"treasures" we all would love to bury
- Jun 2003
Dec 2003 Archive
One Friday afternoon, my six-year-old son brought home a
small, xerox-copied invitation to a party that was being held the next day at a
roller rink about 45 minutes away. Written in bold letters across the
paper was, "RSVP ###-####" (Translation: We'll tell you about
the party at the very last minute, but you'd better tell us beforehand whether
you're coming or not.) My son, the invitee, was thrilled at
the prospect of going skating, but I had to gently let him down, as we had
company coming that day. I called the number to RSVP and an adult male
answered. I said, "Hello; this is 'Billy Smith's' mom. He
received an invitation to 'Katie's' party and though we really appreciate the
invitation, we have company coming tomorrow." To which he
replied, "Oh! Well, hold on, and I'll get the lady in
charge." I figured his wife must be making the arrangements, so
I waited to speak to her. Instead I heard a squeaky, child-like voice
beam, "Hello?" I was taken back for a moment, thinking
perhaps the mother of the birthday girl just had a very high-pitched voice.
I repeated what I'd said to the man who had answered. There was a brief
pause, followed by "Whyyyyy?" and it occurred to me that the man
had put me on the phone with his daughter - the birthday girl - to explain
to her that one of her guests couldn't make it! I have never felt so put
on the spot before in all my life! What in the world would make them think
that I would want to RSVP to their six-year-old?
I have 3 children, and while they are not the best behaved,
they are well behaved. And I do my best to allow them freedom, but protect
them from harm. I am also not shy about mentioning to other children that
what they are doing probably isn’t a good idea, but I do it politely.
So, imagine my surprise when I pull into a parking lot for a
grocery store and see a child climbing on the roof of a mini-van.
Believing he was left alone to entertain himself while his parent or guardian
ran into the store, I call out to him that it probably isn’t a good idea to be
climbing on the roof. He begins to climb down. I turn to let my
daughter out of my car, close my door and lock the doors. I glance at him
to be sure he is safe, and again!, he is climbing on the roof. I call out
again. I begin to say that he should really not do that, when the car horn
honks at me. I see arms moving beyond the glare on the glass, and hear
“I’m right here.” So, I say to myself “fine”, and walk away.
What kind of parent allows their children to climb on the roof
of a car? Clearly, I have the whole parent responsibility thing all wrong.
This is the story of why I don't allow my daughter to play in
public play places (the kind that are always contained in certain fast food
restaurants) anymore. We were having lunch one day at Madonna's fast
food restaurant in the play area. My daughter had just finished climbing around
the play place and was taking a break with me to have a drink. While we were
sitting there eating, another mom came in with two boys, aged about 6 and
8. The boys took off their shoes, and proceeded to start playing in
the play center. There were nets with levels of climbing platforms on one side,
which were connected by plastic tunnels to the other side, where there were
slides. In between the plastic tunnels was a spaceship type enclosure where the
kids could sit down in seats and "drive" the spaceship from up
high. As my daughter was getting ready to go back into the play
center, the boys suddenly grew quiet. We heard some whispering and all of a
sudden, this stream of fluid began to come down to the lower level from where
the spaceship was located. I stopped my daughter from going back on to the play
center. The older boy started laughing and yelled, "Hey Mom!
Little Matty had to go to the bathroom and I told him to just go here, and guess
what! He made pee pee all over the place!" To her credit, the
mom looked somewhat embarrassed, but all she did was make the boys come down,
grabbed their shoes, and left the place. Didn't tell anyone about the urine up
in the play place, where all of the children climb and play, often
barefoot. I grabbed my daughter, and went to talk to the manager of
the restaurant to make sure that someone cleaned up the mess. I sure hope he
didn't think it was my child that did that, but I could not imagine just leaving
a mess like that for other kids to find, and crawl around in. I still shudder
thinking about it, but I am grateful that the manager closed the play place down
immediately and got someone to clean it.
Children peeing, pooping, and vomiting in the
play area of a fast food restaurant is quite common according to my son who is a
team captain at one of those establishments. He should know...he's the one
that has cleaned it up umpteen times.
I am a nanny for a three year old girl and her 1 year old
brother. Over the summer I had to take the girl "Josie" to
mommy-and-me swim lessons. In our class there was a grandmother who brought her
baby granddaughter. One day after class, we were
all changing in the locker room. The room was lined in benches, so I had Josie
sitting on one as I got dressed. This grandma changed her clothes about 1 foot
from Josie's face (which I thought was a little rude since the whole locker room
was open, not just our area). However, when the grandmother took off her swim
bottoms (butt toward Josie) Josie yelled out "I don't want to smell your
dirty butt!" I nearly died, but to cover up what
she said I snapped, "I do not have a dirty butt, and we don't say that in
public." I still don't know if that grandma knew that Josie was
talking about her, but I couldn't look her in the eye for the next week.
This is a story about my 2 year old daughter and me.
Both of us had been sick with the stomach flu and were in the final stages of
recovery. Early in the day my daughter had asked me why she had to go
potty so much and I explained that she had diarrhea and so did I from being sick
and that meant we had to go potty a lot. She seemed to digest the info
pretty well and that was the end of the discussion – or so I thought…
Since we were both feeling better that afternoon I offered to
take her to the local ice cream shop for a treat and off we went. As we
approached the store I realized the need to go potty urgently had started for me
so I told her before we got out of the car that since Mommy had to go potty we
were going to head straight to the back of the store (this was fast becoming an
emergency on my part) so I could use the bathroom – no stopping for ice cream
until after the potty. She agreed and we entered the very crowded store.
As I headed towards the back she couldn’t help herself and
gravitated over to the ice cream display case. I quickly caught her hand
and quietly said – “Let’s go to the back so Mommy can use the potty” and
headed back. She planted her feet, looked at the audience of about 12
people and announced in a loud sing-song voice that only a two-year old can do
– “My mommy has diarrhea and so do I and she has to go potty RIGHT NOW!”
They all laughed and I almost died – I would have left the store however my
emergency was at its peak and I had no other choice then to duck my head, grab
her hand and haul her into the restroom where I stayed until I could be sure
most of the other customers had left.
I thought that my cousin-in-laws little boy was terrible last
year at Thanksgiving but after this year I'm appalled.
The last few years my MIL has had Thanksgiving at her house
with her SILs having other holidays at their homes. My MIL has a glass cabinet
in her living room that is not only antique with original glass but is filled
with breakable items that belonged to her parents and grandparents. That means
that even if you don't care anything for the value there is a cutting hazard and
the items inside are special to my MIL.
Well last year this child was getting close to 2 and his
parents weren't making him leave stuff alone. His mom got mad at me for telling
him (nicely) that he should play with the toys and not the old copper pot he was
putting in his mouth. Her feeling seems to be that if it isn't glass it's okay.
Then she was TELLING him to throw a ball in my MIL's very tiny living room.
This year he's getting close to 3 and I decided to just ignore
what this kid did because my MIL has been making excuses for his behavior. Well
I did break down and say something when he was trying to crawl under the quilt
on the wall because my children were both right under the quilt too and I didn't
want them hurt if he pulled the rod down on them. Later my husband caught him
throwing cars around the living room, he didn't see it all because we heard from
our older child that it was lucky the cabinet didn't break because he was
throwing little cars at that.
The day after Thanksgiving my children and I started talking
about birthday plans for my younger child because he's a December baby. He'll be
five and he was very clear that this kid isn't to be invited because he's
worried that the kid will throw toys and mess with the tree. My older child is 9
and he made the observation that if the kid was going to behave like that he
parents should be right by him all the time.
I have to agree with my kid, if my child was known to act like
that I'd be right next to him the whole time he was in someone else's home.
My MIL is mad at me because we AREN'T inviting him to the
birthday and I've told my husband that if they hear about it and show up they're
getting turned away at the door. I know that might be a little mean on my part
but I refuse to let my house get torn up simply because they're unwilling to
make their child behave or supervise him since they know he doesn't.
Several years ago on a weekend trip, my husband and I took my
mother out to dinner at the high-end restaurant in Yosemite National Park.
We were seated at wonderful table next to the window looking out at
Yosemite Falls. At the table next to us was a large family group that
appeared to be a set of grandparents, parents and several children. The
youngest child was a girl, probably eight or nine years old. Starting with
the bread basket and on through the meal, it was obvious she had not been taught
any table manners. She ate everything with her hands and reached and
grabbed from other plates. She picked up her steak and gnawed on it,
sucked on full stalks of asparagus, squished her mashed potatoes through her
fingers and then licked them off. She filled her mouth so full that
her cheeks bulged and food fell out as she chewed. My mother
and could see her from our seats, but my husband had his back to her. We
were hissing at him to turn around and get an eyeful, but he was too polite to
turn and stare, so he missed the whole show. For the rest of our trip, my
Mother and I referred to this family as “the Wolves,” because the girl was
obviously raised by… you know.
Are you certainly she did not have a
My 5 year old daughter takes swim lessons at our local
community pool. The women's locker room has a group shower area, and I am always
shocked at the number of mothers who think it's appropriate to shower their
sons, completely nude, in the women's shower area. I understand the need to
bring young boys into the women's locker room to quickly change clothes or use
the restroom, but showering, particularly nude, is entirely optional, and in my
opinion, unnecessary & inappropriate. At the very least leave their swim
The clincher was yesterday when we were in the locker room,
and a mom was showering her 5 year old twin boys (naked, of course) in the
group shower. I look over to notice that not one, but both boys, began URINATING
in the group shower! Mom just chuckled and said, "boys will be boys!"
Page Last Updated September 18, 2008