I was a total cow today.

(85 Posts)
Schlub Sat 08-Jun-13 20:51:54

There was a child having a tantrum in the shop. He was crying really loudly because he couldn't have his own way. His mum told him to stop etc, the ignored him (I presume her intention was to ride it out, show him that crying won't get him his own way).

Anyways, I'm not entirely sure what came over me, but as I walked past him in his pushchair, I said "Ah, shut up." And not in a very nice way. Not in a jokey way. As I walked away, I heard the mum asking someone else "did she really just say that?"

She came up to me and told me I was "a disgusting woman". I replied with something along the lines of "what, because I told your child to shut up because you wouldn't?" After the mum went away, another woman walked past and said "you're lucky that wasn't my child you said that to".

I feel really bad about it now! I wish I could apologise to the mum for undermining her like that, and taking out my bad mood on her kid. It was wrong. Kids don't know any better. I should, I'm supposed to be an adult.

God, this image of her telling me I'm disgusting is going to stay with me for life. I just know it's going to replay in my head all night long, because it's been doing so all day. I guess that's my penance. That feeling of guilt. And shame.

At least I know I will never do it again. From now on, I'm going to strive to be a good person, and to bring kindness and happiness to those around me-regardless of how I feel. Even if I'm in a bad mood! I will be KIND! And MATURE!

To the mum and her son: I'm so sorry.

I was just wondering though, in this situation (from both sides, if you were the mum or if you were me) what would you have done? How would you have reacted? Again, I know I reacted poorly and it's not something I'm proud of. (Oh, and I'm not looking for people to tell me it's ok so long as I'm sorry or whatever, in case anyone though that! Because it's not! No sympathy grubbing here!)

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:25:36

ok,if I were the recipient of that I'd not be happy,but I'd not remonstrate with you
I'd shrug and think you'd been having a rough day.and I wouldn't give further thought
so you've reflected it's been hard,you were in wrong.but overly dwelling isn't solution

treaclesoda Sat 08-Jun-13 21:25:37

You had the opportunity to apologise for what you said to the child and instead you criticised the mum.

I'm fairly thick skinned, and I'm not young and timid, but I think if I were that mum you would probably have reduced me to tears. And then I would have been angry with myself because I would assume that was the reaction you wanted, and I'd be annoyed that I inadvertently obliged.

NotSoNervous Sat 08-Jun-13 21:26:04

If you said that to me when I was stressed out in that situations I probably would have told you to fuck off get lost and then if I got your reply I think I would have argued back a lot. I'm not normally a feisty argumentative person but when it comes toDC I wouldn't stand for a stranger telling my child to shut up!

spanky2 Sat 08-Jun-13 21:28:19

My Ds2 would scream his head off and throw things in the supermarket . I was close to tears. I didn't go food shopping with him for three years . We all say things we regret after . Don't beat yourself up. just remember next time !

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:30:30

and all this if it were my kid I'd blah blah,it's all a bit oi!you want some
it's a shame it happened all v unnecessary
the child probably won't recall,but you and the mum will

thecatfromjapan Sat 08-Jun-13 21:31:36

PseudoBadger - That incident you describe - old man telling you to shut child up/child to shut up - is a bit of a "trope". (I did say that I spent quite a lot of time thinking about all this. grin ) I reckon that it is prompted by jealousy of youth (yours and the child's); fear of death; anger about loss of sexuality/sex appeal/sexual power. The latter may well have been an issue all the chap's life, but is especially directed towards mothers/children.

I know I sound horrible saying that but think: there is a lot of noise in the modern world, and you can bet your life that that man (and many like him) zone it out/don't complain. Maybe it's a great deal of angers that get directed at you (and mothers like you) - and he feels very empowered complaining to you about you and your child. he can't complain about general noise, he may be frightened to complain to other noise sources (and that may be a very humiliating thing to happen to a man) - so it must be amazingly re-empowering to be able to be hostile and aggressive to a woman.

Really, you are not the first or the last that that happened to. And the sheer volume of incidents suggests that it's unlikely to be simply about the individual child being noisy/poor parenting.

PseudoBadger Sat 08-Jun-13 21:40:49

I thought that at the time thecat - but it just upset me as I was literally 10 feet away from the door and I passed next to the man for a second. It wasn't like I was loitering with screeching child.

tiredlady Sat 08-Jun-13 21:42:50

What you did was really quite nasty.

Everyone has at times, gotten annoyed with hearing screaming children, but to tell one to just shut up is out of order.

I don't know what kind of person would do something like that.

You are right, you should feel ashamed of yourself

MavisG Sat 08-Jun-13 21:43:08

thecatfromjapan that's a really interesting analysis. What do you think's the best response to nasty old men like this? Given that there's unlikely to be the time or receptiveness for your explanation? I'm thinking a crisp 'Fuck off' but I'd prefer something more original.

MavisG Sat 08-Jun-13 21:44:13

Are you a nasty old man, Schlub?

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:45:03

all the I'd say fuck off etc replies. hmm it's a bit knuckle draggy,why not ignore and snort

PseudoBadger Sat 08-Jun-13 21:46:43

Mavis we clearly need to say "ah you're just expressing anger at your loss of sexuality/sex appeal/sexual power" grin

thecatfromjapan Sat 08-Jun-13 21:48:12

Poor you, PseudoBadger. It's not good, is it? In my darker moments, I sometimes imagine how bloody surprised these folks would be if some mother pulled out a gun (an Arnie/Van Damme-style gun) and snarled: "You go this mother wrong, muthafucka ... ). A few incidents like that might alter the prevailing discursive mapping of the meaning of "mother and child".

Thing is, that would be wrong on so many fronts. Instead, I think most of us do what scottishmummy says: we think "They must be having a crap day" and suck it up.

I remember a really horrible man and woman - with their teenage son - reducing me to utter tears in HMV years ago. They were clearly in the process of breaking up their relationship/marriage, and my son and I provided a temporary respite from their despair and aggression. Their son was watching and listening and just looking as though he wanted to die - literally: I can still remember the look of utter hopelessness and grief on his face.

It was utterly, bloody awful.

thecatfromjapan Sat 08-Jun-13 21:52:09

Poster early - I don't know what you can say, really. I think aggressive responses are kind of too near the currency of the original insult, iyswim.

<shakes head in bewildered fashion>

Stay safe, really, I guess: I reckon sometimes people have some really, truly weird things going on in their heads.

<sinks into despair>

NotSoNervous Sat 08-Jun-13 21:52:40

Scottishmummy if some random person tells my child to shut up why am I going to ignore it? It's not acceptable

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:56:13

what you want?square go in tesco.show them nobody talks to you like that
yes,sometime the best kruse action is no action.snort and moooove on
can't see the gain in a fuck off retort or remonstrating.really can't.i wouldn't

Corygal Sat 08-Jun-13 21:59:34

Dear me - what's worse, muttering at a tantrumming toddler or grown women snarling and threatening the OP?

I don't understand - if you really thought your children were that important, you'd set them a good example and ignore grumpy passers-by. But you prefer auditioning for Jeremy Kyle instead?

MavisG Sat 08-Jun-13 21:59:40

Your child needs to see you're on their side, will stand up for them, too. Not that telling even offensive people to fuck off is necessarily the best parenting option. Maybe 'Jog on, Grandad', said lightly, with a smile. People being horrible to little kids is just awful. I guess they were treated horribly as children and so have the urge to pay it forward & lack the self awareness to stop themselves.

NotSoNervous Sat 08-Jun-13 21:59:42

Erm no I hardly said start a riot in tesco. I find it hard to believe any parent would stand back and let a strange say that to a child while they just watch. It's not acceptable so you tell me so.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 21:59:51

in my head and later I'd have a searing snippy response,in reality I'd say nowt
I'd certainly snort and do the how dare you face

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 22:02:24

escalating the situation with a retort,no thanks.yes I'd ignore
that's certainly to diminish that I'd be furious.i would
but I'd not remonstrate,I'd not go there with that

LalyRawr Sat 08-Jun-13 22:03:11

I had a similar experience, my daughter was tantruming to the extreme, she was about 13 months old.

I ended up dumping the shopping and carrying the screaming, wriggling child out of the shop, whereby two women felt the need to make comments such as "this is what happens when kids have kids" (I'm 25!) and "you wouldn't catch one of mine acting like that".

So I walked back, dumped my daughter at their feet (gently!) and informed them that as they were clearly far superior parents to me, they could get her to shut up.

They stood there in silence for about a minute, me just staring at them expectantly, DD screaming on the floor. I picked her back up, told the women to not be such vicious bitches and to keep their mouths shut unless they were planning on being vaguely useful.

When I got outside I burst out crying.

Comments like that can seriously leave you feeling like a shit mother. You think we like hearing our kids scream? You think we like people tutting at us and judging us? Having a tantruming child is like walking around with a giant "I failed as a mother" sign, to me at least anyway.

I seriously don't need anyone else to point it out, thanks.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 22:06:01

it's grim. to be on receiving end of stranger snippy comment
we've all been there.that moment you feel the eyes drilling in,and you know
you know a snippy comment is sure to follow

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 08-Jun-13 22:07:49

The same thing happened to me, from the Other side.

I was on a bus with DD and she was whinging..she has severe autism and can't speak so if she isn't happy she doesn't have many options.

I was really sensitive at the time.and actually.cried.and said to DD."that's a very rude man DD"..

However..now I just think "what a grumpy sod". And realise he didn't really understand.

Am so over it.

So my advice..move on, but learn from it and be kinder in future.

MavisG Sat 08-Jun-13 22:09:07

Maybe a lofty 'How rude'.

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