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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Other parents!

So I'm leaving soccer this week when another parent annoys me. As I'm driving out of the parking lot, I'm watching out for kids since there are a lot in the parking lot between games, but I'm also trying to get out of the parking lot. I see a family walking toward the roadway, and I watch them closely. Sure enough, the two-year-old darts out in front of me. Because I was being careful, I was able to stop without a problem. I had to make a sudden stop, but there was no screeching tires or close calls. However, the boy's mom (instead of grabbing him or telling him not to run out in front of cars), steps in front of me, turns toward me and shouts, "SLOW DOWN!" Excuse me?

I was so annoyed! It was a really good thing I was borrowing my sister's car, because the windows are broken and don't roll down. Otherwise I may have rolled down my window and suggested she keep an eye (and maybe her hands) on her kids in the parking lot.

This just got me thinking how I really get annoyed by some other parents. You all know what I'm talking about -- there are some things that other moms do that just rub you the wrong way. Here are three biggies that always bug me:

1. Asking kids' permission to things. "Sweetie, is it okay if mommy goes to the potty now?" Why are you asking your kid for permission for something you're going to do anyway? Don't ask if they want to go to the store -- if they say no you either have to not go or deal with the fallout. You say, "We're going to the store now." Kids shouldn't have power over things like that, and honestly I think they act worse when they think they have it!

2. Threats, but no follow through. "If you do that again, we're leaving." [Kid does it again.] "I mean it! If you do that again, we're leaving." [Kid does it again.] "No more warnings. If you do that again, we're leaving!" [Kid does it again.] "Can you hear me? What did I say would happen if you did it again? That's right -- we'll leave if you do it one more time." HELLO! Does anyone see a pattern here??? Don't make any consequences you're not willing to follow through. If you say you're going to leave, then you better darn well leave or the kid isn't going to learn a thing ... except that mom doesn't mean what she says ...

3. Not putting kids in seatbelts. Okay, this one is not only annoying, but dangerous! I see so many people leaving the elementary school with kids packed in like they're circus clowns! Honestly, I see women I respect and look up to doing it and it makes me sick. I have actually thought of asking a cop to come sit outside the school and watch for incidents to cut down on the problem. You are risking your kid's lives by not using seatbelts! Yes, we live only blocks from the school, and yes, you may drive more carefully when they're not in seatbelts. However, you can NOT control other drivers! And an accident at 5 mph can injure a child seriously!!! Why even risk it?

I once picked up Becca, and she said her friend was a little miffed she couldn't get a ride home with us because there weren't enough seatbelts. The friend's mom even called me and let me know that she was okay if her daughter sat on the floor of the car if there weren't enough seatbelts. I informed that mom that I was NOT okay with her daughter sitting on the floor -- not only would I feel horrible of something happened to her, but I don't need her to become a flying projectile to injure anyone who is seatbelted in! I let the mom know that I'd be happy to make two trips if her daughter ever needed a ride again. The mom thought I was nuts.

I am often amazed at how adamant you have to come off for people to realize you're serious about seatbelts. I told one carpool (who wanted to add another child/driver) that I would drop out if there weren't enough seatbelts for my son. And I mentioned that they have to be legal seatbelts -- not the front seat, not shoulder straps without boosters, and no boosters with only lap belts. They always seem a little surprised by my concern and insistence. I'm always shocked by anyone's lack of it!

Okay, that's my griping for today. I'm sure as a parent I do things that annoy other parents, too. Isn't it amazing how parenting styles can vary so much?!?


Dashley said...

Hey, thanks for the parenting advise. Maybe not the way you intended it to be but our kid is at the age where we need to think about these sorts of things. You are coming in two weeks?? What are your plans? Will you e-mail me and let me know if you are going to stop in for dinner or need help with anything else? I'm excited!!

Lizzylou said...

I love that you always say it like it is. It is good that you are so cautious. I probably need to be better about that. Sometimes when I'm running Davy to preschool a block over, I'm much too lenient on the seat belts, but it is very important!