Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm a little steamed . . .

Today started off just fine. Got all 4 kids to swim lessons on time, remembering the all important snacks and sippy cups for Princess #3. Then afterwards got everyone going the right direction at the same time! Made it up one flight of stairs, across to the second flight of stairs (while walking to second flight of stairs was told by a helpful mom that there is an exit from the basement to the front doors-so nice to know after the fact!). Got the stroller with the baby down along with Princess #2, and as I'm heading back up the stairs for #1 and #3, I hear these women telling Princess #1 that she is going to drop Princess #3 "and where is your mom?" "Her mom really should be here." "I'm trying to help the little one but she won't let me." I arrive in time to hear a sarcastic comment about my parenting. I rescue #1 who was doing as I asked her and trying to help a stubborn #3 down the stairs. I kindly say that my daughter is just fine as I am being informed of the neglect and danger that I put my youngest into, and finish carrying #3 down and ignore the rest of the comments that were being said as I hightailed it (as fast as one can with four kids) out of there.

Got to the van and just started to cry. I don't understand people like that. When I see a mom that is clearly doing the best she can and clearly has her hands full, my heart goes out to her, and if my own hands are free I offer help and if not at least a sympathetic smile. I just have to wonder did these women who were grandma-age, raise children? And if they did I have to wonder how on earth they turned out! Anyway it was one of those moments that I made a mental note--when I am older and done with the preschool years-I want to be sympathetic to those still in them because they are tough and unrelenting and a little encouragement is such an emotional boost as a mommy.

Anyway as I am typing all this out and feeling the "mad" and the hurt slip away, I remembered some kind words spoken to me when we first sat down at swim lessons this morning. An older man who takes his grandsons to the lessons told me that his son (who came to watch one day last week) was impressed that I managed to get four kids to swim lessons and that they were all so well-behaved. Well, I can take credit for three of the four and I proudly do!


LaughterThoughts said...

oh, those comments.... i've heard my share. and don't you just love it when they make back-handed comments to your kids while, of course, you are standing right there.

and, i agree-- how precious are the nice comments that you occasionally hear. what a boost to the self-esteem and just overall feeling and attitude... no matter how little or insignifant the other person might think it is. and a genuine smile really does help a lot, too... i try to share an empathetic smile with a stressed out mom because i know how often i've appreciated getting one myself!

The Momma Chronicles said...

Was she wearing Yoga Pants, by any chance?

Oh friend, I'm so sorry. How mean and crabby little old biddies can get. As if you were off pumping iron with some shirtless trainer, leaving your children to fend for themselves. I know I wouldn't have been very kind, not instinctively anyway.

And then there are the days you really want to say something supportive or lend a hand, but can't because your own children are being animals...

Like the very windy day I was trying to muscle the babies into their car seats, trying in vain to block out their whining. At one point I noticed the stroller belonging to the car next to me blowing across the parking lot, unbeknownst to its owner... I wanted to help, or share one of those I So Feel For Ya smiles, but Jonah went nutso and I never had the chance. When I looked up, the gal was gone inside. I thought about her all day.

I'm sorry about your bad day, but so glad for that grandfather at swim lessons. I hope you run into more good people than bad.

LaughterThoughts said...

Tag, you're it!