The latest ark admittance rejection goes out to the anonymous woman in the bathroom at Chucky Cheese.
First of all, understand I have done pretty much everything in my power to avoid going to Chucky Cheese. My eldest son has been asking for years (darn those commercials!). But fortunately for me, the closest Chucky Cheese is about 45 minutes away and we never have occasion to be in that neighborhood. So, as far as my kids knew, Chucky Cheese was just a place on TV.
However, after a four hour car ride to our vacation destination with three children, two of whom had behaved okay although one or the other had talked incessantly throughout the whole trip, and one of whom had been exceptionally well behaved (using the bathroom when his brother needed to stop instead of making us stop again thirty minutes later, being absolutely silent when one or the other of his younger siblings was sleeping, handing things to those same younger siblings to help keep them occupied and happy and not once, no not ONCE in four hours ever asking are we there yet? or complaining in any other manner) I decided to reward my oldest with dinner at Chucky Cheese. Ugh.
So we went in and spent an exorbitant amount on a mediocre pizza and more tokens than three children 6,3 and 2 can use in an hour. It was fun for them and it was nice to reward my six year-old for his good behavior. I find that goes a lot further toward procuring more good behavior than yelling at the bad behavior, which unfortunately is my far too frequent disposition.
Anyway, as we were getting ready to leave, it dawns on me that my two year-old needs a change. My squirmy, strong willed, and devilish little girl needed a clean diaper. What she really needs is potty training but that is a post for another time. So, I take her in to change her and do my best to balance her on the courtesy changing table while securing the clean diaper and wipe container from the diaper bag. I balance everything very strategically and start taking off her sneakers so I can get off her shorts and subsequent diaper to begin this oh so fun chore when she begins to squirm and turn and try to get off the 4 foot high table.
If you haven’t noticed from my posts, I am prone to venting, so I begin telling my two year-old that she needs to stop squirming and that this would be much easier if she would hold still. While trying to prevent her from wiggling her way right off the table onto the floor, I sternly say her name to get her attention and remind her that she could fall, and that on top of that, she isn’t making this any easier. I am not angry nor have I raised my voice, I am merely talking my way through an otherwise frustrating situation. I talk like this with and to my kids all the time. And despite what some well meaning people have told me, they do understand the word cooperation at two, they know what I mean and they can obey if they choose to.
However, I talk my way through these situations more for my own sanity in order that I don’t grow so frustrated that I become angry. It is my coping mechanism. Anyway, I am talking my way through this very squirmy diaper change and what do I hear from the peanut gallery outside the door? (yes someone felt the need to comment) Someone outside a closed door, who could not be identified and therefore felt comfortable voicing her unsolicited opinion, shouted out “By the way, you sound like an idiot in there.”
My response? “I’m sorry, I don’t remember asking your opinion.” I was fuming. Here I was talking with my daughter, not yelling, not saying anything inappropriate, but obviously struggling. Instead of offering help like I might have done, this low rent buttinski decides to insult me. I mean really? Who asked you? And where do you get off?
Now I have no way of knowing who this woman was or I assure you that I would have gone out and in as polite a tone as I could muster approach her and say something along the lines of “I am terribly sorry if my telling my daughter to hold still in a diatribe that entertains her long enough to actually effectuate a diaper change sounded idiotic enough to you that you felt the need to comment, but perhaps in the future, you might consider holding your own counsel and making yourself useful instead of being so rude an ineffectual.” I so wanted to say something like that to her. I mean hello? Have you BEEN to Chucky Cheese? The whole reason I didn’t want to go there is because the non-parenting population frequents the place. By that I mean, the parents that you hear me complain about regularly who do not watch or discipline their children but rather sit at their tables obliviously filling their faces while their children wreak havoc and they pretend they are not responsible for it. This place is full of kids who are off the wall and parents that don’t bother to even TRY and control them and I am the one she feels the need to say something to? Please! So to that obnoxious woman who must have been an employee not a mom (because any mom would understand the struggle I was undertaking and feel sympathy, if not relief that she wasn’t in my position) hush up. And while you are at it, get some courage, because if you feel strongly enough about something that you need to share your opinion with a perfect stranger at least have the fortitude to do it face to face not from behind a bathroom stall.
Whew! I may not have gotten to say it directly to the offending person, but it sure feels better to get something like that off my chest.