Our neighborhood pool is nearby our house, so instead of driving, I put the kids in the double stroller loaded up with towels, toys, snacks, drinks, changes of clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc and then I push the whole 100lb+ thing uphill to the pool. I look like Sisyphus.
By the time we get there, I’m drenched in sweat.
The other day there was a skinny 14 year old kid standing right inside the locked gate. Relieved and breathless, I called out to him, “Hey! Since you’re standing there would mind opening the gate for us?”
He turned his head, eyed me suspiciously, and said, “Where do you live?”
In this moment, I could have said a lot of things. I could have brightly said, “Oh, we just live right over there.” I could have said, “No worries, I’ll just open it myself.”
What I said: “What do you think?! You think I’m gonna push my two kids in a giant stroller full of stuff 3 miles just so I can get to this CRAPPY pool?!”
For a millisecond I felt bad because I know he was only trying to follow the rules. But then he opened the gate for us and said to me with a nod, “Good point.”
I think I did two things here. The first thing I did was set a terrible example for my children. The second thing I did was get that punk kid to show me some respect. I’d like to think because of me, he will turn into a gracious gentleman who will treat women with kindness for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, he will have to put up with my mouthy, ball-busting daughters who will undoubtedly take after me. Hopefully I can remedy this before they really start remembering stuff. When is that again?
Now that I’ve shared this story with you and we can all agree we are jerks sometimes, I feel I can reasonably air some grievances I have about other parents’ behavior:
- When parents talk about how bad their child is or say they’re in the “terrible twos” right in front of the kid, it makes me uncomfortable. It’s like if my husband turned to his buddy and was like, “Sorry about her, it’s that time of the month.” I’d be like, wow, really? Right in front of me? Wait til you see how bad I’m gonna act now that I know you expect it!
- When parents on Facebook post pictures of their kid on the toilet or tell detailed bathroom-related anecdotes about children who have aged out of diapers, I think it’s rude. Could you imagine if people did that about another adult…
“Just went in the work bathroom after Brian and it stunk to high heaven because apparently he clogged the toilet AGAIN! Ugh, is it wine time yet??”
“Grandma Phyllis pooped her pants and it’s EVERYWHERE!” #GoodThingShesCute” with a picture of Grandma Phyllis grinning in her own feces.
Have you been a jerky parent? Do you have a parenting grievance to air? Tell me!