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The Unnecessary Backstory (the beginning)

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Mall Parents, a letter

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dear Mall Mothers and Fathers,
I have been told that I have no right to judge parents, because I am not a parent myself. But I do. I can’t help it. Some of the things I see you do seem so wrong to me. I’ve seen actions that make me want to throw things at you. I’ve overheard conversations that make my stomach turn. Maybe it’s not my place, and not my right, to tell you that you’re wrong. But I’m going to anyways, even if you never see it.

When your small child drops a single french fry, screaming at them and smacking them isn’t acceptable behavior. That’s a huge overreaction. It was ONE french fry. If you react that strongly over something so small, I’d hate to see what you do when they do something seriously wrong. If you are that crazy in public, I’d hate to see how you act in private.

When your 15 year old daughter buys a phone, you should not smash it, just because you don’t like the ring tone. I know that ring tone. It was the default tone. And from the shouting match that followed, I am even more certain you were being unreasonable. Your young teenage daughter pays you rent, buys her own food, buys her own clothes, and pays her own phone bill. She saved up for apparently 3 months to buy that phone. I was on her side when she demanded you buy her a new one. But you called her greedy, got up, and walked away from her. No, She shouldn't have yelled at you. You are the parent, and that's really disrespectful. But I think I know where she learned that from....

When you are in the mall, you need to keep an eye on your toddler. It should nto be up to a stranger to save your child from walking into a busy parking lot. And when someone DOES stop your child from walking in front of a car, you shouldn’t yell at the ‘rescuer’ because it’s “inappropriate” to touch other peoples children.

When your son is walking calmly by your side, on his kid-leash, you shouldn’t suddenly
grab the leash close to him and yank. He will fall down. And when he does fall, and when he starts crying, you shouldn’t laugh and say to your friend “I love this thing!” You just HURT your CHILD who wasn’t doing anything WRONG. And you are LAUGHING about it? I almost thought I had imagined it.

You shouldn’t insult your child by calling them fat and a cow, and a slob, and then buy them ice cream to ‘cheer them up’ when they start crying. That isn’t how things work.

You shouldn’t scream at your newborn to “shut the fuck up” when they cry. I know that sometimes it’s tough, when you haven’t gotten much sleep. But if you haven’t slept, why are you at the mall anyways? There isn’t anything that needs buying here. Just clothes. I can’t imagine a situation where clothing takes priority over sleep. Maybe I am being unreasonable on this one. I’ll admit that.

And then today’s event. Your daughter, looked to be about 3 or 4, was happy. Twirling around, giggling. And I looked up at you, parent, and smiled. She was adorable. For once, I was proud of a mall-family.

Up until the point where you came over to my table and threatened to call security over because I was being threatening and creepy. Up until you pulled your daughter aside, pointed to me and told her that I was the reason she shouldn’t talk to strangers.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s a great thing to teach your kids. But to personally target me as the “threatening stranger” because your daughter happen to dance directly in my line of sight? That’s ridiculous, and also insulting. If you don’t want people to acknowledge your daughters existence, don’t bring her out of the house.

Signed, Boat
The non-parent who is concerned for your children.

2 comments:

Chelsea said...

i adore the way you signed this. you also have more patience for people than i do, because if i was present for most of those activities i would have spoken up.

April 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM
E Boat said...

I should have, in quite a few of these. I just don't have a spine. I'm working on growing one.

April 1, 2010 at 12:20 PM

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