For a while I actually thought her name was Little Brat.
If my belief is correct, and we model what we expect to see from our children, then the little girl next to me in line at the grocery store is going to be such a jerk when she gets older.
Right now she is perfectly wonderful. Everything a child should be: curious, energetic, playful, and adorable. Her mother, on the other hand, must feel that she is demon spawn, because she would not stop yelling and cursing at this poor child — to the point that even the cashiers were firing out the occasional, Whoa, lady!
It started with the shocking outburst at the poor girl when mom discovered "little brat" had actually dared to open the pack of candy wafers her mom gave her! Keep in mind, the child is in no way more than 2 years old. (For a while, I actually thought her name was Little Brat, but I figured out later that it was a more acceptable traditional name — Grandpa gave that one away) I was so flustered by the scream that came out of that woman that I instantly blurted out, "Then don't give them to her!" but that only served to calm them for about a minute.
Her stream of insults and yelling at the girl continued until she took a phone call (I know) which is when she began the cursing and the yelling. It was so loud and obnoxious that my son began pounding on the walls of the counter, "she's swearing mom!" "I know buddy, she's not using her best manners," was the only reply I could come up with.
My head was spinning from all the contradictions and commands. "Come Here!" "Go Away!" "Stay here!" "Go sit down!" "Here, take this and shut up!" "Don't open that, I haven't paid for it!" Oh, for Pete's sake, lady! I don't even understand what you want, and I'm really trying to!
Then she pulled out the big guns — those ridiculous statements that turn sweet little children into whining, blaming, tattling monsters: "Why do you make me yell at you!? I hate yelling at you! You make me hate coming to the store." Really? That 2 year old little sweetie pie made you yell at her? You honestly have that little control over your own mouth that you can't shut it? And you have no problem making her believe it's her fault you're a lousy mom? Seriously? If you hate yelling at her so much, then don't!
If I could, I'd put money on that little girl never taking accountability for any screw up in her entire life. Drugs? Not my fault. Jobless? Not my fault. Failing school? Not my fault. Oh yeah, can't you just see it?
You know, the thing that got me most of all was the knowledge that if that Mom had just stopped her rant for one minute, looked at her baby girl and said, "Girl, you have too much energy for me today — why don't you go run down the aisles with Grandpa until I'm done?" I'm thinking her daughter would have been blissfully exhausted, her blood pressure would have been safely under control, and a whole lot of innocent shoppers (me included) would have applauded her for being a great parent. Not to mention the ripple effect of what she would have modeled and created for everyone who witnessed her — especially "Little Brat."
But alas, I'm afraid that moment of enlightenment will have to be witnessed by someone else in a grocery store far, far away. My only hope is that when she grows up, Little Brat has better control than her momma. Good luck sweetie!
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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.