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  • December 09, 2016, 07:15:57 PM

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Author Topic: Your Mummy's so cruel  (Read 3649 times)

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SianMcClay

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2016, 12:34:46 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?

I do think that a toddler may take a stranger in the real world saying six unpleasant words to them (nice smile, creepy smile or whatever)seriously, just as likely as not.  I think it would depend on how much the child interacts with strangers and if many adults are jokey and sarcastic with them. 

But the same child who may take a stranger and their words seriously, may also not be phased by the giant and the beanstalk in their bedtime stories. I was o.k. with nursery rhymes but bible stories confused the heck out of me and were quite scary when I was very young. (Specifically the Cain and Able thing, I couldn't get past the judgement from the creator and the murder and that meat was better than food grown, man, I thought about that one a lot!) But I agree it has to be regional, because so many OP's say they have heard it and said it.  So it's probably something the toddler has been exposed to.

In my area, it would not be well received. 

lorelai

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2016, 12:55:50 PM »
I find the comment obnoxious and unfunny, but I agree that people have different senses of humor and the person might be well-intentioned. My FIL finds it funny to say to my kid, oh, you don't like the food mommy's prepared for you, do you? You don't like ___ do you? In a cutesy voice probably very similar to the one in the OP's incident. In these cases I guess all you really can offer in return is complete silence. And there's no reason on the parent's part to pretend to appreciate the comment. If all they did was stare back at the offender without saying anything, I wouldn't find that rude.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 12:16:54 AM »
In my experience, lines like this are actually intended to be a "dig" at the parent. For example, an acquaintance of mine once took her baby (in a pram) to an outdoors social event. One of the older women pointedly said to the baby "Isn't Mummy mean, bringing you out without a sun bonnet?"

So I'm wondering whether the other woman in this situation was really telling the mother "Control your child" or "Why not just let her play with the icecream?"

Either way, I think the woman was rude - personally I just can't see how saying anything negative about a child's parent (even in jest) is considered acceptable behaviour.

sammycat

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2016, 12:21:33 AM »
In my experience, lines like this are actually intended to be a "dig" at the parent. For example, an acquaintance of mine once took her baby (in a pram) to an outdoors social event. One of the older women pointedly said to the baby "Isn't Mummy mean, bringing you out without a sun bonnet?"

So I'm wondering whether the other woman in this situation was really telling the mother "Control your child" or "Why not just let her play with the icecream?"

Either way, I think the woman was rude - personally I just can't see how saying anything negative about a child's parent (even in jest) is considered acceptable behaviour.

I definitely agree with the bolded. It's a extremely PA tactic, and there's nothing humorous about it.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2016, 06:26:02 AM »
The most common way I've heard it used was when someone was acknowledging that the parent was parenting their child.

Two Ravens

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2016, 06:36:15 AM »
In my experience, lines like this are actually intended to be a "dig" at the parent. For example, an acquaintance of mine once took her baby (in a pram) to an outdoors social event. One of the older women pointedly said to the baby "Isn't Mummy mean, bringing you out without a sun bonnet?"

So I'm wondering whether the other woman in this situation was really telling the mother "Control your child" or "Why not just let her play with the icecream?"

Either way, I think the woman was rude - personally I just can't see how saying anything negative about a child's parent (even in jest) is considered acceptable behaviour.

I definitely agree with the bolded. It's a extremely PA tactic, and there's nothing humorous about it.

Or they're trying to help by distracting the toddler. I don't know why people always jump to the worst possible motivation.

Kariachi

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2016, 12:51:37 PM »
In my experience, lines like this are actually intended to be a "dig" at the parent. For example, an acquaintance of mine once took her baby (in a pram) to an outdoors social event. One of the older women pointedly said to the baby "Isn't Mummy mean, bringing you out without a sun bonnet?"

So I'm wondering whether the other woman in this situation was really telling the mother "Control your child" or "Why not just let her play with the icecream?"

Either way, I think the woman was rude - personally I just can't see how saying anything negative about a child's parent (even in jest) is considered acceptable behaviour.

I definitely agree with the bolded. It's a extremely PA tactic, and there's nothing humorous about it.

Or they're trying to help by distracting the toddler. I don't know why people always jump to the worst possible motivation.

Generally, especially in things like this, because the worst possible motivation is the one they have the most experience with.

Personally I can't blame the mom for not being happy about it, not only does it cross boundaries (you don't just reach over and touch another person's kid) but a stranger can't know how that kid is going to react. Sounds like this one was just confused, but how do you know that she's not terrified of people in sunglasses which you happen to be wearing for instance? Or like my cousin, who'd have decided this was clearly a friend and get even more upset when he couldn't go play with them? Is part of why I prefer to not initiate contact with another person's small child, they can be unpredictable if you're a stranger and you don't know if you'll be making things harder by engaging them.
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Mergatroyd

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2016, 05:19:43 PM »
Polite would have been apologizing for the wait to the mother, if the woman really felt she had to say something.

Nice would have been telling the child they were obviously a good helper.

Telling a child the mother is cruel is setting a divide between the parent and child, one that has the perfect stranger on the childs team vs mom. It was at best inappropiate and overly familiar, especially the touching bit.

cicero

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2016, 12:39:03 PM »
Polite would have been apologizing for the wait to the mother, if the woman really felt she had to say something.

Nice would have been telling the child they were obviously a good helper.

Telling a child the mother is cruel is setting a divide between the parent and child, one that has the perfect stranger on the childs team vs mom. It was at best inappropiate and overly familiar, especially the touching bit.
This.  I smile at babies and toddlers while waiting  in line,  but if I have a  comment I direct it *to the parent* and unless the child is doing something really bad (vandalism, kicking me,  etc) I would never say something negative. How a stranger chooses to act with their child is none of my business (again,  excluding those cases when it becomes my business). I will smile commiseratively at a parent if their child is acting out,  and I will compliment a parent whose child is helpful,  well behaved,  etc. All in a positive way.

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Sharnita

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2016, 02:30:32 PM »
I think it is a joke that can work if the joker knows the kid and the kid knows the joker. It doesn't work as well if they are strangers to each other.

sammycat

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2016, 07:09:13 PM »
Or they're trying to help by distracting the toddler. I don't know why people always jump to the worst possible motivation.

Who decides that the mother needs "help"?  I certainly wouldn't welcome some random stranger sticking her nose in where it's not wanted and making nasty comments to my child. 

Unless the child's life is in imminent danger, or it's affecting me directly in a negative way, it wouldn't occur to me to interfere with someone else's parenting, and even then I wouldn't make horrible, and untrue, statements to the child about their caregiver.

Two Ravens

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Re: Your Mummy's so cruel
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2016, 10:44:20 AM »
Or they're trying to help by distracting the toddler. I don't know why people always jump to the worst possible motivation.

Who decides that the mother needs "help"?  I certainly wouldn't welcome some random stranger sticking her nose in where it's not wanted and making nasty comments to my child. 

Unless the child's life is in imminent danger, or it's affecting me directly in a negative way, it wouldn't occur to me to interfere with someone else's parenting, and even then I wouldn't make horrible, and untrue, statements to the child about their caregiver.

Hah. As the mother of a toddler myself, I always welcome when people interact with my child in the grocery store line. Any distraction works for me.

I guess we'll have to disagree about the whole "mean," "nasty," and "horrible," thing. I guess the word "cruel" doesn't trigger me like it does other people. I regular tell my child that mommy is being so mean to him, so I doubt it would make him blink. "Mommy is so mean, she won't let you run into the street." Anyway, I am confident that the bond between me and him can't be undermined by a total stranger. YMMV.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 10:54:28 AM by Two Ravens »