Is it just me?

Is it just me, or has pretty much every parent made clear that they’ve “got this”, and will ask for help if they need it from sources they consider credible?


This afternoon, we are finished at the grocery and my ever helpful son is roaming all over the cart area with the small cart, going, “Here?  Here? Here?” while a woman with a heavy load stands behind him waiting for him to light.  Since she was obviously waiting for him to get out of the freaking way, and because, as his mother, I would like to teach him to be aware that his behavior affects others, I told him to say a simple, “Excuse me,” to the lady.

Being a pretty good kid most of the time, he turned around and delivered as requested.  Per usual.

She said,…

“No, he’s…you’re fine.”

Now for the digression.  I spent the entirety of the Divas early childhood being gracious to people who told me they were fine when they were tearing the ‘motor-scooting’ house down.  That got good and old.

Today, I got up at 4:30a.m., sat in a 10×12 room with ten (10) people for two of the five hours I am confined to the room every Friday.  I had two donuts and a cup of coffee for breakfast.  When lunches were being made there was a little confusion that was not really anyone’s fault and I ended up without a lunch.  I had been to the bank and waited while all the old women got reacquainted in the lobby and then I went to the drive-thru and the Head Teller came out and got the deposit of the car behind me and walked it in, personally.

Touche, Bank Lady.

The grocery store thing was taking place about 2:30 -ish.

I said, “No, he’s not.  I am his mother and am parenting him.”

I didn’t add:  He is going to learn that there are rules of common courtesy and when someone is standing behind you with twenty pounds of groceries and you make them and everyone else wait to while you diddle around…the polite thing to do is say, ‘Excuse me’.”

I also didn’t say, “WOW, Thank you for being willing to lose a finger or two standing around holding Kroger bags, in order to give a thorough diagnosis of whether my child needs to be polite or, since you said so, not.”

I have an untestable theory.  Perhaps America’s youth, desperate appearance, poor manners, moral, uh…confusion, and all– may just not know if they should listen to their mother or the total stranger* who tells them they’re fine. A mom always has to make the unpopular call.  So if I am a kid and my mom expects me to act like a little gentleman in public, maybe I would rather go with the opinion of the person who says, “Mom, doesn’t know.  You just go ahead and dork around.”  No big deal today, but in a year or three or nine, the whole neighborhood has a problem.  ‘Cause when everyone is in charge, no one is, and then my child is raising himself.

No wonder kids go off with people they don’t know.  We’ve set them the example of letting total strangers tell us what to do.

Thanks, Condescending Stranger in the Kroger, but no, thanks.

My son says, “Excuse me.”


  1. Whoa. Friggin' brilliant.

    As a woman who has no children, society (ok, some parents) have kinda guilted me into being one who says "No, he's fine" when kids are misbehaving or bothering others.

    I promise not to get on a roll here, but it's a huge nuisance when I (with no kids) am not bothering you, but you think it's cute that your kid wants to bother me. It's not. Even though your kid might seriously be cute as hell.

    It's not cute he wants to push EVERY elevator button. It's not cute I have to wait so he can put your groceries from your overflowing buggie on the conveyor belt one item at a time, because he just rudely told you (his mother) "NO! I'm doing it." And you just stand there, look at me and smile.

    Now, "I" have to wait while my WW ice cream melts in my cart that is less than half full.

    So, I thank you for raising your son with manners and courtesy for others. I love me some kids. Love'em. But love them so much more when they're pleasant to be around, have manners, and have obviously been raised by parents who love them enough to teach them respect for others.

    My God this was long. Don't hate me. =)

  2. I say "watch where you are going" so many times that I can't believe I still can't believe I have to say it. I've never had anyone tell me it was okay though.

  3. I think I've fallen into the "No, it's okay" category for all the wrong reasons. I've had numerous children run in front of my cart, kick me in the heel while throwing a tantrum, ram their carts into my backside so hard that the only reason I didn't collapse was because I've got a um, sizable backside, and do so many other inappropriate and entirely rude things to me while their parents, make eye contact with me and don't say a word other than, "come on" to their wayward spawn. That friends, is not okay. Which is why, I guess, when a parent genuinely says they are sorry and requires that their child say excuse me, I give them a "that's okay" to let them know that I appreciate their attempt to make amends, and forgive them for their childlike behavior. You know, cause they're kids and stuff. Parents are what bugs me. And, I agree with the first commenter. I never fall into the "everyone thinks my kids are cute so it's okay if they stab them with a spoon over the back of the booth at Red Robin" category. And I KNOW my kids are cute. But, there's not a human on this planet is cute enough to get away with that mess. -I may not come often, but when I do I like to stay awhile. Sorry for the extensive comment!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog today for my SITS day Maggie!

I love it when you sass me. Please leave a comment.

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