Yeah, yeah. The last thing a mother should do is judge another mother. As a mother I know I'd seek vengeance if I learned of covert criticisms (naturally, there are none). And maybe--MAYBE--my son has done some questionable things in public (maybe) or in private (ok, definitely). But he's also two. That's like, his thing. Other than teaching himself Spanish and reading advanced literature.
The truth is that I probably should have the gumption (is that really a freaking word?) to bite my tongue here. But I don't. In 5 or 6 years, maybe I'll look back and be all, "Woops" but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it, eh? So let's just cut to the chase.
I was at the playground with my two kids. The little one (3.5 months) was in the stroller, pissed that I had him neurotically bundled and bound in 60 degree weather. His whines suggested something along the lines of "Just wait until you're old and frail woman. Feety pajamas for you all spring, nut job."
So there was that.
And then there was Jonathan being really good. Not running, going up the stairs nice and slowly, and reminding me all the while of his good behavior. Naturally. This is, until the two other children arrived.
Now, it's typically not kosher to criticize the kid, just the parent. And that's what I'm doing here, mainly because it's more PC and seems appropriate for such young'ins. And how do I know their ages? Why, funny you should ask. See, the thing is that the elder child WOULD NOT SHUT UP.
As I demonstrated for my husband later that evening, the kid did everything short of tug on my shirtsleeve to maintain my attention: following me around, hovering at my side, and intercepting my line of vision for Jonathan-watch. And it was literally a steady stream of speech. Hardly a pause or warning of transition from one topic to the next.
Kid A: Oh, so your son's name is Jonathan? Can I call him John? I have a friend named John. He's in the 7th grade. He's a good kid. Your son seems like a good kid, too. Did you know you can sell people on eBay?
Me: No you can't.
Kid A: I would never sell my brother. He's mean sometimes, but he's still pretty nice. He's wearing his favorite video game shirt right now. I'm pretty good at video games, but he's only four, so I beat him all the time. Did you know my mother is getting surgery? She won't tell us why, isn't that weird?
Me: Jonathan, nice and slow on the stairs!
Jonathan: Good boy, Momma!
Kid A: ...and my Grandmother got to skip a bunch of grades. Did you know I'm moving in three years and never coming back? Hey, does your son watch Noggin? He can learn Chinese if he watches Ni Hao Kai-Lan.
Jonathan: Ni Hao Kai-Lan! (A show that has been banned in our house for teaching Jonathan to say, "NOW!")
Mind you, this kid was overwhelming my attempts to soothe the baby and prevent Jonathan from hurling himself off the jungle gym. And the mother, after bee-lining for the development's administration building, was no where in sight.
Kid A: How many rooms are in that building?
Me: Oh boy. Not sure. Why don't you go in there and count?