Here comes one grubby little hand and then the other, followed by a head with tousled hair and giant eyes looking up at me; yellowish-green snot on its slow journey from nostril to mouth.
It’s almost like watching someone give birth.
Next comes the shoulders and the rest of the body…
“Go on. GO. Get outta here. Go back to your Mommy.”
I open the door.
“Who does this child belong to?”
“Would the owner of this child get it out of my dressing room? NOW!”
A changing room at the end of the hall opened and a head sticks out,
“Oh, Alex, there you are. Come to Mommy, OK?”
“No, it’s not OK, you need to control your child. It’s not right to let him wander away from you and bother people, and by people, I mean ME.”
Her response to me was a sound that sounded like a cross between a slight cough and a cat hacking up a hairball.
“Ack” plus an eyeroll.
” ACK yourself. And don’t roll your eyes at me. Kindly keep your Peeping Tom DNA out of my dressing room.”
This happened today at H&M. A child crawled under the door into a changing room where I was in panties and bra.
This is not the first time I’ve been spied on by strange children while trying on clothes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Nordstrom or Target or Anthropologie or Bloomingdales or a restaurant. I’ve even been interrupted in public bathrooms.
One time at Anthropologie, that bastion of successfully marketing high priced clothing and home goods to a specific demographic of women who aspire to a certain type of quasi-sophisticated worldliness, I witnessed an encounter between a very polite salesperson and the mother of an unsupervised child who had been systematically destroying the intricate and beautiful window display. (FYI, Anthro is known for its aesthetic window displays.)
She walked over to the mom who was engrossed in the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl dresses with birds and bows and said,
“I’m sorry, but could you ask your child not to play inside the window display?”
The mom’s attitude was one of entitlement and total abdication of responsibility for the actions of her offspring. I left the shop, shaking my head.
I’m a reasonable woman, really I am.
I’m an empty nester; I don’t have a young child 24/7/365. But I’m not to be dismissed as an old codger who’s just menopause-cranky from low estrogen levels.
I can say unequivocally that my son not only never ran around like a savage, he never once wandered away from me and became a voyeur.
Please moms, plan for your excursions. It’s not difficult. Bring a small toy, a book, a healthy snack, paper and crayons–that’s all it takes 90% of the time. They’ll be happily occupied and it’s a win-win for everyone. So simple, really.
Parenting Tip #1…Meet their needs before your own.
I just don’t get it. What’s the theory behind the practice of going out in public with your kids, but pay no attention to them and ignore every damn thing they do?
What type of denial is that?
“Oh, my kid? I have a kid? Oh, I forgot.”
I’m not even talking about the poor babies who are screaming that signature tired scream– who only want to be at home in their familiar surroundings, fed, and put down for a nap.
I just don’t see how those kinds of moms justify pawing through the racks at TJ Maxx when they have a child who really needs some loving parenting–someone who isn’t selfishly shopping for things they don’t really need– and takes proper care of their child.
Come on! It’s not just that you’re ruining my blissful retail therapy experience–although you are–but what about stranger danger and all that? If you can’t see your kids, someone could harm them in some way. What happened to holding their hand in public?
Sarah Jessica Parker does…
I could say things like why don’t you have fewer children if you can’t properly care of the ones you have, but that’s never well received, I can tell you from personal experience.
And I don’t mean this. That’s definitely not the answer!
I hope I haven’t offended any readers or bloggers who still have kids at home, but I’m really perplexed!
What do you think is the cause and solution for unsupervised children in public?
(Worst of all, I didn’t come away with one single purchase. The Zen of my retail therapy day was destroyed.)
This is a a great article: Get Your Children Under Control In Public