Friday, November 19, 2010

Stressed Out Moms. Causing Awkward Public Situations Since Forever.

You try to ignore it, but somehow it's just impossible.

Picture the following scene:  You're in the grocery store, walking down the tasty treats aisle and thinking about picking up some Double Stuf Oreos.  You normally don't indulge, but they are on sale for $2 instead of the usual $4.  Seriously.  Who pays $4 for Oreos?  I mean sure, they're "double stuf" but the extra filling can't cost Nabisco that much, can it?  

Woah, off track there.  So you're looking the Oreos and wondering if the deliciousness is worth walking around with black cookie chunks between every single goddamn tooth in your mouth all day, when a shopping cart turns the corner about twenty feet from you.

Truth be told, you heard it before you saw it.  Naturally, the Oreos took on greater importance.  But now that the four-wheeled metallic cart of awkwardness is coming your way, you are as alert as a hunting lion.  Pushing the cart is an extremely pissed off looking woman with at least one crying kid in the seat of the cart, and anywhere from 0-3 bouncing, energetic children following in her wake. 

Oh, Jesus.  You can literally taste the coming storm, can't you?  The mother looks like a tea kettle that's about to flood the entire supermarket with her shitty mood.  

Ding Ding!  It's go time, bitches!  Momma's gonna knock you out!

Instead of yelling right then and there, the mother waits.  She has to.  It's got to be code.  I mean, you're there, in the middle of the aisle.  So why not embarrass her children by screaming at them in front of you?  Seems like an excellent opportunity to start scarring the lil' ones.  Not six steps from you, it begins, and all you're doing is comparing the store brand Oreos to the legit ones (the store brand is never better, trust me), praying that the mother waits one more aisle before taking the appropriate measures to guarantee that all 1-4 children will require serious psychotherapy.  

Yeah, like she'd wait any longer.  It always starts with what I like to call "The Lean In."  The Lean In is when she slows down the cart, leans forward towards the crying child in the cart, and locks eyes with him or her.  It is then that the mother proceeds to say, "Listen to me..." followed by something in this menacing whisper that actually darkens the visual spectrum around her head.  This can be:
1) A threat.  Like, "If you don't stop your crying, I swear to God, I will leave you in this store with the freaks in the meat section."
2) A promise.  "Be quiet, or I promise that you will never see the light of day again."
3) A combo.  This is when she says something and then finishes with, "And that's not a threat, it's a promise."
4) A solid, unarguable statement.  "Shut the fuck up."
5) Nothing.  Sometimes a good ten seconds of eye contact is enough to do the trick.  It's during that time that the child in question sees into the very depths of Hell.  
6) A Mom-ism.  Usually the best one, because every single mother on the planet knows these.  Phrases like, "I'm going to sell you to the gypsies," or, "I brought you into this world, I can sure as hell take you out of it."
7) An ultimatum in which neither option sounds very pleasant for the children because the supermarket is boring and being annoying is the only way to make it fun.  "You can either be quiet, or Mommy is going to do some serious emotional damage to you."

If the 0-3 children following the mother are paying attention and notice this, it's usually their heads up to cut the shit.  But if they are stupid, like most kids are, they will continue their antics unabated.  The mother speeds the cart up past you, and at exactly six steps past (or roughly when the children are directly behind you) is when phase two begins.  This is usually a massive ultimatum or a mass statement.

This scenario is easily one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen in public. And you know what?  Mommy doesn't care.  For some odd reason, the laws of human nature don't apply to her.  She will tear into your soul like a frenzied great white shark, and no one would dare stop her.  Mother's do not feel embarrassment- only the need to embarrass.  Guys who bring their significant others home will attest to this- they will tell any story about you to your girl, no matter how embarrassing of a picture it paints of themselves.  
"I will take everything you know and love and crush it into a fine paste."

There is a difference between a stressed out mother, and a bad mother.  I feel like this is something that is necessary to elaborate on before I finish up this morning's post.  

A stressed out mother is one that has been pushed to the edge one too many times in a single time of day.  These "times of day" are usually categorized as morning, afternoon, and evening.  Of course, neither me nor the stressed out mother can guarantee that the slate will be wiped clean if no break from the children is given between periods of the day.
A bad mother is one who gave birth to the first of her children while she was already on the edge (and was sometimes stupid enough to pump out more after the first child had destroyed what was left of her soul).  Allow me to give a real life example...

I had just gotten to work one evening around five o' clock.  Not too long after, a woman and her very cute two or three year old daughter came out into the lobby because, apparently, the kid was restless.  Oh, really?  A restless kid?  Why did you even try to bring a girl that young to a 3D movie anyway?  Anyway, the mother made no effort to try and hide her displeasure.  She was calling the girl names like "little brat" (not in the cute way either, the demeaning way), and treating her like an obstacle she had to overcome on a daily basis.  At one point, the girl asked me what my name was, and when I asked her for hers, her mother interrupted with, "Spoiled Brat," and smiled at her cleverness.  I just turned away.  Awkwaaaaard.  It got worse, unfortunately.  She said things like, "I'm going to buy a blue raspberry slushie and drink it in front of you, how do you like that?" and even did a version of The Lean In.  

She sat the girl down in one of the theater chairs we have in the lobby and crouched down so she was at eye level.  I didn't hear most of it but, "You sit here and be quiet," echoed across the lobby.  Here's where it gets messed up.  Another girl, probably about eight, came running down the hallway wondering where her mother had been for the past ten to fifteen minutes.  She had left her other daughter in the dark theater by herself. 

Now, I'm not saying our theater isn't safe- it definitely is.  But either way, as a parent, you should always be expecting the worst.  What happened next blew my mind.  The mother ordered the eldest daughter to go back to the theater, by herself, and grab a doll that the littlest had left in her seat.  Because they were going home mid-movie.  Even though the older daughter was having a great time, the mother put her self and her needs first.  Instead of calming the youngest one down (who, honestly, just had a lot of energy- she didn't cry once), she berated her nonstop and then decided to take them both home.

Any education major out there (as well as anyone with common fucking sense) knows that insult, punishment, and scolding does not get the result you want.  It's the promise of reward that motivates little kids.  Maybe instead of being a first class horrible parent, the mother could have spoken to her child like a human being instead of taunting her like a goddamn monkey.  

It's times like these that you want to say something, to interject.  Not to the stressed out mother- there is really no way to side with the kids on that one because deep down, despite all the awkwardness of the public motherly scarring, you understand.  But to the bad mother?  Yeah, don't get involved in that.  The last thing you want is to hear any variation of the menacing line, "Are you telling me how to raise my child(ren)?"

Although, for once, it would be hilarious to reply, "Nope.  Just telling you that you're a shitty parent."

No caption necessary. Mostly
because I can't think of one that isn't extremely mean.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of shitty parents, that stupid abusive girl from Teen Mom is facing some jail time for beating the father of her child in front of her child.  Yay!  Although, let's be honest, if it had been the father that had hit her just once, he would have been in jail months ago facing ten or more years of hard time.
 "OMFG Honey no!  There r cameras!"
"LOL like I giv a shit!  I'll beat ur ass on national tv ROFL!"

Amber should have gotten advice from another Mom.  Don't scar your child until she's old enough to remember it.  Oh, and beating up her pussy father in front of her eyes might be a little overboard.



Hannah Kramer said...

Hahaha I loved this one. I see this kind of stuff all the time...Some people are just not mean to be mothers!!!

Shaun said...

This is one of my favorites too! :D