18 May 2013

The Day I Was Insulted By The Man Outside Dollar Tree

To the Old Man Outside of Dollar Tree:

Clearly, you had no idea what you were talking about the other day, when you asked my THREE YEAR OLD, with clear, serious intention, if her mother was hurting her in the parking lot. As we walked to the store, she was refusing to hold my hand. A clear safety issue -- as she has yet to fully comprehend how dangerous it can be to just dart out into the middle of traffic. 

As I told her to Come On! and grabbed her hand, she had a moment. A very brief, albeit loud, moment, in which she threw a three year old's tantrum. She cried. And she tried to pull her hand away and run to the sidewalk without me. I did what I needed to do to keep my daughter safe, and held her hand tighter, until she quit fighting me. 

I didn't abuse her. 

Nor did I even hurt her. 

She was crying because she was mad at me, not because she was hurt. She was mad that she is three, and wants to be completely independent. Like most young children these days, she is wrapped up in thinking she can do any and every thing for herself. As her Mother, I love to witness these moments -- especially the ones where she succeeds. However, a busy shopping mall parking lot is NOT the place to test those boundaries. 

But to your eyes, all you saw was another of today's children. The ones who live in a scary world where nothing is safe anymore. 

I wonder if you have children. And if you ever took them out to busy places by yourself, without an extra set of hands. Carrying one younger child on your hip. With the other sometimes-defiant older child left to walk beside you. Did they try to run off ahead ... dart out in a busy lane ... get mad about something that was out of their control? If they did, they were simply being children. And you were left to deal with the mess. 

But in your day, no one thought a crying child was being abused. They thought they were being kids. Kids who needed a little time out and maybe some discipline, depending on the situation. And both were given, I am sure. 

Let me just say this: I do not, nor would I ever, hurt my children. So maybe the next time you see a mother struggling to walk into the store with two kids alone, instead of jumping to the conclusion that she is abusing her little ones, offer to help her cross the lane of traffic. Ask how she is doing today. Smile politely and wish her a good day. 

But do not ... I repeat Do Not ask that three year old if they are being hurt, simply because you see the child crying. The only thing you will accomplish is pissing off that mother. 

A Rather Insulted, and Tired, Mom! 


  1. That is pretty ridiculous.

  2. Wow that is just awful! Such a horrible man.

  3. that is crazy! what is with people now a days with no boundaries thinking they can say whatever the hell they want to whoever they want!? sorry you had to deal with that!!

  4. What the heck? That's awful! Sounds like someone needs to learn a little tact. The geezer must have never had kids (or else he did and just blocked out the tantrum years).