By the holidays, I had just started to get used to the routine in the morning. We had finally gotten the hang of getting dressed, fed, bags packed, hair gelled (we are Italian) and getting to the bus stop in a timely manner. Then came the snow. We now had to manage an extra backpack filled with change of shoes and snowpants, etc. and allot some extra time to find missing gloves and put on hats and scarfs. If I’m super-organized I should really give myself even an extra 5 minutes to warm up the car, because the days of walking to the bus stop and standing in frigid temperatures are over. Basically, what usually happens from the time the last bite of cereal is eaten until we get out the door is I scream at everyone that I’m going to take away all of their toys and we all run around like the kids at “Mickey’s” birthday party.
So last week there was a day that I felt like time-wise and weather-wise I could actually walk to the bus stop. After all of the screaming and a particularly bad fist fight between my two boys over who was wearing the Spiderman gloves, we got out the door.
Once we are actually at the bus stop the feat is to keep the kids off of the huge snow mountains that surround them on every corner. I usually spend the few minutes waiting for the bus telling them both to not climb on the snow mountain, not to eat dirty snow filled with salt and sand, and not to throw ice balls at people.
So this day a father at the bus stop decides to interject. This particular man wears cargo shorts in the winter with chains hanging on them and has been known to drive “quads” around his yard. In addition, his wife’s entire face is pierced and she chain-smokes at the bus-stop when she graces us with her presence. At the time of his remark I can see his four-year old daughter in their picture window with a pacifier in her mouth holding her “blankie.” The same daughter was up until very recently wearing diapers.
“Give the kid a break ….He’s a kid, let him play in the snow. You have to learn to pick your battles.” he said knowingly.
I was speechless and had to respond carefully so I wouldn’t blurt out what I wanted to say which was “You have to learn to shut the fuck up.”
“Um….I think you are a little more laid-back than I am.” I said slowly my blood boiling.
I understand that snow piled up to triple their size is very enticing but I’d rather that my small children don’t fall and crack their head open before school and also would like them to start the day with dry clothes. Why would anyone think that’s not reasonable? Why do people feel the need to put their two cents in?
Thankfully, the bus came at that point so I didn’t have to be harassed any further by this discipline expert. 8:09 am – and I already had my first parenting lesson of the day!!