It was on the drive home from the hospital after my daughter was born nine years ago when I realized just how scary the world is. Every other car on the roadway was an accident waiting to happen as we carried our precious cargo home.
I’d like to say I’ve become less neurotic in the past nine years, but who am I kidding? I’m a mother. Neurotic is my middle name.
I have, however, hardened my outer shell a bit as my child has grown from helpless infant to sassy almost tween. I’m no longer terrified of every other human being on the planet.
I’ve moved on to understanding that there are a lot of wonderful people out there … and there are a lot of people who make parents’ lives a living you-know-what. Behold:
1. The person who offers your kid candy without your permission. I’m not talking about those kind folks on Halloween. I mean the strangers in the store who whip out the bucket of suckers and say, “here, take a few,” to a child who has been acting up all day and doesn’t really deserve it. You could say no, sure, but then you’d look like a jerk. Thanks, buddy!
2. The person who was surely once pint-sized but can’t possibly remember it. You know the type. Your child puts on their best “Please,” and “Thank you” and doesn’t dare touch them with their jammy hands and still they act like children are a pustule on the posterior of humanity. Someone needs to remind them they wore diapers once too. Oh, and PS, your mom would have loved a maternity leave to stay home and take care of you … think about it.
3. The Santa killer. It’s like Fight Club folks, don’t talk about Santa … at least not in front of kids who may or may not still believe in the big guy.
4. The best parent ever. They know more than you do. About everything. Worse: they TELL YOU they know more than you do. About everything. Word has it their kid is kind of a brat, but don’t tell them.
5. The one-upper. Their baby walked first. Their baby talked first. Their 9-year-old is going to win a Nobel Prize … no, wait, ALL of the Nobel Prizes. And here you’re just glad your kid remembered to brush her teeth this morning without you having to remind her six times.
6. The adviser. You’re out with your kid after a rigorous dance class, and she isn’t wearing a coat because she’s still steaming. And here comes a nosy stranger ready to tell you off for what a bad mom you are for letting that child freeze to death.
7. The playground smoker. They don’t call it a cancer stick for nothing, folks. Die on your own time; not around a bunch of kids, m’kay?
8. The my kids are grown so I’m so over this kid thing people. They vote down school budgets just for the fun of it. They grumble loudly about how kids in THEIR day never would have dared throw a tantrum in public. They’re a real barrel of laughs, let me tell you.
9. The Toys R Us big toy book maker. Really? REALLY with this giant catalog of who can afford any of this?
So much for “we’re all in this together,” huh? Who did I miss?
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