Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes I like Donald Trump's magic words...

Because we are still relatively junior varsity level in regards to parenting, we refrain from dishing unsolicited parenting advice. Only after having a baby is it confirmed how little you know, further reason not to give all our big thoughts and perspective now. And once you are a parent, you witness and take note of many things that never registered on your radar as a child-free person. With every fantastic parenting move you see is an equal and opposite move. Things sometimes SO ridiculous that I assert even if you just woke up from Rip Van Winkle's crib, you would know this is likely NOT how it should be done.

To the Mom who came upon her approximately 8 year old son looking at mouse ears at Disney, who without a word beat his ass because she spied some hats had fallen to the ground. All the while yelling at him "I HAVE TOLD YOU TO BE MORE CAREFUL" only to have him protest and literally get spanked harder, to which I said, "He didn't do that, some other child did." To which she stopped, and with a shrug said "Oh....sorry" which seemed more directed at me than him. I like Donald Trump's magic words: You're FIRED.

PS: Run for your life Kid.
PSS: Perhaps your Mom can adopt the "inquire first, punish second" model.
PSSS: Maybe they need to sell Valium at Disney.We saw more people on edge and ready to rumble there than at a NHL title game.

To the Dad at the Atlanta Hawks game who gave his toddler son a small inflatable "thunderstick" used to cheer the team. The thunderstick the son twirled around in a spastic toddler fashion before bumping the leg of someone in line. The thunderstick that is made of plastic and inflicts no more harm than an inflated beach ball. The Dad who then yanked away said thunderstick from said toddler and literally balled up a fist, put it in the child's face, and sneered, "You want me to knock you out?" You're FIRED.

PS: Run for you life Kid.
PSS: Take your Mom and your siblings with you.

To the Dad at the park who was on his cell phone and NOT watching his toddler. The toddler who proceeded to wander off into a giant mud bog and roll around. The same toddler who tried to eat dog poop. The same child you exclaimed "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" upon your discovery about 15 minutes later. He is DOING what he has been DOING for FIFTEEN MINUTES. Pay attention. You're not fired though because you had to do one h*ll of a clean up job on him, the car and the car seat because you told your wife you didn't need the diaper bag. I know this only because I heard you exclaim this out loud. Moms know things. Better luck next time. PS: Get off your cell phone when you are supposed to be on Dad duty at the park.

On the other hand, to the young Mom at the airport with a four month old baby, a three year old toddler boy. The Mom/baby/toddler stranded in the terminal on the same five hour delay we were, who used bubblegum to bribe your toddler into not losing his mind. The same Mom who then said, "Don't tell Daddy you had bubblegum." We felt for you and you did the absolute best you could keeping up meanwhile looking nervous the entire time. You were actually much more congenial than several other adults in the immediate area. Desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes. Bubblegum fit that bill. PS: Sorry you couldn't enjoy the cocktail we bought you on the plane.

And to the Dad at the restaurant with his 15 year old daughter. The daughter who was especially sweet to MiniMac and told us you two were on a date. To which you replied that she would be sixteen soon and you wanted her to know how a gentleman should treat her when they go out together. I loved this. I saw your earnest and genuine hope for her as you looked at her as you spoke. I think it must be hard when they are flittering so close to adulthood and you still remember bringing them home from the hospital the first day. Good for you Dad. I wish every daughter was so lucky.

89 comments:

vanilla said...

Had it not been for the two vignettes at the end, I would have said, I have to wonder how the human race has managed to survive so long.

the walking man said...

There is a manual available. It comes in a wrapper in the glove box. The problem is some people never think far enough ahead to read the damn thing.

Stephanie Faris said...

It depresses me that so much neglect and abuse goes on IN PUBLIC. I'm assuming those parents are the product of their parents, which means those kids will someday grow up to be bad parents too.

Amanda said...

To the Dad who took his daughter on a date - bless your heart.

I'm so telling my husband about this just in case we have a daughter some day...

Mandy said...

Loved the last two stories. :)

Menopausal New Mom said...

Isn't it scary when you see what other parents get up to in public? Even worse to imagine what they must do behind closed doors!

Tammy Howard said...

I love that you found balance. Yin and Yang. I especially love that you ended with such a sweetly hopeful story. Nice.

Cee said...

The last story almost made me tear up a little bit...the first three were disturbing.

kys said...

I can relate to the poor mom giving her toddler bubblegum. When my oldest was a toddler, a super-size bag of Jelly Bellies got us through many delays and long flights.

Kimi said...

Some people just should not be parents...and others are definitely meant to be.

JenJen said...

I still cringe when I'm out in public and I overhear people yelling at their children.
Then I wonder, is that what I sound like when my 8yr old asks for no less than 68 times for a lil pet shop, a toy that is for the under 5 set? Or when my son asks me no less than 86 times for another lego guy? Because he lost his in his car seat?
I guess I can't judge the yelling. I don't however, lay hands on my kids unless it's for a hug or a high-five!

ellen abbott said...

Me too. I'm glad you balanced the bad with the good.

But really, some people should not be allowed to be parents.

Brutally Honest said...

It's so refreshing to see parents like that last one. Which is kind of sad since that should be what we usually see. Sometimes i just want to punch those other parents. Maybe they'll figure it out when their kids grow up and hate them.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

That last vignette was so sweet. What a dad. *sigh*

Too Many Hats said...

YAY for the last two!!! Hiss, tomatoes, and thorns for the others.

stepfabulous said...

Makes me wonder why the parents who need a spanking themselves can get pregnanet - but parents like Mr. Fix It and I can't? However, how lucky am I, that when I got married so long ago, I got my Chosen Child and now I get to watch Mr. Fix It show Chosen Child how a gentleman acts. I love it when they do their Saturday morning Daddy & Daughter breaksfasts, and love it even more when he takes her on a "date" night to teach her how to look for the man of her dreams........... It reaffirms what I knew so long ago!

Michael Rivers said...

It breaks my heart to see the way some kids are treated.

And it fills my heart to know there are wonderful parents are out there.

abby jenkins said...

I'm with Menopausal New Mom, just imagine what happens when they are back at home. Poor kids.
Makes me consider becoming a foster parent.

Wish my Dad took me on a 'date' ..that sounds strange but you know what I mean :^D The only primer I had was my sweet mother telling me "keep them guessing" ...alright mom that cleared things up!

I'm still guessing at what that meant. That and the sanitary napkin belt and the hamster mattress she gave me after my sister had already told me about tampons. Hello 1940s!

abby jenkins said...

p.s. it was almost the 80s!

AnnQ said...

I loved the last two stories :-)

The first two, especially the one about the man and his toddler, make me want to cry for those poor kids.

Secretia said...

You know, I have to tell irresponsible parents things all the time for their kid's safety.

Simone said...

Loved the last story, it actually brought a lump to my throat...how lovely.

And you are so nice to have bought the Mom a cocktail!!

Great post JennyMac :)

Eva Gallant said...

I say the fellow on the phone got what he deserved! A mess of a mess to clean up! Loved the date thing. gotta' tell my son ao about that--his princess is only 5 now, but someday,.

Joshua said...

I hope to be that last dad when my daughter's time comes around; she's 2.5 years. I have, at most, 13 years to get ready for that. Whiskey first, then start planning now. I guess that means I'll need to work on the whole "Son, this is how you treat a lady" deal for when my son gets there, too. He's only 4 months, so I have a bit longer to get ready for that; or less if he's anything like me. Shit; I should be worried, shouldn't I?

-Joshua

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

That made me sad. I have a friend who takes in foster kids and all the horror stories she tells me, plus these...it just makes my hearth break for all those poor kids. They're just kids. KIDS. Innocent, beautiful little beings that deserve so much better.

The last two stories were sweet...but as for not telling the dad about the bubblegum?? I'd tell you what I'd tell that dad but it would involve a lot of censoring and such...

Scrappy Girl said...

Disney mom...HOW CRAZY! Yikes! Love the good ones...that dad made me tear up.

Barbaloot said...

Love the two stories at the end. Nice to know some parents are trying the best they know how---and mostly succeeding:)

Janet said...

Very well said. Love the story about the daddy/daughter date. I wish more fathers knew how to raise daughters who expect to be treated well by men.

Michele Renee said...

A five hour delay??? With that and the arrival time you could have driven home!! But wouldn't have these stories to ponder!

foxy said...

Wow - some unbelievably sad stories to start it out (gah, i feel for those kids) and then an incredibly sweet father/daughter story to finish it up. Kudos to that dad for sure... i wish every dad were that good.

Laura said...

Loved this post & the Dad with his daughter out on a date made me a bit misty.

Tami G said...

ohhhhh myyyy
that was the funniest (seriously parents?!!?) and SWEETEST (daddy/daughter date) post I have read in some time......

GOOD JOB
I MUST become more observant! ha

Tami G

Ms Bibi said...

There is lots of bad apples out there.

You should come over to one of my son's minor hockey games. I would fire 90% of those hockey parents.

How sweet is the dad/daughter story? She really is a lucky girl.

Heather@WHMB said...

The dad/daughter date thing - so sweet. Props to him, more girls need their dads more than ever these days.

'You're fired" to some of those other parents, a little too nice, don't ya think? :)

Slamdunk said...

Well written. After reading the first part, I was ready to comment with my share of observed bad parenting, but after reading the last two stories, I decided to take notes instead,

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Doesn't it make you wonder how some people become parents. Of course, this morning, me standing in the driveway screaming at my kids because we were late to school and it takes them 20 minutes to walk from the door of the house to the car 5 feet away...ps. run for you lives kids.

Poindexter said...

Agree with Laura - I love the last part about Dad & daughter. So sweet. As an optimist, I have to believe that most people want to be good parents, but they mess up from time to time. Hopefully mess ups that we witness from afar are not representative of every single interaction between parent and child. -Diane

Busy Bee Suz said...

The crazy thing...most of this parenting stuff is common sense. Right? I see idiotic parents all the time and it just makes me understand why there are so many bad kids running a muck. If you do your job at the beginning (I had no role models really, and even I could figure it out) then you will have good kids...turning into good people.

ps. My girls are both lucky too, they have a good dad. (and an awesome Mom) :)
Great post JennyMac!

obladi oblada said...

Having been at Disney REAL recently...I think selling Valium to parents is a great idea! That poor kid....

The daddy/daughter date thing was so awesome...he deserves a big fat promotion!!!

Flartus said...

To the dog owner at the park, who was too busy feeding the ducks to notice my dog and me coming into the park. Who got incensed when your Dobermann tried to come toward us and jerked your bread-holding arm--something you would have been able to stop if you'd had half an eye on your dog. Something for which you then spent several minutes smacking and yelling at your dog: you're fired.

Spend some time and attention on your dog, and maybe he'll do the same to you. Poor dumb beast.

(I have no kids, but people with no patience for dogs couldn't possibly handle toddlers...or teens. Even I know that. At least kids get old enough to move out.)

Summer said...

Awww....the good and bad are out there! For sure!

My daddy and I still go on "dates" every now and then!!! :) I love them... :)

Rebecca Knight said...

I agree--loved the way you ended this post!

The image of a toddler rolling in a mud bog also made me laugh a little ;). Payback!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I was thinking about this same type of thing last week when I was at walmart. I was in the parking lot and Mrs. Very Expensive SUV (just so you know it wasn't like some trashy walmart person, hey our walmart is upscale!) screaming at her child (who looked maybe ten?) in her car across the lot. Her windows were up and I was buckling the Chick into her seat and I could hear every. single. word. And I thought to myself then (and for the rest of the week) what in the heck could that child EVER have done to deserve to be yelled at like that? The answer is nothing and that made me very, very sad indeed.

Arielle said...

Some parents. I'm hardly qualified to comment, being nineteen and childless, and I know there is no exact right way to do things. But there are definitely some wrong ways.

Dumblond said...

Where do you live that you witness such parenting douchery?! Holy crap...
That last bit about the dad and daughter made me smile. My dad did those kind of things with me. My favorite memories of my crazy teenage years were those nights with him. And even better, now I have a man who is already doing the same thing with our 8 year old daughter.

Lauren said...

Some people should not be allowed to procreate! Thank goodness for the two at the end!

Southern Champagne Wishes said...

Those are horrible! I cannot stand it when I see parents screaming at their children- especially for things like were mentioned. The last two stories completely reaffirmed my faith that there are plenty of good parents out there.

CRY said...

I AM ONE OF THOSE LUCKY WIVES WHOS LITTLE GIRLS DADDY TAKES HER ON DATES, TAKES HER TO BUY AN EASTER DRESS EVERY YEAR AND IS GOING TO HER SCHOOL TODAY TO EAT A THANKSGIVING MEAL. I THANK GOD FOR HIM BEING THE FATHER OF MY 2 CHILDREN!

Baloney said...

I love that the dad announced that his wife tried to get him to take the diaper bag. Justice. LOL.
Looks like you got to see both sides of humanity. I hope those first couple of kiddos have someone more loving in their lives.

Pricilla said...

I miss my father...I am going to go cry now.

Vodka Logic said...

The last paragraph made up for all the crappy parents above. It brought tears to my eyes..

Too bad the other kids don't have the same opportunities

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

No way! You can not be serious. Why do we not require some sort of test to be passed before certain people reproduce? Why?

blueviolet said...

There really are some good ones out there...there's just some questionable ones sprinkled in between.

DeNae said...

My kids do have that kind of dad. My only worry is that my daughters will naively believe that every guy is as kind and wonderful as their dad.

My sons, however, have a GREAT visual of "What Not to Wed." Ha! I kid. Except for that one week out of four...

And I've gotten pretty good at calling abusive parents on the carpet in my old age. "That looks a lot like assault, lady" works wonders.

Kathleen said...

In response to what your 2nd or 3rd commenter said, if that much is going on IN PUBLIC, think of what happens in the privacy of homes!

Liza said...

Thank goodness you ended it the way you did...I was getting severely depressed. Geesh. What's with these people? Hooray for that Dad!

Simply Mel said...

The only time I most likely will see my little crumb's papa with a fist is the moment he meets her first date (in 17 years from now)and takes him over to the corner and shares a bit of a warning with the young lad!

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

The dad and daughter date....so cute!

Raoulysgirl said...

Ok, the first few pissed me off. They should have their "parent licenses" revoked. Sorry...that's how I judge.

The last two made me cry. I have been the mom who bribed her kids with otherwise mostly off-limit treats to ensure that they remained ladylike (although not at an airport because I no longer fly!). I also wish that ALL dads in the world could be as thoughtful and caring as the last dad you mentioned. Children learn by example and behaviors that are treated as "normal" usually stay that way. It's great to see the parents who make it POSITIVE!!! He should get an award!!!

Great post!!

mbkatc230 said...

I LOVE the dad/date story. What a wonderful man. DH did something similar with Cait when she was 15 or so. And he loves to have long "conversations" with her boyfriend! At least he didn't take our friend up on his offer to lend us rifles that he could clean when they came to pick her up for dates! Kathy

Rosie said...

There may not be Vallium vendors at Disneyland but as a former Cast Member and dispenser of alcohol at Disney's California Adventure, I know for a fact what a blessing a glass of booze can be to the adultkind...Makes children sweeter and lines shorter.

Intense Guy said...

Unfortunately, having working reproductive glands doesn't automatically qualify folks to be parents.

And I too, hate to think what goes on in private.

S3XinthePantry said...

I'm glad you mixed in the good with the bad (well, horrible) unlike my recent rant!

AmericanTribal said...

This post is awesome.

Thank you for stopping by my blog :)

Alicia said...

i had just about lost all hope in parents until that last one.....seriously so sweet...i'm making my husband do that in 15 years to our little one...so so sweet.

Lisa and Laura said...

Awww.....I love that story about the girl and her dad. So cute! My dad had a tradition in our house that we all had to take a father daughter trip before we started high school. We were horrified at the time, but in retrospect it was really cute.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a wonderful post. I just loved every word. Sometimes when I take Kaish to the park I leave my phone home on purpose. I don't need to get every message every moment. Sometimes the most important moments are the ones when they know they are the most important things in our whole world : )
This from a mommy who makes a zillion mistakes a day!

one sassy girl said...

Aw, great post, JennyMac!!! This reminded me of my dad - the last dad, not the first one.

There are some really horrid people/parents out there. Luckily, I've got good ones in my life on both accounts.

xx

Green-Eyed Momster said...

You should be in charge of EVERYTHING! You are right on about the parents who should be fired. If I ever see a parent spanking a child in public, I'll probably make the news.

How sweet those last two stories are... Awwwww!

Hugs!!

Being Pramoda... said...

hi Jenny..am here after a long time..:)

Thats good post..

HalfAsstic.com said...

Awesome! I especially like having the... good parents at the end. I go away able to sleep tonight, secure in the thought that the whole world isn't going to sh*t.
It's not, right?

Mrs Montoya said...

I try so hard not to be critical of other parents because there are days that people must think I am absolutely insane for speaking to my kids like they're 30. But it's so much harder to watch someone be CRUEL to a child. I'm grateful for the end of your post. It's a sunny spot in such a dreary landscape. I think everyone should have to apply and be approved to get pregnant. I really do.

mommywonderland said...

OK..There are so many parents out there that make me want to spank them right back or curse back at them after cussing their own toddler out..But the moments like that dad, or the mom's trying to keep from going insane..all the while telling their little one's "your being so good!"(even though theyre running like crazy's)few and far between but Cheers to all you parents who do what you can to stay hired and not FIRED!

Kato said...

You see all kinds. People who have kids for the sake of having kids, and people who truly enjoy parenthood.

I am not a parent and I can only imagine how hard it is. That's why I can also only imagine that parenthood would be easier with a smile and not a balled up fist.

Loved the dad taking his daughter out. So sweet!

Thanks for the post once again!

Corrie Howe said...

Thank you for your observations, both the good and the bad. It is interesting to people watch. And I love to watch, smile at, and talk to children in public.

Muthering Heights said...

My heart breaks for so many little ones out there...why have kids if you're going to treat them like pets???

Matty said...

Your perspective of things is brilliant. A lot of parents don't have a clue. Some of it is the revolving door effect. They were raised that way, so it's all they know. Their parenting skills were handed down to them.

I took my daughter out on a special date for her 16th birthday. Just the two of us. Dinner at a real nice "get all dressed up" type restaurant, and a special gift from me to her that she will keep forever......I hope.

I'm not a perfect parent, but at least I "get it".

Little Ms Blogger said...

The dad on the cell phone has probably learned his lesson.

The story about the dad in the restaurant was priceless. What a great way for a parent to teach their child how they should be treated by a bf/gf.

Great stories.

Donn said...

Ah yes asshat parents..
why is it illegal to taser and sterilize them?

Hopefully the alien insect overlords who are on their way to enslave us, will frown upon the twats from the shallow end of the gene pool who terrorize their children.

It is not a right to have children it is a privilege and at some point somebody needs to cull the herd and pay attention to long term effects of letting asshats have kids.

I'm all for reinstituting Darwinian measures or at the very least, only allowing families like the Andersons on Father Knows Best to share my planet. Life is just too freakin short to put up with those other f*&#% morons.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I thought of how I witnessed a dad dragging his little girl as he tried to steal a shopping cart full of items from Walmart as his little girl cried, "No Daddy, No!!!"

He shoved the customer service girl and the get away car almost ran over another employee.

What a fine example to show your small, innocent child.

But, I do love that you also gave examples of parents that go beyond the call of duty to let their child know how valued they are. That's special.

Amanda said...

I'm crying - for all of the kids who learn such horrible lessons, and then grow up thinking that's how its done, and so the cycle repeats, and then for all of the good guys, like the parents in your last 2 stories, whose kids grow up with a whole different thinking. Great post JennyMac!

My name is PJ. said...

Wow, you know how to get me riled up first thing in the morning. I have a hot button for those who pick on the smaller, younger, weaker, those-with-no-voice crowd. Once you've witnessed repeated child abuse at a time in history when domestic problems were easily overlooked by the law, you carry a perpetual sword and shield with you. It's impossible for me not to be judgmental of these folks.

On the other hand, the last two - especially the dad - warmed my heart. Thanks for ending on a hopeful note!

Keep on sharing what you see, Jenny Mac. You have a wonderful way with words (alliterative, no?)

Thanks for your kind words on my post about Scotty!

secret agent woman said...

Don't you wish you could fire some parents before they procreate?

Erin said...

My heart was breaking during this post because I feel like a horrible mother a lot of the time (I posted earlier this week about an episode in public, ugh). Of course, these are some extreme circumstances here and I'm not like that...but still.

I loved the Dad on the date with his daughter. SO sweet!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

The Dad-daughter date story got me a little misty. Redemption for the others, on some universal level?

Stu Pidasso said...

Being a divorced father of two, I can honestly say that I was fired by my ex. It hurt, but made me a bit smarter and more aware of what I NEED to be doing. Now I have the same goals as your story for my newly seveteen year old daughter. I hope I can pull it off so she doesn't end up dating guys like me. Thanks for the story, it was spot on!

Shop Girl* said...

Wow... I love the last story! What a sweet thing to do for your daughter.

Coco said...

Awesome Awesome Awesome post!!

The last one daddy/daughter date story was too precious. I will have to remember that when Tess gets older.

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