Suicidal Snowflakes

Just because I have a short attention span doesn\’t mean I…

I love little kids. No, really.

When I was a little kid, my mom would make a huge deal out of our “bad behavior,” and would scream at us to be good, and asked us why we were so bad…. basically taking it personally that a bunch of toddlers and gradeschoolers misbehaved.  It took me a long time to figure out that… toddlers don’t listen.  It’s not because they’re “bad,” they just can’t.  They forget that something was “wrong,” or even that there were negative consequences (mommy yelling) for what they’ve done. I also finally discovered that gradeschoolers (and older kids for that matter) will go exactly as far as they’re allowed to go, and that screaming and throwing things doesn’t really do much to instill a sense of responsbility  in kids.  It’s hard to learn to take responsibility for your own behavior when mom screams every time she’s angry, sad, frustrated, hungry, tired… and throws stuff and swears to show you that being messy is “wrong.”

Mom had us thinking we were the worst children in the world, that there couldn’t possibly be children more badly behaved than us.

Then I grew up  and started hanging out at the mall.  Temper tantrums, parents bribing children, parents threatening children…  The mall, in addition to being a temple to the god of consumerism, is a great place to observe the human condition as it unfolds.

You figure out that bribing kids only turns them into the spoiled little prosti-tot pre-teens who MUSTget the latest such and such from this over-priced trendy store or that, and who happen to equate love to how much money mummy gives them and when.  If you let them run wild, not only does everybody else hate you for letting your kid tear the store up (which they will then have to put right) but then they turn into the kids at the mall that mock everybody else openly, hassle sales clerks, steal games from Media Play, and generally give teenagers a bad name.

Today, at the library, there was this mom walking out of the children’s room, down the hallway filled with videos to the main room.  Her two and a half year old threw himself on the floor, saying he wanted one more book, even though mommy had a huge stack of ’em right under her arm.  She tried telling him he was behaving badly, cajoled him, promised him something or other, and finally lefthim in the hall while she checked out books.  After aboutu thirty seconds, he brushed himself off, teary-eyed and flushed, and ran after her with a big *harumpf*

She talks to the librarian, then gets the little boy’s brother situated in the stroller, stashing the books underneath.  About three minutes later, another little boy is being dragged by his mother out of the children’s room.  He’ kicking and screaming and raising a ruccas.  Finally the mom draggs him out.  The first little boy is watching them go out the door, leaning over so he can see around the security pannles, this look on his face that says ‘that kid was totally out of control.  it was uncivilized. *I* would never act like that.”

Kids’re so funny.  They just do that stuff.  They’re going to do that stuff.  I was trying to not laugh in front of the parents, but I was having a good chuckle.  If you let other people’s kids get under your skin, you’re going to be miserable every time you see one.

Of course, usually it’s not the kids that’re irritating to me… usually it’s the parents.  But that’s another story entirely…

February 28, 2006 - Posted by | Unwashed Masses

1 Comment »

  1. My mom used to tell us “no one loves a girl who cries.” She would also throw our toys out when we were bad. Now I never talk back to my mother and I am unable to cry. There’s nothing funny about childhood or parenthood. There are too many chances for irreversible emotional damage. I’m afraid to ever be a parent.

    Comment by HMC | February 28, 2006

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