11.07.2008

Wanna hear something that does not so much make my day

I mean, unless I want my day to be full of reminders about how we seem to be sinking as a people.

The other day I walk out from the staff workroom after storytime to head back and take my seat at the Information Desk. As I approach I realize that there is a toddler at the desk tugging at and playing with the book scanner next to my computer, which is a $400 piece of equipment. I rush over and am like, "Heeeeeeey little guy, let's find your mom." Because this did happen at my old place. Moms would take their eyes off the kid for approximately .0043 seconds and the next thing you know the kid is in my vacant chair, scanning books and blogging and answering reference questions. Then mom rushes over to fetch said child and we share a chuckle about how darn speedy these tykes are.

This time, when I looked around for mom, I saw her standing there there next to my desk, holding an infant. In response to The Eyebrow she looked at her son and started saying words like, "Okay, now, you can't be back there. . . . . I need you to come out from there . . . . Sweetheart, I need you to come with mommy." All while not making a move towards him.

Which, yeah. We don't play that.

So even though I try to be careful about the whole "touching other people's kids" thing I leaned down, grabbed him nicely under the armpits, hauled him up and dropped him next to her, and then turned my back on the both of them to keep from giving the lady more Eyebrow.

I mean really. Is it easier to just grab your kid or to pay for broken electronics? Was she afraid that she was going to damage his self-esteem or somehow shame him socially if she simply took him by the hand and led him away? I have no idea. My only guess is that she was somehow strung out on allergy medication and was therefore in some sort of fog state.

16 comments:

Anonymous said... [reply]

Maybe the lady just wanted to see if she could get mentioned on your blog...

Hannah said... [reply]

I think anonymous is right. I would totally do that to get on your blog.

Bridget said... [reply]

I've been that lady on a few occasions, except for the sweet tone of her "discipline." I don't know how women haven't grown a few extra arms by now. I love the library but baby in my arms + 3-year-old + lots of books to check out = an awkward, slow-moving, desperate procession out the door before we drop anything (or damage $400 equipment). Maybe she was afraid that a harsher tone or grabbing her kid would set off a full-blown tantrum that she wouldn't be able to handle with a baby in her arms.

On the other hand, yeah, she should have taken responsibility for her kid a bit better. If I had been her, you would have gotten a big THANK YOU from me for helping out.

Also, this was why I cracked down on discipline with my first while I was pregnant with my second so situations like these happen as rarely as possible.

Audra & Levi said... [reply]

Although I always said "I would never be that mom that..." I have two almost 2-year-olds who go in different directions and sometimes I have to rely on the kindness of public servents like yourself to fetch them when they pull the "let's go in opposite directions and see mom scramble" routine. Which they did in Lowes the other day, and I kept pushing the button for help in the tile section, until after 15 minutes of trying to keep them contained in the cart I desperately scream... "CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME IN TILE!"... which by the way is very effective and they come very quickly!

Anyway... I am one who will not use the nice voice in situations like that. I can not let my kids walk all over me... but they have gotten away from me a time or two, especially right after my surgery when I could not physically do but so much. But then I was humble enough to ask help from kind strangers!

cooldad said... [reply]

Allergy medicine? Surely you mean Prozac, the prefrred perscription of Happy Valley mothers, that would give that laid-back-not-a-care-in-the-world attitude you describe

MadMadameMim said... [reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadMadameMim said... [reply]

first: I'm laughing my head off to the point I'm making funny wheezing noises and having a hard time breathing after a&a;l's tile story. I have three children, so obviously I understand that situation all too well. next time I'm crazy enough to be alone in Lowe's with all said children I will remember to yell for help in possibly dangerous areas. :)
second: so sorry Nem for the stress of the unable-to-discipline-child-in-public-mother, or whatever her problem was.
Third: This reminds me of the last time I was crazy enough to take my insanely independent two-year-old daughter out of the children's section of our local library. I was perusing the 'wish I could write a decent Austin sequel' section (cause I just do that from time to time when I haven't looked up what is new and interesting to read, wishing someone might actually achieve this dream) with my child sitting happily at my feet emptying my purse, which I was ignoring cause it was allowing me a little stolen me time in the middle of the day and she wasn't moving and wasn't hurting anything. After two minutes she apparently found what she was after (my credit card, go figure). She took off with the card at a full out run. I hurriedly recovered the contents of my purse and ran after her. By the time I caught up to her she was standing on top of the librarians printer and poking at the cash register. My mouth fell open. The librarian looked TICKED! she was obviously failing to coax my delinquent monkey off of her expensive piece of electronics. I rushed to scoop of the maniac toddler, mumbled a sincere although probably incomprehensible apology and walked-ran out of that library as fast as I good. I now make it a point to always go to the non-kid section of that library with a wig, sunglasses, and no children.
-sorry this was so long but I thought you might appreciate the story.

amyjane said... [reply]

Yeah, I think as most of the mommies have mentioned, is does occasionally happen to anyone with more than one child. I've decided that all parental dignity is shot after the second kid comes along.
That said, she should have at least joined you in removing her kid as soon as she knew it was happening.

taturner said... [reply]

My first thought was going to be, some parents just need to grow a pair. Sorry, but I can't stand it when I hear moms (hardly ever dads) saying to their kids things just like you have quoted. A firm, clear "get away from that right now or I'll come tear the your arms off" would have been much more effective!

Ok, maybe you could leave out the part about "right now" but still the message is clear. Of course I'm joking. I just think that parents need to be more firm sometimes.

This leads me to my second thought. After having read the comments by the many mothers here, realizing that I am not a mother of children, but that I am a mother of two dogs which are two years apart, I am a bit sympathetic to the fact that things like this do happen and that I don't know everything about parenting.

My first dog was always well-behaved and under control. It wasn't until I got my second dog that I have found myself at times yelling across the street or around neighbors houses trying desperately to get her to come back to me. I feel like my neighbor sometimes who does the same thing when looking for her two boys who escape her house, trying to figure out just where they went.

Jér said... [reply]

We occasionally have parents come to my department with adorable and feisty toddlers—and then, instead of paying their children any attention whatever, they plunk themselves down at the computers and zone out in MySpace, while their toddlers proceed to wrestle in the aisles and play rowdy games of hide-and-seek in the stacks.

Until we drag their offspring back to them and ask them to either control them better or get themselves hence to the children's library. (Not that that's a solution, but at least it gets them out of my hair.)

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Is "more eyebrow" kind of like more cowbell?

Stephanie said... [reply]

ba. i sympathize.

sometimes people do this in the restaurant i work at as well.

i work in the kitchen, far in the back, so a toddler has to make quite the trek to get back there. and yet, i found one just the other day. reaching for the cord to portable burner i had set up, complete with a pot of boiling water.

there is a reason they have straps on those retaurant high chairs....

Stephanie said... [reply]

ahem. insert a "the" in the sentence about the burner.

Jenny said... [reply]

Did I tell you about how I had to leave the library becuase my children plus a friend were being total freaks?

Being naughty at the library means no library at our house. Maybe I'm becoming a mean mom, but I don't care. I don't feel like having patience or tolerance for behavior that inconveniences the people around me (or myself).

I gave our basket of books to the librarian and said I have to go, I'm really sorry about them, and she was very kind and I ended up picking up two of the children while herding the other one out the door after I finally collected them from the places they scattered when they realized they were in trouble.

It is a pain in the butt, but it really is so much better just to leave and try again another time when small children can't handle being out in public.

I really like what audra said about asking for help. Being proactive really goes a long way, I've noticed.

april said... [reply]

so did you like "the friendly jane austen" book (i just saw it in your library)?

thanks.

Mart -n- Marci said... [reply]

I realize this is random, but I suppose I've tagged you. I was asked to list my five favorite blogs, and yours was my number one. I'm supposed to let you know that I did so on my blog, so, being the obedient pup that I am, I am letting you know. Sadly, it's a private blog (too many freaks like me on the internet blog stalking people!), but if you'd like an invite so you can view the devastation for yourself, let me know at ticklesivories@yahoo.com

Marci

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