Wednesday, December 9, 2009

At Least This Wasn't Me ...

Let's get one thing straight. I've done some pretty shitty parenting in my day.

I've given my kid a jar of peanut butter, a spoon, and a sippy cup of chocolate milk and called it lunch.

I've begged my two youngest to watch "just one more video ... please???" (in my defense, I was nine months pregnant).

I've hidden in the back of the closet when I was so overwhelmed that I wanted to rip my toenails out.

But something I heard today made my skin crawl.

No, it isn't some horrid physical abuse or heartbreaking neglect. This is something that a loving, well-educated, mainstream mom did. And from what I understand, she does this sort of thing on a fairly regular basis. At least regular enough to cause the three-year-old to develop the nervous habit of twisting her hair out by the roots.

Background: Grandmother (GM) keeps 3yo frequently after school while parents work. Grandmother and grandchild (GC) have fabulous relationship, and GM and GC have spent lots of time together over GC's short life.

GC is at GM's house during a wedding party, and GC's mom wants to go home and put the new baby to bed. (Did you get that? There's a new baby in the house.) GC doesn't want to leave, since she's having fun, and GM is happy to keep GC for the night.

Mother says to GC something to the effect of, "If you don't come home with me right now, I'm going to pack up all your things in your bedroom and give them away. Then I'm going to turn your room into a guest room for Aunt Sally." GC sobs and ends up going home, twisting her hair until it breaks off. This is the same mom who forced same child to cut her hair short so that she wouldn't twist it.

Can you believe it? What is with parents? And remember that, not only does the child worry that Mom is ready to boot her out the door, she has to contend with the knowledge that younger sister is there to fill her place.

What the heck is wrong with people?


  1. Oh dear. That is indeed VERY SHODDY. I wonder, if this woman were to hear a tape of herself, or read an account of it in a book or article, what she would think.
    Not that I would want transcriptions of everything I'VE said, mind you, but still. My goodness. Maybe postpartum depression is clouding her brain?

  2. That is indeed terrible. When I read the term "mainstream mom" I felt kind of weird, is that what we are called?

  3. I'm speechless.

    I've said to the rest of THE GUYS, the worst thing about being a parent is listening to other parents.

    I'm far from perfect, but making kids feel guilty, or speaking to them sarcastically or pitting them against siblings is just wrong.

    Well it's worse than that, but I'll keep it G rated.

    Happy Holidays!