Perpetually Peeved


When good intentions go bad

I think whether parenthood is something planned or not, that most people go into it with good intentions.  When people find out they are going to become parents they secretly think they are going to be the best parent ever. 

Our parents?  They knew nothing.  I mean, they let us run around until the streetlights turned on.  We would drive hours on the interstates with no seat belts and at least one sibling lying across the hump on the floor of the car.  Baby teething?  Slip him some whiskey.  Teenager backtalking?  Feed her some soap.  Broke your arm?  Quit crying or I’ll break the other one. 

Yeah, I think most people’s’ visceral reaction to finding out they are going to have a child is, “I’m going to do it so much better than my parents did.”

So, what the heck happens?

photo from belch.com

Not too long ago, I was at the zoo with Biggie and Smalls.  A lot of people had those cute little monkey leash backpacks for their children.  Which, I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I just always held my kid’s hand or strapped them in the stroller.  That wasn’t my problem, though.  I understand why people have them.  It’s a scary thing to bring a non-verbal, squirmy toddler out to a crowded place where they could disappear in a heartbeat.  I get it.  I still watch my 12-year-old go to the top of the driveway to get the mail.  The thing that made me literally bite my tongue was the sight of a mother dragging her toddler behind her.  Pulling away like she was towing a wagon or something.  Um, lady, you dropped something.  Oh wait, that’s YOUR KID!  Cripies!  I’m thinking she didn’t see a little pink plus sign on a stick and think, “I’m going to be the best mom ever.  When little Timmy gets tired at the zoo, I won’t rent him a stroller, I’ll use my super-mommy strength to drag his ass from cage to cage.”

Hmm... I wonder why Timmy can't focus in school.

I was getting Smalls into the car at her daycare one day and was having a conversation with a woman who had a young son (about 4 years old or so).  She was complaining about how he just wouldn’t sit still and he wouldn’t stop talking and he can’t pay attention to anything for more than a few seconds.  As she’s saying this, she is loading him into a carseat positioned directly in front of a 10 inch DVD screen which she promptly turns on (with her remote start button).  “It’s just so difficult,” she shouts over the cries of the Wiggles, “is it possible for a four-year old to be diagnosed with ADD?”  No, darling, it isn’t any more possible than diagnosing his mother with a bad case of stupidity.

Clean up on Aisle 9!

See that angelic four-year-old holding on fiercely to a freshly Clorox-Wipe’d shopping cart, minding her own business, humming a song for her mommy?  Okay, now see that hooligan child lying on the ground kicking over the end cap display with her feet and mopping the dirty linoleum with her hair?  Okay, now see that lady halfway across the store, seemingly by herself minding her own business and shopping?  Isn’t she doing a great job of ignoring the toneless WA HA WA HA WA HA fake ambulance sound emitting from the mophead?  She’s not even looking around like I was to see where in the world the little critter’s mother was.  Hmmm…  she must be shopping for mirrors. 

And the nominees for Mother of the Year are…

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31 Comments so far
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I see that kid at end of aisle trippin up at the ceiling must have great patterns and lights. Where’s Mom? Did she flip out because they split a tab and she got the bigger dose and is outside chasing the rainbow? And you think you got problems? Mrs. Peeved my avatar has not been showing up and cannot seem to enter gmail as old email will away soon. How will I log in. Wow. Did you see the three orange turtles that just flew by?

Comment by Carl D'Agostino

You would think she was at the planetarium or something. Is there a laser light show at Target I don’t know about?

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

the thought of having kids scares the bejesus out of me. and if i do, can you come parent them for me until they’re sweet little darlings? Then I can take them back. 🙂

Comment by katie o.

Only if you take in the dog the kids keep asking me for and return him when he’s potty trained and over chewing on couches and pissing on hardwoods. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I secretly, well not so secretly can see how all those self reliance skills I was taught by my parents was not about them being to stern or not caring. We stimulate our kids to the brink of making them crazy, then we give them some bright and shiny label “ADHD” like a prize. Telling your children to “Sit down and shut up” is not going to hurt them.

Comment by 1sttime0ffender

Amen. Although, telling your kid to shut up would land you a child services visit for verbal abuse these days.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

It probably took that lady 10 minutes to get home. Why can’t a kid endure 10 minutes of looking out the window? We reserve our portable DVD player for really long trips…. like anything more than 4 hours and even then my daughter will prefer to look out the window at the clouds. Kids don’t get the chance to get bored these days. My mom hated that word. She would always say “Only boring people get bored.” Things are different and better now but I think my parents did a pretty darn good job. **patting myself on the back** LOL

Comment by tryityoumightlikeit

Pat away. I think some of the best times I’ve shared with my kids have been in the car ride to/from daycare. Singing, storytelling, making faces in the mirror.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I think DVD players in cars are the worst invention ever (unless you are on a long trip). AND what people don’t know, is that kids who watch them have poor peripheral vision because they aren’t watching the street go by in the car and they are having reading problems! See kids, TV does rot your brain!

Comment by thelifeofjamie

Yeah, not to speak of the garbage that’s actually displayed on the TV. That’ll really rot your brain. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

My kids think they live in the dark ages – we have no DVD players in the car. Even on long trips – they have to talk to us. Yikes!

My friends and I were talking about how our parenting styles are definitely different from our parents, but how will our kids think that we’ve messed them up? It will be interesting to see as they get older and have children of their own.

Comment by Jenni Engledow

Oh, Biggie is already getting me prepared for all the therapy bills she’s going to be sending me for reimbursement.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

OK, first of all, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the picture of the mom dragging her kid through Walmart on a leash.

Second, I’m with you on DVD players in the car. Our rule is no TV on trips of less than 3 hours. On longer trips, no TV until the last couple of hours of the trip (which is when we need it most).

Comment by Todd Pack

It’s just sad, right? I almost didn’t post it.

On long car rides, I’m right there with you. That’s why the post is titled “When good intentions go bad.” Leashes – I can see the rationale. DVD players – lifesavers in some instances. Giving your kid freedom – it’s all in the execution. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I guess the parts that I find difficult to grasp is I have never used a leash, never owned a stroller, never owned a portable DVD player. For long trips we load the mp3 player with audio books and awesome hair bands from the 80’s…ok so the hair bands are already on there. We made a road trip from Texas to Arizona and listened to The Golden Compass and sang everything by Cinderella. The trip was much more fun than the destination.

Comment by 1sttime0ffender

I don’t have a DVD player in my car. We only use them for long trips. Every time I see a car driving down the street with the double DVD players running with diffrent shows on, I think “Circut City on Wheels”!

I love the kid on a leash pic. That just kills me everytime I see that especially the fact I own one and yet to ever put one on my kid yet (it is a backpack Minnie Mouse at least).

Comment by apieceofthepiehole

my sister puts her daughter on a leash and I cringe every time! I thought I would need one for my kids, but they manage to walk nicely through most stores!

Comment by thelifeofjamie

What was the bribe to get smalls to pose like that?

Comment by Dave Hambidge

Duh – a zhu zhu 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

In college I wore pajamas around the clock. I often think back fondly on those days. It pisses me off that my husband gets to wear scrubs to work every day while I have to get up and press my slacks and blouse.

I have also walked away from my child during a tantrum in the middle of Target. I tried to pretend she wasn’t mine. But then she came towards me crying and yelling “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA.” I couldn’t deny it then.

Comment by Dana

I like your comment about the old days. I indeed broke my arm one day while out skateboarding. I came home, called my mom and told her about the broken arm. Her reply was, “Get your ass outside and pick me a can of raspberries then unload and load the dishwasher.”

I did my chores.

When dad came home I said, “Look. I have a broken arm.” He took me to the doctor who confirmed the arm was broken and put a cast on it.

When mom came home and saw the cast she cried. Ah, the good old days. *sigh*

A very interesting and insightful post. I loved it!

Comment by shoutabyss

Those leashes crack me up. So who is girl in the cart? She looks so quiet and well-behaved. Oh, she’s yours? Well done.

Comment by thoughtsappear

Scary. People really ought to have to have a license to have kids.

How did we all make it without constant video stimulation while we were huffing carbon monoxide coming in the open back window of the station wagon?

Comment by omawarisan

I giggled guiltily at the picture of the kid on the leash. Jesus, that’s awful. People are crazy.

Comment by 36x37

So. Love. You. That’s why you are on my blogroll. You are my cyber sista. Folks is fascinating, aint dey?

Comment by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

Talk about peeved, I am pissed off!
http://roto-rouda.blogspot.com/2010/11/seeing-sarah-clearly.html

Comment by andreajrouda

hahaha, I heart our iPhones Cameras!! 🙂

Comment by Bonnie

I’ve used the leash on Luke. Sometimes it’s all I got. Mother of the Year? Nope. But surviving the day? With a little luck, just maybe.

Comment by Alli

I give you a pass. I know you would never drag him around behind you. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

[…] When good intentions go bad […]

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