Warning: This post is likely to be of a sweary, ranty nature. If you are easily offended, what on earth are you doing here?!
We’ve all been there right, in the shopping centre while a small child throws a monster tantrum.
If you’re lucky, it’s someone else’s child. If not, it’s yours and you are the one feeling the weight of everyone’s crushing disapproval. Your child is behaving badly, therefore you are a terrible parent.
But what really is bad behaviour and how do we define it?
To illustrate, I’m going to share the events of my Sunday afternoon:
Mr Boudica had gone to the hospital to visit his Dad, I helped Baby Boudica the elder with his homework, then took both the Baby Boudica’s out to lunch. Then we went to a bookshop to buy Baby Boudica the younger a new book. So far so good.
We’re in said bookshop, having chosen a new book and Baby Boudica the Younger spots a Lego set and decides he wants that instead of a book. (As an aside, WTF is a bookshop doing selling Lego anyway?) I tell him that he’s not having the Lego and that we’re just buying the book.
Naturally enough, said 5 year old doesn’t agree with this executive decision and throws a major wobbler. Now, I have 2 children with ASD. Major meltdowns hold no fear for me, dragging a screaming child back to the car while a rare occurrence, isn’t going to be the end of the world.
But what happened next made me so utterly and completely livid that I got back to the car physically shaking with anger.
A female customer, not only did the disapproving glare thing (seriously, do I look like the sort of woman to be bothered by those?) but she tapped her husband on the shoulder so he turned round, pointed at my son, raised her eyebrows and shook her head. By pointing at him, it wasn’t just her husband that turned to look. It was the entire damn shop.
She actually had the bloody gaul to point at a 5 year old across a shop and she didn’t seem to think that was even in the slightest bit rude.
Said 5 year old has ASD, was tired, hadn’t got what he’d wanted, was in a shop surrounded by strangers and it was raining. It hadn’t been raining when we left and he hates the rain. And do you know what, even without putting all those “reasons” for him behaving the way he did, it still doesn’t excuse her behaviour.
So to you, person in the bookshop of the female persuasion (I won’t say “lady” as clearly you aren’t) – fuck off. You can take your sanctimonious, holier than thou, “point out the devil child” attitude and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. You’ll probably find your own head up there somewhere if you look hard enough. I would have told you this at the time but I had other, more pressing concerns. Personally I hope that the next time you try to turn a 5 yr old into a freak show, someone rips your poisonous little pointy fingers off.
And yes, I am a venomous bitch using very unladylike language. I can’t abide bigots or blatant prejudices and I take the criticism of my children as a personal slight.
So I did the whole drag the small child back to the car routine, through the rain. We received a few knowing smiles and nods of solidarity from other mothers. I was angry with Baby Boudica but I was far, far angrier with the way he had been treated by those who really should know better.
Funny how adults find it easy to criticise the behaviour of children, but never ever think to moderate their own inappropriate behaviour.