The Total Apathy of Strangers

We take a break from adoption-related posts to bring you a pity party/rant about society.

But first, a cute story.

On Friday, Cassie and I were watching Sesame Street (aka “Elmo” or “Shtreet” as Cassie says). For some reason, Cookie Monster presented “A Streetcar Named Monster” in which Grover can’t find his keys. He must yell for Stella to open the door.

This resulted in Cassie yelling “Stella!” for several minutes. She yelled more because it made me laugh.

Now, onto the rant…

Five weeks ago, I sprained my ankle. It is a BAD sprain. The doctor said, “You’re probably going to wish you broke it, because all you can do for a sprain is stay off of it and take pain pills.” I can do neither of those things while being Cassie’s primary caregiver. Consequently, my ankle has not healed. I’m still wearing a boot (given to me by Jackson’s teacher, because the doctor’s office, located in a hospital building, didn’t have any). I’m still icing and taking Advil, and, when I can, something stronger than Advil.

Cassie is finding it hilarious to run away from me.

I think it was Day Four, and we were at a grocery store. She decided, instead of getting into the car, to run down the sidewalk to the other side of the parking lot, where cars come in. I was yelling after her, hobbling, “Stop! Owie! Cars! I can’t get you! Stop!” And all the people in the parking lot and going into the store just stood there and stared as I’m trying to make sure my toddler doesn’t get herself killed.

When I was relaying the story to a friend, he said, “But did you really want someone to run up and grab Cassie?”

In this context, yes, yes I really did!

But grabbing wasn’t even necessary. All you need is for someone to run in front of her and be “baby goalie.” I’ve done it for run away toddlers in Target. You plant yourself in front of the kid. The kid stops, looks up, freaks out that there’s a stranger there, and runs back to Mommy (or Daddy).

Of course, I’m expecting strangers to be helpful when people I know aren’t even that helpful. It’s soccer season. I’m one of the Team Moms, so I feel compelled to go to soccer practice. Cassie loves to run around, often, running away from me. The other parents, for the most part, sit and laugh as I hobble after her, trying to make sure she doesn’t get into other practices or make a run for the parking lot. Only once did someone stop her from running, and that’s when she almost made it to the parking lot. (I put Cassie in her stroller for the rest of practice.)

But today, today something happened that took the cake.

I had to run many errands. My ankle was killing me. The boot wasn’t fitting quite right around the jeans or something, I don’t know. I had to bring Cassie to the grocery store to get milk. She was trying to run away from me as we walked across the parking lot. We got to the cart corral, and I’m holding onto her elbow while trying to pry a cart out. All of a sudden, she pulls, hard. She’s 30 pounds. She managed to get me to twist my ankle in the boot, so the ankle touches the hard plastic part of the boot. I screamed in pain – “Ow!” People in the parking lot just looked at me like I was crazy. One woman had the nerve to yell at me for yelling at my daughter!

I yelled back, “I wasn’t yelling at her, I was screaming in pain. Why don’t you mind your fucking business?!?” And she yelled something back that I couldn’t hear that ended in “child abuse.”

Whatever.

I hate people.

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8 thoughts on “The Total Apathy of Strangers

  1. Where do you shop? Does no one else have kids there? What the hell is wrong with people? Was the woman who yelled at you blind? did she not see the boot? I always try to be patient and attentive to other moms when i’m in public. And to think of it, I was raised that way. So even before kids I was pretty understanding of women with kids in stores. This is just another example of our society turning on mothers. Has anyone else noticed it? People do not respect mothers anymore. Stay-home or working mothers. Everyone is out to please and take care of only themselves! OK HERE IS MY CHALLENGE TO YOU ALL- WHEN YOU SEE A MOM STRUGGLING IN PUBLIC WITH HER KIDS, SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE! “IT GET’S BETTER HONEY” “YOU ARE DOING FINE, DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT ANYONE SAYS OR HOW THEY LOOK AT YOU” “WE’VE BEEN THERE TOO. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK” AND “SOMEDAY YOUR KIDS WILL THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO AND IT WILL BE ALL THE REWARD YOU NEED”. Now go out there and lets be supportive people. Call your Moms too!

  2. I completely agree. Would it really kill people to watch out for others a little more? It’s just common sense to “goalie” a kid in a parking lot. People are so self-absorbed. I often hate them too. Sorry about your ankle–you poor thing. 😦

  3. Sorry you are having a tough time with your ankle. And getting yelled at by a stranger in the parking lot has to totally suck….but thanks for making me giggle after reading the last line of this post. I’m a people hater too! 🙂

  4. I’m with you! One rainy day at preschool drop off, last year, when I had a 1 year old (who was not being dropped off) and my 4 year old, with mild special needs who required a lot of assistance to get his stuff hung and ready to go to class, I let go of said 1 year old’s hand to help. In the 10 seconds it took me to help him, I realized that baby was no longer next to my leg. I turn around and around looking for him, screaming his name thinking, “well, there are 40 parents nearby in the halls, someone will see a baby wandering and stop him and bring him to me”. But no one did. Instead, baby got out into the parking lot, in the rain, with no shoes, when FINALLY someone brought him to me. REALLY PEOPLE, you see a baby (whose mother you KNOW) walking to the parking lot with no mommy attached and you don’t turn him around or call out that there’s a baby going into the parking lot. Call me names for “losing” him, but I called you worse for letting him possibly get hurt.

  5. I have 3 under 3. Backpack leashes are your friend. I don’t even let the kids out of the car until they have their leashes on. Or, if we’re shopping, I leave them in the car while I grab a shopping cart (always park by a cart return!). Then, transfer the kids from the car to the cart and move into the store. I don’t mean to sound judgey- I’m just trying to help any other parents who might be dealing with toddlers.

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