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Just been quite viciously spoken to in the street by a stranger re. my 'tone of voice' with ds

(21 Posts)
mummery Sat 31-Oct-09 16:37:09

I'm a bit shaken despite the fact that this woman was about twice my age and I really should be more collected!

Scenario: I have my ds (6) and 2 other kids (relatives) who have come to play. We are standing at a 4-way junction, main road, on our way to the park and DS is refusing to hold hands. I won't cross the road until he does what he is told and am saying loudly and firmly, "Hold *'s hand. Hold *'s hand. We cannot cross until you do as you are told."

Obviously I am cross with him, but I am not yelling, swearing, threatening or agitated. I am speaking loudly because ds is speaking over me, ("No I don't want to hold hands!!"), you wouldn't have been able to hear me unless you were right next to us. I honestly wouldn't say I'm speaking aggressively, DS is not scared or upset, just being obstinate and in the process of deciding whether it's worth his while to do what I'm asking.

Anyway a woman aged about 60 who was passing behind us stopped and said, "Don't you speak to those children like that." I was astonished. I basically asked who she was and told her to leave me alone, there was nothing wrong with the way I was speaking. She stayed right next to us and kept on and on about how she was appalled, how she had had kids and had never used my tone of voice. I made some flip comment and said something along the lines of, I'm sure you were a perfect mum, keep walking, there's nothing wrong with the way I'm speaking and it's nothing to do with you anyway. She kept ON. She was standing about a foot from my face and telling me how awful I was and how I was being argumentative, I replied that it was her who had stopped to interfere. We had about a minute's worth of an exchange of why was she still standing there/why was I still arguing with her.

Finally she seemed to flip in some way. She started jabbing her finger in my face and saying, "I know your type, you act all calm." Worst of all she then did the same in my son's face. She bent down to his level and said "Your mum's a bitch, a real bitch, she's a nasty piece of work" jabbing a finger at him. I was aghast actually and just said something feeble that kind of trailed off, "Look at yourself," or something like that. Then she turned around and stormed off huffing to herself.

Anyway I am not good at confrontation especially unexpected and was pretty freaked that she'd spoken to ds like that. The kids were confused more than anything, ds and the 5yr old turned round and asked me "what was wrong with that woman?" I just said she was a bit nutty or something and we crossed the road and changed the subject.

Before you ask the only thing I called her was a "busybody" yeah I know pathetic and uncreative thing to say but I did not raise my voice gesture at her or insult her in any other way. My son has never heard the word "bitch" used as an insult before and def not about me, I'm kind of worried it's going to come up again...

Feel like I should have done or said more but I don't know what. Also feel more generally shitty, as you would if a complete stranger feels compelled to tell you your parenting is visibly and shockingly awful (even if you disagree).

Besom Sat 31-Oct-09 16:42:06

It sounds as if she's a trolley short of the supermarket so I really would try to forget about it.

She'll probably give herself a heart attack by getting so randomly worked up.

TeamEdward Sat 31-Oct-09 16:42:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rosesinautumn Sat 31-Oct-09 16:52:22

I want her kids! It must have been a dream to get from toddlerhood till they left home with them doing exactly what you asked them to do when you asked them and thus never having to give them the 'hard word'. Daft old bosom!

Jajas Sat 31-Oct-09 16:58:15

Oh you poor thing! She probably hasn't even got children ~ what a loon ~ very upsetting for you though.

dittany Sat 31-Oct-09 17:04:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Heated Sat 31-Oct-09 17:13:49

She sounds very very odd. Maybe its Halloween that's bringing them out?

Was in a shop this pm and a boy of about 7 walked up to ds 5 and said "I am going to kill you" and then he tried to punch dh! But the whole family were strange, the older child seemed phobic about the stairs.

Bensmum76 Sat 31-Oct-09 17:18:09

Mad as a hatter no doubt!!! But I know that I would be as upset by it as you are. Don't let it bother you...silly old dear

Kerrymumbles Sat 31-Oct-09 17:19:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 31-Oct-09 17:21:51

She would never have talked to her children in that tone of voice but said "Your mum's a bitch..." hmm

Double standards there...

Obviously in a bad mood 'cos her broom stick had a flat tyre. Mad old hag.

abra1d Sat 31-Oct-09 17:31:46

Don't let her upset you for one nano-second, she sounds barking mad.

And you are a very sensible mother to insist on safe road-crossing.

whomovedmychocolatecookie Sat 31-Oct-09 17:39:51

I'm afraid she would have got the 'I don't remember putting an interfering old witch on my shopping list so <sotto voce> off you fuck, there's a dear' had she said this to me.

Cheeky mad woman.

Somewhere out there there is a trolley missing it's rider.

Katisha Sat 31-Oct-09 17:40:29

Try not to be upset - unfortunately you have encountered someone missing a good few marbles.

apostropheisback Sat 31-Oct-09 19:58:40

poor you. nasty interfering old bag.

cakefaced Sat 31-Oct-09 21:54:35

Mad as a badger. And as for using the B word to your son whilst telling you off for being aggressive, shockwhat a freak.

I'd have decked her.

mummery Sat 31-Oct-09 21:55:47

Well ds has spent the evening asking me why that person was calling me nasty names sad though on the plus side, he has realised that she was weird and angry for reasons unknown, and I guess the situation could be used to illustrate to him how one can randomly run into a nutjob on an otherwise ordinary day.

But don't you wish you could be naturally cool and clever in situations like this and say something to cut the other party dead within eight seconds.

Katisha Sat 31-Oct-09 22:10:52

Well given that she was obviously a nutter there's probably nothing you could have said that would have got through to her anyway.

mummery Sat 31-Oct-09 22:12:30

The irony is that when this woman appeared I'd just kind of been congratulating myself for waiting and standing my ground with ds instead of hauling the gang across the road whether they were holding hands or not.

Anyhows! Like you say, best forgotten about.
Thanks for replies

scottishmummy Sat 31-Oct-09 22:14:02

understandably you are upset,but random misguided biddy,dont take to heart

cheeseandeyeballsarnie Sat 31-Oct-09 22:14:25

she wouldnt approve of me sometimes,i can be awfulsad.

crankytwanky Sat 31-Oct-09 22:25:12

Aww that must have been soooo upsetting, but you seemed to handle it well.

Maybe a good chance to explain to DS what "faculties" are, and how some people are sadly without them all.

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