I was a total cow today.(85 Posts)
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!)
I'd have thought you were a very sad person, but I probably wouldn't have said anything as would have been too shocked.
I mean presumably he was a pretty small child/toddler if he was in a pushchair?
In your situation I would've smiled at the mum and ignored the crying. Sounds like the mum was doing exactly what I did in those situations by not feeding the tantrum.
What would I do? Keep an eye out on here in case the mother posts on here about the cow who told her child to shut up today, probably.
I think the mother of the child overreacted and you need to forget all about it - don't beat yourself up about something that can't be undone.
i would have thought the same as you but not said it
I would have probably called you more than disgusting and taken my own bad mood/child winding me up to breaking point, out on you instead
I take pity on women on the tram on a daily basis in this situation. I try to find something in my bag to wave at said child, and give the mother sympathetic looks. It back fired on me the other day where I did a smiley face and baby looked at me slightly stunned then did high pitched scream .
Why didn't you just apologise to her instead of giving her a load of mouth?
You were really out of order.
If I was the mum I would tell everyone I knew to avoid your shop. Sorry, but I would.
"He was crying really loudly because he couldn't have his own way. His mum told him to stop etc, then ignored him"
"I replied with something along the lines of "what, because I told your child to shut up because you wouldn't?"
Well, at least you know you were in the wrong. Remember this next time you open your mouth to say something mean, and say nothing
If it was me ten years ago I'd have burst into tears.
If it was me now you'd have been lucky to get out without bursting into tears. Becoming a mother a made me strangely fierce & a hell of a lot braver than I used to be. (I'm not the violent type though, I hasten to add.)
Just learn from it but try not to dwell on it. We all do things we're not proud of, especially when we're having a bad day. I know I have.
If I was you, I definitely wouldn't have said that. As the mother of small children, I would feel sympathy for the woman that she was the victim of a public meltdown. Children DO make a fuss about things they can't have - even the ones that are normally pretty good. The noise might have grated on me a bit but no more than many other people out and about.
As the mother of the child, I would probably have been shocked that a stranger had been so rude to a child. So I would probably have stared in dumb humiliation.
If I were you? I'd have given a compassionate smile in an 'I know what it's like' kind of way. However bad my mood I've never really felt anger towards a child tantrumming.
If I were her? I'd have been scraping my jaw off the floor tbh.
I just can't imagine, no matter how awful my mood, telling a child to shut up. And not only that, but then defending myself when challenged about what I'd said.
I understand that everyone has off days and says stupid things they really regret, but I just honestly can't imagine ever coming out with something like that. What on earth possessed you?
If someone I knew behaved like that it would make really question what kind of person they were.
I would have smiled at the poor woman. Small children cry and you seem like a nasty person. I would have given you an earful if you had told my child to shut up.
Is this a joke? If not, why on earth did you do it?
You are very lucky you didnt tell MY child to shut up!
You were lucky you got away unscathed saying that to a stranger's child, well in fact anyone's child.
The poor mum was probably beside herself. Next time maybe ask the mum if she's ok or perhaps a knowing and sympathetic smile?
Oh sorry, perhaps you don't know.
In all honesty, I either keep walking or, if I'm not in a hurry, I'll go and be helpful - but only if I think it'll be acceptable to do that.
That's not just a hypothetical, I really do do that.
Basically, when I became a mother I came to realise that people are fucking weird about and to mothers. Initially, my hormones were everywhere, and I used to think I deserved a lot of the crap that came my way. And then I realised that it is a thing. Is it because they think mothers with little kids can't run away? are an easy target? Or is it wome weird, deep-seated ambivalence?
Anyway, I tend to try to live by the google mantra: "Don;t be evil". Generally, and especially with other mothers.
So ... enough with that ... what's going on with you? Do you want to talk about it? What's up? You sound as though you were almost looking for - not just a way to get rid of over-powering emotions - but also actively looking for a fight. A real mixture of aggression and a desire for self-harm. So, what is happening?
Not good OP, but you know that.
In the same situation, I normally do a 'been there, done that, aren't kids a nightmare' kind of look!
thecatfromjapan has a point - what's up with you OP?
Do you have DC? Are there issues around you being able to have DC? I can't think why some momentary noise you could just have walked away from would have incensed you so much, other than you having issues in that area.
An old man told my just-2-year old DS to shut up in the supermarket as he was randomly screeching for fun. I was walking from the till to the exit and he'd only just started doing it.
I was so shocked and upset! I said 'I beg your pardon' and he said I should 'do something about it'. I asked him what he suggested and he said that was my job. Horrid man.
Never mind what we say about it. Think about why you said it, and why you didn't just apologise for it. It was odd, and unpleasant. Have you reacted like this before? Are you in a bad place?
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
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.
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!
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 !
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
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. ) 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.
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.
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
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.
Are you a nasty old man, Schlub?
all the I'd say fuck off etc replies. hmm it's a bit knuckle draggy,why not ignore and snort
Mavis we clearly need to say "ah you're just expressing anger at your loss of sexuality/sex appeal/sexual power"
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.
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>
Scottishmummy if some random person tells my child to shut up why am I going to ignore it? It's not acceptable
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
We all say things we regret. The shame and the guilt is a hard enough punishment I think. Please don't dwell on it. Learn from it and move on... And don't do it again
I feel sorry for the Mum............When Wilf was five and a half he had an autistic meltdown in a shop and an old lady came storming over and said very loudly "that young man needs a good slap on the backside!" I turned round and replied "and you old lady need to learn to mind your own business!" and i stormed off with Wilf under my arm leaving her gawping like a goldfish!
You weren't a cow, you were a total bitch.
My dd tantrums (and boy does she tantrum) and if you had spoken to me or my child like that when I was trying to deal with it I would have either told you to f off you or cried depending on how I was feeling.
Judge all you like, but parents need all the help they can not an interfering individual insinuating your parenting is not up to scratch; especially if you are at the end of your tether and cannot imagine how you will get through to bedtime
I might have thought it, pre-DC, but would never have said it. Do you have DC, OP?
frankly yes I've thought it,but of course id never say it
was in restatuarant and other diner dc were noisy,threw food,screamed,mum said nowt
other than oh jack,no we don't throw salt,no we don't throw water on floor. of course integrally I'm thinking pack it in
You had PND right OP? Maybe go back to the doctors.
I don't remember you being a badtempered person before.
I don't think you are yourself.
If you told my child to shut up I suspect I would have channelled my (very polite but a demon when roused mother) and have said 'I beg your pardon..WHAT did you say?'
I was in your situation a few weeks ago. A child was having a total meltdown in a shoeshop. Frankly it was grating a bit. I don't go shopping alone to listen to other people's kids whining BUT there but for the grace of God etc etc. So what I actually did was to ask the child ifshe was going to be a good girl and try on the other pretty shoes mummy had got for her to try? Then I told mum that my oldest is 15 and shoe shopping is still a pita. Not sure that helped much but at least she didn't feel judged. That's what you need to do next time OP. Either say something that attempts to be helpful or say nothing. As you know, telling somebody else's bairn to shut up is not acceptable
Have just read what ShinyPenny wrote.
Schlub - Do you need to go and see the GP again? Hither thee hence - you need to look after yourself. It is possible to feel good, and calm, and happy about life, but you may need a little help to get there. If you want to talk, you are in the right place: mn is good for this. Lots of us will listen - offer experiences/advice if wanted - just listen if you just want to talk.
honestly, I probably would have told you to fuck off if you'd said it to my child. awful and a lot worse than what you did but I would have been shocked and angry and it would probably have been the first thing out of my mouth. i'd then have glared at you til I left the shop.
if I had been you I probably would have just gritted my teeth til crying child left. no way would I say anything- I've been there.
to all those saying "you're lucky you didn't say that to my child" etc. why exactly?
ShinyPenny makes a good point Schlub.
Now I read your OP again, you ask for no-one to let you off following your rude behaviour and you're not "sympathy grubbing". Well, you were rude, but if you aren't yourself, then you do deserve to get some help. Do go see the GP if that is the case.
I'm with SM on this one, I wouldn't have responded and I wouldn't have been upset either. But then, I'm a parent of two, and a parent of child with SN, and a primary teacher so my skin is thicker than rhino hide when it comes to random insults and nastiness from people I don't know.
My primary thought would be 'Is my child upset by that interaction?' and deal with that.
I'd have judged you as an unpleasant person whose opinion wasn't worth bothering with. Rather like being yapped at by a dog in the street.
I dont see the big deal.
kid needed to shut up. everyone was probably thinking it. you were the one that said it.
of course you were rude but it hardly makes you a disgusting person. if I was that mother I would told yhe child that he was starting to annoy everyone else now and other people even wanted to tell him off.
takes a village to raise a child
Thats all the poor mum needs. A village of rude people having a go at her child and making her feel crap.
I would have been too shocked to speak!
Nothing surprises me anymore though, my dm once took my dd4 at the time to a supermarket and a woman threatened to hit my dd as she was playing with rail thingy dm being dm quite simple told her to get out of the shop before she called the police.
In future keep your judgey pants on
I'm amazed that so many people have had strangers commenting nastily on their children!
This has never happened to me once in five years of parenting, not once.
OP If you had just made the initial comment then that would be bad but forgivable. But to follow it up with further comments when an opportunity to apologise presented itself is pretty awful.
Sounds like there is some backstory here, do you need help?
'I'm amazed that so many people have had strangers commenting nastily on their children!
This has never happened to me once in five years of parenting, not once.'
That says a lot about the quality and niceness of your neighbourhood, long may it continue.
It was unkind but also unhelpful. So what wa the point?
If saying shut up to a screaming toddler worked then there would be a lot less screaming toddlers around! I know with my two they would have just howled louder of a stranger and told them to shut up.
I agree with the poster upthread - it's easy to tell a small child to shut up but I have never seen a loud adult being told the same. I take the bus regularly and have never seen anyone say anything to the loud obnoxious teenagers using foul language but I have seen mothers being 'told off' because their preschool child is daring to make a noise.
I'd have been really cross with you & probably had a row with you.
My son has meltdowns (he's autistic) and your judgmental crap would tip me over the edge.
You are lucky you didn't get a lunch on the nose tbh. I take it you weighed that up before you were so vile and noted the mother looked fairly meek.
I did mean a PUNCH on the nose but lunch sounds more appropriate in this case <visualises op with quiche dripping from her face>
Wish I had thrown lunch..or a punch..on the lovely woman who sat turned to face us shaking her head and saying "it's the parents'" fault because DD was making a mess with her lunch. .DD can barely use a spoon and drops things.
I didn't even say "is it my fault my daughter is quite disabled then'".
Thankfully I have mostly met a village of nice people who understand when she charges iver to them and tries to steal their food or their baby's toys..with me in hot pursuit apologising profusely.
That's the kind of understanding village we need branleuse. .not miserable critical people
Give yourself a break! You said what a lot of people in the shop were probably thinking. Yes, it was rude and unkind, but we're all flawed. No long term harm done.
I highly disagree that everyone was thinking it.
I'm sure there were lots of people around who were understanding about toddlers and were sympathetic
its hardly a critical village is it, one pissed off woman with a headache telling a screaming tantrumming kid to shut up.
I wouldnt have been delighted by it, but i wouldnt have been all guns blazing at the woman who'd had enough of someone elses brat being a complete noisy PITA
two of my kids have been mega tantrummers when younger, especially my eldest with ASD. Ive had comments ofc. I certainly wouldnt have had a massive go at someone who happened to have been annoyed by the screaming. Id have just explained and apologised.
Am more aghast that you think saying shut up to a child is an acceptable way to communicate with anyone by a stranger or family member.
I can't see why no-one would tell an adult to shut up but think it is ok to shout shut up to a toddler in a buggy!
Having had the embarrasment of common child tantrums myself , shouting at them would not have helped and tbh it would have been hard for me to hold my tongue tbh.
You expressed a wish for a village though. .am surprised when you have been on other side
Its not so much about the child though. Yes, it Was horrible thing to say to a child but they'll probably not be affected by it. But the OP said that the mum had tried, unsuccessfully, to calm the child, so telling the mum that she was saying shut up 'because you're not willing to' (or whatever the words were) was really just intended to be hurtful. And judging by the mum's response the OP's words did hurt. So, the OP clearly achieved what she wanted to, at the time, albeit that she regrets it now.
If I was the mother I would've turned around and told YOU to shut the fuck up.
You must have been in a serious mood.
and your cursing would be as bad as the original outburst
Probably outing myself here but was shopping the other day and my DD (2 ) was having a tantrum because I wouldn't buy her something. I was pushing her down the street trying to ignore the tantrum. Stopped to text my partner to say we were leaving.
A young couple walked past - the woman said 'I hate people like that'. The man walked up to my daughter and said 'your mother's a c**t'
Was gobsmacked but appreciated the irony of someone criticising my parenting by swearing at my daughter.
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