I took all five kids to a fast food restaurant with a place for them to play for lunch one day. They had received gift cards just before Bobby was born, but I hadn’t been up to the task previously. I am now beginning to get a little stir crazy…or maybe just crazy. I’m not sure which.
Upon arriving at the eating establishment, I sent everyone into the play scape room and told them to have at it, leaving only Faith to rock poor, imprisoned Bobby in his car seat carrier. He was not happy. The place was pretty empty but everyone there was watching a frantic Faith trying in vain to calm a screaming baby while I tried to order our food.
There was one man in the room with the kids who was dutifully following his only two-year-old daughter. He left the room, came over to me in line, and said, “My daughter never screamed like that. She was always happy.” Then he turned around and walked back. I smiled and bit my tongue, but words swirled around in my head.
No, I am not the mother with five kids that makes it look easy. You know, you’ve seen her. Her kids walk calmly in a line and speak sweetly when spoken to in public places. People look at such a family and think, “Why didn’t I have more children?” Nope that is not me!
When we arrive, I can imagine people thinking, “That’s why I don’t have five children!” or like the man at the fast food place, “My child never acted like that!” We’re a rowdy crew! I look more like a crazy woman than one that has it all together, but I love my children–all five of them! At times they scream, cry, fight, and they don’t care who is looking. Other times their sweet, tender hearts bring me to tears. I don’t really care what most people think or say of our motley crew, but should we meet in public some day–you’ve been forewarned!
dr momi says
…you tell ’em Mama Bear!
Hahahahaha. I know when we are in public, I feel the same way.
I just say “Today its my turn to be that lady with the screaming kid in the store”.
First of all…every child is different. He apparently thinks it’s his parenting that should get credit. It has everything to do with the kid at 3 months old and nothing to do with the parenting. Plus, how does he know “never”? Has he been with her every second of every day? While he was getting his beauty sleep, his wife was probably up with a screaming baby. Let me at him, Esther!!!!
We went to Braum’s after a basketball game, and one of my daughter’s teammates was there with her mom, grandma, and sister. The teammate and her sister sat at the table and nicely ate their ice cream cones. My three could not sit still long enough to eat their ice cream. Add to this the toilet overflowed on my middle (most sensitive) daughter (not her fault… the toilet ended up being broken!) and I left there wondering what that family thought of us. On top of it, we homeschool, so I’m sure the “socialization” factor went through their minds. To their credit, they said nothing, nor did their expressions show hidden disgust. LOL.
You’ve got the right attitude. Your kids have fun when they go places. That’s ok! And babies cry (and scream!) whether that man remembered it or not. It’s easy to put on those rose-colored glasses about what we did right (or wrong) once upon a time.
That man apparently doesn’t know his daughter is the exception, not the rule. Maybe she truly was one of those chill babies who doesn’t really scream, or maybe her cry didn’t sound like a scream to him. But still. Very rude to walk up to a stranger and say something like that. Is it evil of me to hope his next child is a screamer? It is? Okay.
Oh, don’t I remember THOSE days. I only have two children, so I take my hat off to you, but my firstborn might as well have been two children and I was on my own with her! The “polite” old ladies saying through gritted teeth; “My! Isn’t she BUSY!” Ugh. If it is any consolation, that little girl has grown into the most polite teen and is my best friend – something I never expected. People really need to get their heads out of their butts, my dear!
Well that is just silly talk his child never cried?? 1st baby ever someone call the News teams, alert the paper. The guy must be a baby whisperer or something. Ya right. You don’t need to make it look easy you already make it look fun! Your children are obviously well loved.
I hate when other parnets try to make you feel bad because your baby/child isn’t acting perfect. Every parent has had at least one, and in my case, many moments of wishing their kids acted better. Parents should help each other, not each other down.
Elizabeth Grimes says
Oh please. That guy was totally lying anyway!!! Try not to let those kind of people bother you. I’m sure you’re doing great and your kids sound awesome to me!
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
After a while you start cringing when random strangers approach – you just never know what they’ll say next. You’re doing great to get out 🙂
It trips me out how people feel they always need to voice their opinion. You should have told him to come back and talk to you after he has had four more. After having five,I’m sure you feel one is a piece of cake too.
maybe you should have taken the opportunity to tell poor little Faith (so that mr.perfectdaddy could hear you) “Sweetie, that is an example of what I mean about if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”……. just a thought.
Susan Evans says
I think it’s hilarious that sometimes I get complimented on my kids in public, and other times I get people’s frowns. I have learned to no longer care. LOL
I’ll be on the lookout should I ever make it to your part of the world… I’m sure most moms actually feel this way…
Just as well you have such a great attitude – because if some stranger approached me with such a comment when I had a very unsettled baby I think I may just have burst into tears! That may have sorted him!!! haha- maybe you should try it next time 😉
You sound like a normal American Family to me. Our kids learn freedom and right to speech very young. We teach our kids that they can grow up to be whatever they dream possible with hard work and dedication. So, if they act out a little from time to time, it is only normal in my opinion. I saw an episode on the Today show of a woman talking about how the French raise their kids and that they behave better. Well, I think acting out at times in American families is normal because we teach our kids to speak up for what they want and to live free. We have a great country and people should not judge one after briefly observing.
Liked Your Post.
Hilarious! My sisters and I make quite a ruckus when we go out for dinner and we’re all in our 30s and 40s (except for the baby who was a BIG surprise 21 years ago when she was born). We are so accustomed to holding multiple conversations across the dinner table and we have so much fun with each other that we’re always laughing and telling jokes which can be quite distracting for the diners around us. I always feel bad for them but my family is just funny…and a little loud.
Ummm…I think y’all really do care about what people think about you otherwise you wouldn’t be so worked up about what you ASSUME people are thinking and saying about you.
Fact is, I really did have a baby like that! My first. She was one of “those” babies, no lie. She never screamed, she fussed a little. She communicated at an extremely early age and was able to understand “no no” and she obeyed me. I never needed gates, or safetly locks, or anything like that. She rarely if ever messed her clothes when she ate, she sat up straight and was always very cautious and polite as a toddler. Nothing we did as parents made that all come about, however, make no mistake, as wretched as she is, she was “that baby”, and discipline struggles came up in different ways that we had to, did, and still deal with.
Maybe the guy at the restuarant really did have a baby like that and was just trying to make conversation, but didn’t go about it in the right way with the right words, at the right time. Aren’t y’all being a bit judgemental yourselves to ASSUME you know what his intentions and thoughts were. He was attending to his own child, which is a good thing, right?
Amy, how are you so SURE that the “homeschool socialization thing” went through their minds? Maybe YOU are a bit touchy about that. Search your heart as to why that is. Could it be that the “homeschool socialization thing” is in YOUR MIND and you just assume that others are judging you like that?
Food for thought! 🙂
PS – Love believes the best about others.
…and that’s exactly why we hit the drive-thru and come home!
He’s lying! I don’t have kids…but I know this…they are just little people…with all the same emotions big people have and totally underdeveloped coping and communication skills…translation: they can be unpredictable. Maybe his daughter never acted like that in a public place in front of him…and if that is truly the case, the question becomes: is it because he wasn’t out with her in public much because someone else always handled that (like mom) or they just didn’t go out much so her misbehavior always happened in the comfort of their home? I can never understand why people give parents an evil eye when their kiddos misbehave in public. I’m more forgiving of the kiddos…it’s the grown ups that act like jerks in public that I can’t stand…they KNOW better! And honestly, the grown ups acting like jerks seems to occur with much more frequency these days.
Things I always wanted to say people like this guy: 1. “Really? Never screamed? Make sure she mentions that on her university applications” 2. “Really? Never screamed? Only 16 more years to go!!” 3. “Never screamed? Tell me, how did your 2-year-old learn to control her mouth?”
shari lynne @ Faith Filled Food For Moms and Grandmothers says
Love it Esther!! We are a loud rambunctious bunch too..In a nice sort of way! LOL I’m going to be writing a post pretty soon about How I had that same kind of Pride that man had until….God gave me my son..very humbling! You’ll see:)