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Author Topic: Your Mummy's so cruel  (Read 8111 times)

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weaselfrance

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Your Mummy's so cruel
« on: October 11, 2016, 12:30:19 PM »
This didn't happen to me, but to the woman in front of me in Marks and Spencer (British shop that sells clothes, homewares, food and wine).

There was one woman in front of me in the queue. She had a toddler in the trolley, and the little one was trying to get hold of the tubs of ice cream the mum had just put on the belt. Not to eat, she just enjoyed putting it on the belt. Like a helping mummy kind of thing.

Mummy wouldn't give the tub to her, because the lady in front of her was using the chip and pin machine and the shop assistant would soon begin scanning her shopping. The little girl became increasingly fractious and Mummy was trying to calm her.

The woman at the head of the queue put away her card and shopping, leaned over and tapped on the toddler's shoulder and said 'Mummy's being so cruel to you isn't she?' With a big grin on her face.

Of course, the toddler ahead no idea what was going on, but we all heard it and all of us looked at the grinning woman with a look like  :o.

It might just have been a joke that came across badly, but really???

#borecore

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 12:35:55 PM »
Sounds like a joke I've heard a thousand times and probably made myself at least once.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 03:59:54 PM »
Yep, it's a joke. I don't even see it coming across badly.

Surianne

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 09:13:33 PM »
Yep, I've definitely made this joke before!

greencat

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 10:52:02 PM »
It sounds like the woman was making a joke and trying to help calm the toddler by presenting her with a happy face - sometimes young enough children will copy your happy facial expression instead of continuing with the screaming fit.

And the woman both acknowledged the child's perspective - the adult was being a meanie by not giving her what she wanted - and the adult reality that the adult was perfectly reasonable.  She also communicated with that statement that she wasn't mad at having a fussy toddler behind her, since that does irritate some people. 

Her tapping the toddler on the shoulder was a bit of a boundary stretch, though.

sammycat

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2016, 11:23:08 PM »
but we all heard it and all of us looked at the grinning woman with a look like  :o.

It might just have been a joke that came across badly, but really???

I'd have the same reaction as the rest of the people in the line.

Maybe this is regional, but I can't see anything amusing about this at all.

It would never occur to me to tell some random child (or any child really) something negative about their parent, even in a so-called 'joking' manner. Nor would it occur to me to insert myself into a situation like this that is none of my business.

Semperviren

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 11:11:20 AM »
I've seen people do this and I agree it's meant as a joke, I just don't really get who the joke is for. Toddlers are too literal-minded to grasp the irony; mama may find it amusing but equally may not see the humor or appreciate a stranger stepping in to "help".

Two Ravens

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 11:40:56 AM »
I love it when people talk to my son in the checkout line. Any distraction is helpful since the aisles are narrow and everything is in prime grabbing territory. I wouldn't mind any comments about my "meanness" as long as they weren't PA ("Whats that in your mouth? Tell your mommy you're too old for a binky. Too old!"  ::))

TurtleDove

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 12:48:21 PM »
To me this is obviously a friendly overture. At any rate, especially when you don't know the other person and likely won't see them again I think it is best to assume no malice is intended and the other person means well. It doesn't do anyone any good to "call out" a stranger because your (general) senses of humor do not coincide.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2016, 12:55:25 PM »
Toddlers take everything they hear literal. So thanks very much for undermining a parent by telling the kid that the parent is cruel and is doing something wrong by what they did (when the parent did exactly the right thing). I have no idea how this can be seen as humerous from any perspective.

TurtleDove

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2016, 01:19:39 PM »
Toddlers take everything they hear literal. So thanks very much for undermining a parent by telling the kid that the parent is cruel and is doing something wrong by what they did (when the parent did exactly the right thing). I have no idea how this can be seen as humerous from any perspective.

I don't know that the bolded is universal - my toddler certainly did not take everything she heard literally. I think many toddlers can recognize nuance and understand when adults intend to be funny. For example, the "I've got your nose" game. Some kids are terrified by this; others think it is hilarious. In the situation of the OP, I think the fact the lady had a huge smile makes a world of difference.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2016, 01:32:23 PM »
Many a time, I've spoken to a crying baby/toddler in the shopping cart seat with a 'Life is so rough, isn't it?'  Probably 50% of the time, the fact that a stranger is addressing them is enough to get them to stop crying.

I would never say, 'Your Mummy's so cruel' to a child.
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Ontario

Two Ravens

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2016, 03:22:00 PM »
Toddlers take everything they hear literal. So thanks very much for undermining a parent by telling the kid that the parent is cruel and is doing something wrong by what they did (when the parent did exactly the right thing). I have no idea how this can be seen as humerous from any perspective.

I sincerely doubt a parent could be "undermined" by a total stranger saying six words to their toddler.

mime

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2016, 04:34:27 PM »
Toddlers take everything they hear literal. So thanks very much for undermining a parent by telling the kid that the parent is cruel and is doing something wrong by what they did (when the parent did exactly the right thing). I have no idea how this can be seen as humerous from any perspective.

I don't know that the bolded is universal - my toddler certainly did not take everything she heard literally. I think many toddlers can recognize nuance and understand when adults intend to be funny. For example, the "I've got your nose" game. Some kids are terrified by this; others think it is hilarious. In the situation of the OP, I think the fact the lady had a huge smile makes a world of difference.

Yeah, whenever one of my kids has a rough night, my mother makes the accusation (in front of them) that *I* was keeping *the child* up all night. It is always done with a joking tone, and none of my kids have actually believed it to be true.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 04:38:02 PM »
Toddlers take everything they hear literal. So thanks very much for undermining a parent by telling the kid that the parent is cruel and is doing something wrong by what they did (when the parent did exactly the right thing). I have no idea how this can be seen as humerous from any perspective.

I don't know that the bolded is universal - my toddler certainly did not take everything she heard literally. I think many toddlers can recognize nuance and understand when adults intend to be funny. For example, the "I've got your nose" game. Some kids are terrified by this; others think it is hilarious. In the situation of the OP, I think the fact the lady had a huge smile makes a world of difference.

I agree. And if it were true that toddlers take everything literally, can you imagine how confused they'd be with all the nursery rhymes and children's songs they hear?