You know, if you are a parent, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't! If you discipline your children publicly with any kind of harshness you are likely to become the recipient of tuts, stares and reprimanding. If you discipline the way I like to, with quiet explanation, firmness and calmness, you receive the type of abuse I am going to talk about and are blamed for not disciplining your children - you can't win!
On Friday, I "shouted" at an old lady? Do I feel bad - no not one iota!
Friday was grandparent's day at the mini Beehive's school. My mum had flown in from the UK the night before for a very highly anticipated trip. The children were very excited, in particular LMB. During the morning, her grandmother had spent time in her classroom. After the event we decided to round it off with lunch at a "family friendly" restaurant.
Within a few minutes of sitting down I could hear the elderly lady behind me talking in a very loud voice to her companions about the state of the US, how universities are just full of foreigners, children are undisciplined blah blah- you have probably heard this type of conversation several times in your own lives, so I won't bore you.
I just inwardly smiled and ignored it.
Little Miss Beehive was very tired, and was being acting up more because of that. She had had a morning in school with her grandmother and no recess to expel the energy. She liked to look in the mirror next to us, that involved standing on the seat. I explained on more than one occasion that she needed to sit. However, the restaurant was busy, the service wasn't as fast as we hoped, but she was being quiet, just bouncy. This bouncyness btw, had no impact on the diners, she didn't bother anyone other than me and I was coping fine with it.
At one point, she decided to go to the bathroom (this was the second exodus to go!) She got down and mum went with her and I noticed she had no shoes on, so I called after mum to take them.
It was at this point that the elderly lady behind me said in a very loud voice - "Dreadful behaviour, such unruly children, this is what I mean....."
I turned and stared at her in disbelief.
She continued to her cronies.
"I think she heard me."
I am afraid I turned around, the red mist came down.........
"Too right I heard you! I object to sitting here listening to you talking about my children like that when you know NOTHING about us. Keep your opinions to yourself!"
She did, however, I was shaking by then. I couldn't eat my lunch.
What IS it with some elderly people that they think that THAT kind of behaviour is any the less unruly, rude or dreadful than a three year old running to a bathroom without shoes???
Little Miss Beehive is three, she has had three years to become well behaved, well mannered and polite, she isn't perfect, but she is getting there. This old bat, has had seventy plus years to achieve this and still hasn't managed it.........hmmmmm, I wonder who was the more unruly and ill mannered???