Confessions of a Self-proclaimed Spinster…
I love to go grocery shopping. I hate paying for the groceries. I hate loading them into my car and then loading them out and putting them away; but the shelves overflowing with countless solutions to what’s for breakfast, how to spice up lunch, or rid myself of gray hair, has always seemed magical to me. That people can simply make a trip to the supermarket and their lives – or at least their meals and their laundry – will be transformed was and remains to me enticing. No, that’s not the right word. I’m inexplicably drawn to all the solutions and improvements offered. (Maybe I went on the World of Tomorrow ride at the World’s Fair one too many times.)
Now my friend Kesha (owner of the this blog) and I seem to find ourselves pretty much on the same “cyber-page”, if you will. We both hate seeing unsupervised kids. We both hate seeing kids whose mothers do nothing to control their children and just repeat a zombie-like litany of “uh-huh’s, ask your father’s, maybe next time’s” and so on.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a spinster. Well, not really a spinster; I was married once and the plan was to pop out two, or maybe more kids; but the marriage didn’t work and I defected west. Given the way he was treating me, there was no way I would bring his satanic spawn into the world. Okay, what I really meant was kids he could teach to treat others the way he was treating me. The final straw was when to win an argument, he pinned me against a wall and shouted at the top of his lungs in my face. (Any idea how loudly a medium-sized man can yell and how much a 50 year-old house will shake? I hope you never find out.) I was, of course, afraid his fist would come up and strike me which, thank goodness it never did, but I didn’t intend to hang out to find out if and at what point it would. Well I never met another man that I felt I could be with for 18+ years, and I knew I wasn’t strong enough or perhaps unselfish enough to be a single mom.
I love kids, especially the ones old enough to talk back. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, or maybe it’s because I was definitely a back-talker myself and I admire that trait in others – kids more so than adults. I think it translates to self-esteem in a child which I’m always pleased to see since I think I was on the negative self-esteem scale growing up… but that’s another story.
So here are my gripes:
Letting kids run up and down the aisles of the supermarket or really, any store…
No offense, but I’m busy there doing what I have to do. I’m not watching out for your kids. What bothers me is it seems like mothers are abdicating the responsibility of their kid’s safety to me and every other person in the store – people who have never met you or your kids. Now we’re being forced to be on the lookout for your kids so as not to have a kid/shopping cart collision.
Kids that are allowed to scream at the top of their lungs in a store or other public place while mom and/or dad simply ignore them.
If I screamed at the top of my lungs in the canned vegetable aisle, do you think I’d be ignored and perhaps even smiled at kindly? Kids need to be socialized almost as soon as they’re past the infant stage. I’m sure most mothers are teaching their kids not to whop Jimmy over the head with a shovel full of sand by explaining that “you wouldn’t like it if he did that to you, now would you?’ Why don’t those same rules apply in supermarkets and other public places? If you truly can’t control your child, a “time-out” seems to be in order. When I can’t function in a considerate and respectful manner (and it happens more often than I’d like) I remove myself from public places and I don’t inflict my bad mood or behavior on my friends. Essentially, the adult version of the now famous time-out.
I know I’m not a mother and have never raised a kid, but I’m Almost Aunt Karen and Godmother to many of my friends and cousin’s kids, so I do have some experience hard-earned through many, many, many hours of babysitting. In fact, my psychology background coupled with my love for kids makes me the babysitter of choice. The bottom line is that I don’t think anyone is doing their child or themselves any favors by suddenly developing impaired hearing and eyesight in public places as it pertains to their child. The better and sooner a child functions considerately in society, the sooner that child will learn that life is a give and take proposition, and that to get what he or she wants, takes a little giving, a little consideration, and a little respect.
Karen Boyarsky is an avid blogger who blogs on myriad subjects. Follow her at Twitter @boyarskykareni.