Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cookies Are For Closers


I took my girls to an early morning storytime at our local library. The storytime was for kids ages two-three. That, in itself makes the journey perilous; that the terrible twos and threes all gathered in one room for twenty minutes of reading, dancing, and playing musical instruments is bound to be some kind of clustermuck.

We got there a little early and settled into the children's area of the library where they have a train table, a Duplo building table, and a puppet show corner to keep them occupied while they wait.

I settled in across from a younger woman brandishing yoga pants, encrusted with what I am guessing was her daughter's morning breakfast caked to her right side, disheveled hair, and a hoodie. Her daughter, "Veronica" whom I only know because of the number of times this woman had to say her name was wreaking havoc on anyone in her path.

I made up my mind after watching this child for two minutes, that her kid is a douchebag and its all her mom's fault.  Sometimes I can't stand other people's kids. They are the worst.

My kids aren't perfect. Heck, they all make mistakes, but if you are a parent and you are giving your children a warning, be prepared to follow through with that threat or you are losing all credibility.

My older daughter was putting on a funny puppet show for me when this girl came over and ripped the puppet out of my daughter's hand. "Hey! Sarah said "Can you please give that back? I was playing with it" Veronica walked over to the tub of puppets dumped them all on the floor and then tried to hit Sarah with the tub. Luckily Crusty Yogapants interrupted and rejected the attempt.

I let it slide. The girl is just two maybe three and we have all been there. Crusty turned to me said "Sorry about that" and I gave her a smile and I said "It's OK, everyone needs to learn how to share" trying to cut her some slack. Clearly the morning was not going well. Moments later though, it was not OK and Crusty's douchebag kid showed her true colors.

Heidi, playing with the Duplo blocks at the table was building me a house. She was very proud of it and said "Daddy look what I build!" That's when things started slowing down Matrix style as I watched Veronica set her sites on her tower, pick up a head of steam, and bash it to pieces.

Heidi didn't cry, she just got super pissed and crossed her arms, I wondered if Heidi was going to punch this douchey kid. Now it was time for me to intervene.  I told the little girl "That wasn't nice" and I turned to Crusty and said "Maybe you should get your daughter under control"

Crusty apologized again and got down to her daughter's level and said "You can't act like this. If you don't behave then we will go home" BOOM. The line was drawn. She handled it the way I would have done too. My kids know that if it comes to losing that privilege they need to change their attitude because Dad will walk away. Like Dad on the Run says "Papa Bears don't care".

It is what transpires after the line is drawn is what defines you as a good parent or not. I get that you need a break from your already crazy day, Crusty Yogapants, but if my kid has intent to hurt another child, that's it. Game over.  Take away the reward immediately.

Seconds later, both of my girls were at the other Lego table when I watched Veronica, who couldn't fit at the table with both of them there, remove her baby Ugg boots and whip one at my kid!

I jumped up and told my girls to move away from her and refocused them on something away from this beast. In my mind she went from a pissy two year old brat to Garbage Pail Kid Volatile Veronica.

Did the mom then leave? No.

Game. Set. Douche.

The librarian rang her chime signifying storytime was about to start but the mom STILL did not leave. She even brought Volatile Veronica into the storytime room. I instantly sized up the 15 X 15 foot room with no emergency exits and thought "This is about to get ugly"

Veronica never sat for the storytime. She did everything but listen with the mom not correcting any inappropriate behavior. It became the elephant in the room with parents nervously looking out the window or glancing anywhere but at Crusty like she had snakes for hair.  At any time she could have taken her out but didn't. Clearly the douche doesn't fall that far from the tree.

While passing out egg shakers for a musical number, Veronica discovered that she couldn't have every single one in the basket and lost it. She threw the shaker at the librarian which I thought would surely get through this woman's head that this was not right. No chance.

For the first time ever I watched a librarian bounce a toddler out of storytime like an umpire ejecting Billy Martin from a baseball game. She was outta there! Time to hit the showers, kid.

Crusty Yogapants is down with PPP. That's what Brandon from The Funny Conversations calls it, Piss - Poor- Parenting. To be that great parent you are going to want to be an asset to your company, a leader, someone with the ability to help your team win; not some sideline scrub sent in at garbage time.

That means making the tough decisions that the situation calls for. Are you pulling your kid from a fun activity if they are not behaving? Are you bailing out of that line at Target because your kid is being a whiny brat?

Make that kid cry. It's good for them. They need to learn that they aren't going to get their way. They need to learn that mom and dads everywhere mean business. And, no, they can't have a cookie when they get home. In fact, you may want to eat it in front of them. Cookies are for closers.




6 comments:

  1. It's painful to watch bad parenting in action ... but I enjoyed the solid Billy Martin reference so early in the New Year!

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  2. I also loved the Billy Martin reference. Nice.
    It sounds like that kid has some real challenges and the mother is not engaging those issues.

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  3. Note to self for about 17 months from now.

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  4. Preach it! I have seen the same thing too many times with my own son. I also see far too much PPP as a teacher. It's time to call out bad parents!

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  5. I can't count the time that an event like this has happened. It's the hard part of being a parent but someone has to do it.

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  6. YEESSS!!!!! I have said this so many times. If you're going to make a threat, you need to be prepared to follow through. (It's why the Elf on the Shelf pissed my off. Too many parents freaked when their kid touched the Elf & took away its magic power or something. Then they had to scramble to find an excuse why the Elf was unharmed. Or something.) Stop saying you're going to leave & JUST LEAVE!

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