I don't know about you, but I try to teach my kids manners whenever the opportunity arises. If my kids receive a present I say, "What do you say?" If they leave someone's house from a play date I say, "What do you tell so and so's mom?" If they get in someone's way when we're at the store I say, "Say 'excuse me.'" That sort of thing. I know a lot of people do it and I see my friends' kids doing it, but for some reason there is a small population out there who doesn't and I seem to come into contact with them all the time.
Last week I had to run to Hobby Lobby for a quick trip. I was in a big hurry and somehow I got stuck behind the woman who thought it was a great idea to let her 2 year old walk and browse the store. Ugh!! When is this EVER a good idea?
I got up close behind them and hoped they'd "feel" my presence and get the hell out of the way. Instead they continued to stand there while the mother said stupid shit like, "Hayden, do you see a green one? Oooh, look at the pretty blue one. What do think you can do with this spray paint?" Seriously, lady? Spray paint?
I could paint pretty pictures on the house, Mommy. Or inhale it and die. Let's get some!
Apparently my presence was not strong enough so I had to say, "Excuse me, I just need to get down this aisle."
She looked at me like I said, "Excuse me. Could you show me your breasts?"
For a moment I really had to replay in my head what I'd said out loud. Did I call her a bitch? Did I tell Hayden to move his little ass out of the way? I was thinking those things, but I didn't think I said them out loud. Was she a mind reader??
"Hayden, this lady needs to get down this aisle. Are you almost done?"
Are you almost done? If I didn't call her a bitch out loud before I was about ready to now.
Miraculously, the 2 year old did not behave like a normal 2 year old and said he was in fact done. Hallelujah. We could have been there all day when you give a 2 year a choice like that!
Great! I maneuvered my little Hobby Lobby cart and tried to squeeze by their little Hobby Lobby cart in the little Hobby Lobby aisle (Damn you, Hobby Lobby! Would it kill you to have wider aisles and bigger carts??). Hayden stood rooted to the spot and didn't move.
"Excuse me, please," I said. Hayden was a statue.
"Can you just move over a bit so I can my cart past you?" I asked. Hayden stared at me unblinking.
Finally, I gave up and said, "Nevermind, I'll just leave my cart here and scootch by you."
Hayden continued to stare. His mother looked at spray paint with so much interest I thought maybe she was a graffiti artist.
I got what I needed from one side of the aisle and the remainder was on the other side. Right behind Hayden. Ugh. I didn't want to physically move him out of the way (well, yes I did, but I'd be arrested) so I reached around him rather than trying to get him to move again and got my stuff.
I walked out of the aisle and dropped everything in my abandoned cart and started to wheel away when I overhead mom say, "Goodness! She was in such a hurry wasn't she? Couldn't even wait for us to be done!"
Are you kidding me? Really? Oh no.
I was late.
I was irritated.
I did not have time to fight with an idiot in the middle of Hobby Lobby.
I was getting pissier.
I could feel it coming on me. This must be what Bruce Banner feels like.
I decided I'd make time.
I wheeled back around and said, "Yes, you're right. I am in a big hurry and you are slowing me down. How hard is it to move yourself and your kid out of the way? I don't understand. You see someone else coming, you move to the right and get out of the way. It's common courtesy and common knowledge. Why are you making it so difficult? And don't be so passive aggressive next time. If you have something to say, say it to me, not to Hayden. That is sooooo annoying."
I waited to see if she had a response. Most people will just tell you to "Fuck off and mind your own business." (I get that a lot.)
Instead, she looked like a fish with her mouth flapping open and shut. She had no idea I'd come back on her. She didn't know what to say or do.
I left her standing there flapping in the wind.
I can't blame Hayden. He's TWO! He doesn't know what "Excuse me" or "Scootch by" means. He has to be taught. That is the perfect time to teach him. You can easily say, "Hayden, this lady needs by, we need to move to this side so she can get her cart through." or "Hayden, you're standing in front of what this lady needs. Say 'Excuse me' and move to the side." or "Hayden, you need to pay attention when you're in a store. You're not the only person shopping and you need to be sure you're not blocking people from getting down the aisles or getting the things they need on shelves." That's it. That's all she had to say and I would have been sooooo much more pleasant to her.
I'm soooo sick of hearing kids say things like "Move!" when they need to get at something or "Gimme!" I'm tired of kids never saying "Please" or "Thank you" or "Excuse me." I tend to call the kids out on their bad behavior and I do it very loudly and passive aggressively when their own parents are standing there. I figure that's the language they speak, so they must understand it best.
"Oh...did you need something, Amalia? I wasn't sure what you wanted since all you said was, Gimme and it's hard to know what means since it isn't even a word." or "Oh...sure Brayden I can get you some more broccoli. That's what you need right? When you yelled Move and pushed me so hard to get at the food table, I can only assume that's what you wanted. It's great that you love veggies so much. Here you go! You're welcome!"
I can't blame the kids. Kids are naturally animalistic, narcissistic megalomaniacs. It's the parents who must mold them and break them down into responsible, polite contributing members of society who move the damn tiny Hobby Lobby cart out of my way when I'm in a hurry!