and assured her that I would never treat her like that. I explained that you were having a bad day, you were frustrated and that you made a mistake. I reassured her, hugged her, smoothed her hair and thankfully, she seemingly forgot the moment as we went on our way.