Sometimes it really amazes me how nervy strangers can be at times. Here’s the story that got me all fired up…We were on vacation last week and my daughter was playing on the beach. She went over to a little girl around her age and started picking up some of her toys. After telling her to stop, the little girl’s mother invited my daughter to go over and play. Since my daughter is so friendly, (she can become BFF’s with a rock, I think she definitely gets that from her father) we walked over.
At first, all was well. The little girls were playing in the sand. I was sharing some mindless conversation with this other mom. I can’t even tell you what we were talking about. That’s how unimportant it was. But,then it started. The girls got up to get some more water for their pails. The other little girl had her water shoes on as she walked to the water. My daughter did not. So, the other mom asked me if we had water shoes. I answered yes, but my little one doesn’t really like shoes, so she took them off. I got an “oh” and some silence. I really didn’t think anything of it. But then when the girl got up the second time, the mom said to me “oh, I really wish she had her shoes on.” She was referring to my little one. Strike One. I told her she was fine, if she had a problem, she would be screaming. She made it seem like we were walking on hot coals to hell. It was just a few rocks, toughen up lady.
I was getting a little annoyed, but decided to stick around because the girls were having fun. Then this uncensored Momma asked me how many words my daughter says. I simply answered “a few.” Then she asked me if “we do” daycare. I answered that I am fortunate enough to have my mom and mother-in-law babysit while I work, so I don’t have to pay for daycare. Then she told me that once she sent her daughter to daycare, her vocabulary grew so much because grandma wasn’t “doting on her.” Strike Two. By this time I wanted to throw her in the ocean. Who the heck are you lady? You’re asking me so many questions and I’ve only known you for five minutes and hopefully we will never see each other again. During this whole time, I’ve kept the conversation light and impersonal, while she’s giving me advice and putting her two cents in…heck…she’s putting in a whole dime.
I stood there and looked away as she got down on the sand to help her daughter build a “water wall”. My daughter must have sensed my frustration because she started to take her plastic shovel and scoop the wall away. The lady kept trying to build it back up. My daughter kept pushing it down. Build…push..build…push. This was getting fun. Normally I would have told her to stop. But, I just didn’t feel like it. Then the mother of the year said ,”oh let’s not push down the wall honey.” Strike Three. You’re out and we’re outta here. I mustered every nice bone left in my body and told my daughter Daddy was calling her and he wanted to go check out the pool. All I had to say was Daddy, and she dropped the shovel and we were out. Although I wanted to kick sand in this lady’s face, I simply said bye and see you later. Peace Out.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not so open with my thoughts and opinions with complete strangers when it comes to parenting advice. If some of those words were coming from a trusted friend or relative, I may have listened. I would still have complained, but I would have listened. I just couldn’t believe how high and mighty this lady thought she and her kid were. Mind you, her daughter wasn’t reciting the encyclopedia while playing in the sand or quoting Shakespeare. I wanted to ask her where all those extensive vocabulary words were hiding. In the sand? In her water shoes?
Although I walked away annoyed, there was a lesson learned. Next time I encounter someone like this on the beach I need to go grab the water shoes and throw one at the mom-zilla!