My daughter is a very good girl. It is one thing that I have prided myself on. She will say please and thank you and excuse me most of the time without be prompted too. She is polite and thoughtful and we have strangers consistently tell us how good she is when we are out. That is not to say that I am perfect though. I am far from it. I have yelled, ignored, and on very few occasions spanked. I have lost my temper on so many occasions that I have lost count. But I always make sure to apologize and let her know that I am doing my best for her. That every mistake that I make, will make me a better person and mom.
But there are parents out there that should be ashamed of themselves. I try not to judge when I hear a child screaming uncontrollably when we're at the grocery store. Annabelle was the epidemy of the terrible two's, tantrums and screaming both at home and out in public. I learned how to walk out of a store or restaurant to let the other patrons relax and not have to watch her bang her head on the ground, repeatedly, hard. I also learned to throw her in to her crib and walk away until I was calm enough to deal with her.
Last week, I took Annabelle to the dentist. She hates the dentist. She's wary of men, even ones that she knows, the fluoride treatment makes her sick to her stomach plus she has her father's teeth and has already had a cavity filled. She simply knows the dentist as a nice guy but someone that hurts her or makes her uncomfortable.
So when we walked in and heard a child creaming like they were trying to pull out his fingernails, Annabelle started getting more upset. Now this boy looked to be about Annabelle's age. It also seemed to be his first visit because his mother was filling out all kinds of paper work, so I get it that he was scared. The mother finally settles him down in the video room and starts to give all the papers to the receptionist, when her son walks calmly over to a little girl who was playing on the floor and kicks her in the face!
This little girl was 11 months old (I found out after speaking to the girl's mother) was paying no attention to this boy. Obviously she started crying and the boy walked away like nothing happened. The boys mother looked over, saw what happened and continued to finish up with the paperwork. About 10 minutes later she came over asking if the little girl was ok (she was) and then said, "My son is a good boy. It's just that he was 12 weeks premature and even though he's super smart, he has problems with socialization."
Let that soak in. This mother, instead of disciplining her child, used an excuse to validate his behavior. A piss poor excuse at that. If Annabelle had EVER done something like that I would have yanked her away so hard. She would know without a doubt that she was in trouble. No counting, no time out, no warnings and definitely no excuses. But she knows better because I made sure that she always knows what I expect of her, always. From the little things like getting a candy bar if she's good at the grocery store to hitting to how to behave in a public place. Hell I'm the mom on the playground that is yelling at other people's children when they aren't behaving correctly.
I don't blame that child for his bad behavior. I blame his mother. It seems that she has let him do and act any way he feels like it, just because he was a preemie. Th excuses only go so far. When he's robbing banks will hat be her excuse for him. She needs to look in the mirror and face the hard fact that she is in the wrong. And then do something about it. It will be ten times harder to fix the problem now but it can be done. I hope that she learned her lesson while it was staring her right in the face but I don't think that she did.