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Shut Out By The Grinch

We (myself, my sister and her two young daughters) went to a museum yesterday and an incident happened that has been playing on my mind and I’d really appreciate some advice about whether I handled it right.

At the museum, there were lots of interactive games and computer-based activities for the kids. I was with my youngest niece (age 8) waiting for one of the computers to become available so that she could have a go. The little girl in the chair in front of us finished her game and got up and left. My niece was just taking her seat when a girl about the same age who was standing behind the seat next to her jumped in and tried to push her out. I put my hand out to block her, saying something like, ‘Hey, you can’t push in like that, it’s not your turn’. The girl’s mother (who was kneeling next to the other seat – I think it must have been one of her other children playing the game at the other console) stood up and shouted at me, ‘She was there first – that’s her seat’.

‘No it’s not’, says me, ‘we were next in line and she needs to wait her turn’.

‘But she was there before, so she’s entitled to have her seat back’, says the mother.

‘No, the other little girl was in the seat and when she got up, it’s our turn. If your daughter was in the seat before that girl, she’s obviously given up her place and she can’t just grab it back when she feels like it, especially when there’s someone else waiting to play’.

Here’s the kicker – she says, ‘Anyone with a shred of decency would let her have her seat back’.

‘No, your daughter gave her seat up and C (my niece) is next in line’. So C plays her computer game and, when she’s finished, we get up and go, having been subjected to all manner of huffs and puffs and black looks from the other mother. I didn’t see what happened after we left – that’s someone else’s problem.

I know it was uncomfortable to both girls to have adults squabbling like that, but I wasn’t prepared to back down – it was the principle of it. I feel a bit ashamed to, firstly have behaved like that in front of children, and secondly, like a bit of a Grinch to have shut the other girl out.

I told my sister about it (she was in another room with her older daughter at the time) and she said ‘Why would she assume her daughter was more important than mine?’ which really did sum up the whole situation, but I’m still a bit uncomfortable. 1002-13


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sally October 8, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Entitled is right. I was at the grocery store several years ago and had my groceries loaded on the belt, waiting for my turn. An elderly man had loaded his groceries behind me. He then left the line for just a couple of minutes, to get something else. In the meantime, the checker had started on my groceries. A woman behind the man removed all his groceries and put hers there instead and about that time the man returned and complained. She simply stated, “you left the line”. I could not believe it. It wasn’t as if the checker was waiting on the man, (in which case I agree that he lost his place), but she was just getting started on my groceries and I don’t believe the other woman had any right to do what she did. It still makes me mad to think about it.

  • Miss Raven October 9, 2013, 2:57 pm

    I will never cease to be amazed by parents who are just religious about the specialness of their offspring. All parents believe that their children are special. But some entitled jerks just take it to the next level.

    At my cousin’s birthday party one year when I was quite young, maybe six or so, we all got slices of plain frosted birthday cake, and sprinkles were passed around for decorating. Super cute idea! I was practically dancing in my seat waiting for a particularly glittery jar of rainbow sprinkles to come my way. It was finally my turn, and as I reached for the jar, the mother of the girl next to me, who had been crouched over her Special Snowflake the whole time, snatched it away so Special Snowflake could use it first.

    I was stunned, and as a young child, close to tears. She passed it back when Special Snowflake was done with it. This girl’s turn would have been right after mine, but just one more turn was too much for her mother, apparently. Who DOES such a thing, grabbing something nearly out of the hands of a young child who had been waiting (patiently, I might add) for her turn?

    I told my mother later and she said, “Some people just think they’re more special than everyone else and it makes them act mean for no reason.” This was decades ago and I still remember the sting and the confusion. Good for you, OP, sticking up for your niece and teaching her patience and consideration.

  • crebj October 9, 2013, 9:43 pm

    What Ferretrick said.

  • Mabel October 16, 2013, 7:21 pm

    And some perfectly nice, well-behaved, conscientious people can’t have children, while these people can. *shakes head* Sad.

  • arenmommy January 16, 2014, 7:44 pm

    @snowy I totally just bawled my eyes our reading that and remembering how much it hurt when similar things happened to me as a child. I have watched my (now) 11 year old son waiting patiently for his turn at many things only to be shoved aside by some helicopter parent of a special snowflake and it has taken every ounce of my self restraint to hve a polite spine instead of a bloody fist. I was so enraged that I has to walk away from the situation once with my son in tow because a woman cute in line at the bakery at the store (on my sons birthday) after we had waited for 30ish minutes and she grabbed the last box of cupcakes. DS was close to tears, so, none too quietly, I told him that some people are just inconsiderate and have no respect for others. Then I started to walk away. One of the ladies working the bakery then told me that if I wouldn’t mind waiting 15 minutes, there would be fresh cupcakes and they would likely be discounted. The woman who had cut in line was suddenly very willing to give me the box of cupckes she had been in such a hurry for just a minute ago. The woman working the bakery told her that she should just take the cupcakes she had as the new ones would not be discounted for her. It was a wonderful day for justice, and my son got dicounted personalized cupcakes.

    @OP great job. More people should stand up like you did.