Friday, April 5, 2013

A FAQ Resource For Bystanders on the Street / in the Grocery Store/ Etc.

Since I'm with a 3 year old 24/7 and for 45 hours a week I'm with at least one other toddler, if I'm buying groceries or taking a walk, it's with small children. These walks are always in public.  The public seems to be full of people who have a lot to say about kids.  Most of the comments I get are nice:

"Cute kids!"
"What a great smile, I needed that!"
"What beautiful kids you have there!"
"You have your hands full, mom!"

But some of them are... not so nice.  Or at least, pretty annoying.  Because I don't want to just assume the world is full of jerks, I will instead assume there are just many people who don't understand small children and how they operate.  In order to give people the benefit of the doubt and to help clear up some confusion, I'd like to address some of these matters.

Q.Why is your child not wearing socks/shoes/a coat/a muzzle?

 A. My child does, in fact, own socks/shoes/coat/muzzle.  These items are in my bag or underneath the stroller in the basket. The reason you don't see them on the child is because the child has torn them off their body and thrown them onto the ground. If they are really cold, they'll wear them, but I guess they aren't.

*A note on this one: if you see that a kid isn't wearing socks or shoes, or is wearing just one sock or one shoe, definitely tell me. It probably means they threw it off and I didn't notice.  If you tell me I can trace my steps and I'll probably find it.

Q. Why is your child eating *insert junk food here*. That's really bad for them.

A. They are eating said item because they are acting insane and I need them to be quiet.  I need them to be quiet because there are people in shops that don't like to hear them scream.  I can take the item away from them for a second and you can see how that pans out for you?

Q. Why is your 3.5 year old in a stroller? Aren't they old enough to walk? 

A. My 3.5 year old is in a stroller right now because if they weren't, they'd be ripping things off shelves, running in circles, screaming, and driving you insane. Then you'd be asking me why they weren't restrained. Right? Right. Which brings me to the next question...

Q. Why is your child ripping things off shelves, running in circles, screaming, and driving everyone in the store insane? 

A.  Because I thought I'd be a decent parent and give my child a chance to walk around instead of sitting in a stroller, and evidently it was a huge mistake on my part. I'm embarrassed and sorry and will get the hell out of here at my first opportunity I assure you. As for why the child is doing these things, it's because they are a child. 

Q. Uh oh, your child's hands are dirty / face is covered in something / is sticky.  You better wash that off right away?

A.  I'm beyond worrying about that, but thanks for noticing.  And no I don't want to use your hanky to clean them.

Q. Why isn't your child polite when I put my face right up in their face and say hello and ask them questions? Don't you teach your child any manners?

A. My child has no idea who you are and it makes them feel uncomfortable when you talk to them and touch them as though you are best friends.   If I went up to you, pinched your cheeks, mouth breathed all over your face, and made strange noises at you, you'd punch me in the face.  Just be happy my child didn't punch you in the face.

Q. Why do you have so many children?  Why do they look so different, do they have different fathers?

A. Seriously. Just f*** off.

Q. Your child is clearly freezing / boiling hot? Why have you done such a terrible job of dressing them for the weather? 

A. My child is not freezing or boiling hot.  Trust me, I know them pretty well.  Furthermore, children that are freezing or boiling hot complain about it. These kids aren't complaining, only you are.

Q. Why is your child so upset?  What mean, horrible, and abusive thing did you do to them that has caused them to carry on like this?

A.  They are upset because: they can't run into the road, they can't have all the things, I breathed the wrong way, it's a day that ends with y, we aren't at home watching movies, someone looked at them funny, etc.....

And finally my favourite...

Q. Can you make them stop crying/screaming/complaining/etc?

A. No.  

There you have it, folks.  I'm open to more questions if you have any others.

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