Sometimes I’m just blown away when I realize many people ARE NOT LIKE ME AT ALL. I’ll see someone do something, or hear someone say something, that I can never in a gagillion years see myself doing or saying. This is actually quite rare because I’m the queen of empathy. Even people who live lives and have beliefs opposite of mine, I can usually relate to them on some level. Maybe even understand exactly why they’re different. I just simply recognize it’s not me. I may not agree, but I can usually at least understand where someone is coming from. It actually drives my husband crazy that I’m like this because this often places me in the FLOORMAT mode where I’m likely to get trampled on. Comes with the territory, I guess.
But sometimes…I just can’t understand it. At all.
We were at the Botanical Gardens yesterday – LilZ, myself, NikkiZ and AndyZ. There was a treehouse that AndyZ was working his way up by crawling up the stairs. (He’s still not comfortable with walking up or down stairs.) LilZ was at the top encouraging him, I was at the bottom. It was basically a one-story staircase that was quite wide, but encased in ropes. Not solid walls. Yes, there were gaps between the ropes, but nothing that would be easy for a kid to fall out of without being squeezed a bit. And LilZ and I were both within reach as AndyZ was making his way up so even if he got close, we’d be there in a millisecond.
Cue Mom walking up the other side of the stars with her kid who wasn’t much older but was walking instead of crawling. She pauses, doesnt even look at either of us, just points at the ropes next to AndyZ and says, “You REALLY should be here helping him because there are holes RIGHT THERE and he could fall.” And then keeps moving. Never once even looking at us or even adding a smile to soften the blow of her assaulting parenting advice. As a matter of fact, she used the most aggressive and rude tone humanly possible.
WEIRDEST THING EVER.
I’ve had people encourage me to do things their way before, but everyone usually acknowledges that is a tricky territory and therefore tries to sugarcoat it. Or at least be polite about it, and smile a bit to ease what could be considered nosey and rude. There have definitely been those, “Oh honey! Be careful! Your kid is being risky!” type moments before but it’s always attached to a smile and a polite assumption that maybe you didn’t notice your kid’s risky behavior. I’ve never had someone just essentially come by, point out that I’m doing something wrong when I’m standing right there watching my kid, and then walk off without making eye contact. It was so strange. LilZ was just as offended/confused. We’re RIGHT THERE. I’m usually overly paranoid on playstructures, so I was very shocked that someone obviously thought I was being risky. LilZ is always having to encourage me to give the small kids more freedom to fall (“They’ll never learn!) when they’re at the playground. But that moment? Short of carrying him up the stairs? I was being as careful as even I thought necessary. They whole thing was just…strange.
So – I’d love to hear your stories. Has this every happened to you? I’ll admit I was so shocked it dulled my anger a bit…but I was still ANGRY. Don’t get me wrong. I got over it a second later when I got away from the lady, but for those few moments? I was equal parts SHOCKED and IRRITATED. I mean, this has happened to all of us on the internet, but in the real world? This was a first for me.