So my husband and I are at Walmart yesterday doing our weekly shopping; I have a 6 year old little girl, and a 9 year old boy. My girl, Leah, was bouncing around the store dipping in and out of people's way, so we tell her, "Leah, stay by the basket and out of peoples' way." She's by the basket for a whole 2 seconds before something else in a pretty package catches her attention: and off she goes, again, skipping along. "Leah! We said, STAY by the basket!" She slinks back over to the basket again....for whole 2 seconds more (lol), then manages to hop in front of a heavy set older lady in one of those motorized cart/wheel-chair thingies and her husband. Well, the lady had to stop abruptly for my daughter to pass in front of her. My husband, who's now getting angry at having to tell Leah to pay attention and stay by the basket, puts his hand on top of her head and makes her look up at him. "Don't make me speak again," he says, and lets her go over to our basket.
This lady then, causes a scene and yells out, "Don't you grab that little girl like that!" Of course, everyone stops what they are doing and looks over at us.
Enraged, my husband tells her, "She's my kid, and I'll discipline her!"
The lady replies, "That's CHILD ABUSE!!!" I am now mortified.
My husband starts walking back to her (her husband has not a word to say), and says, "Because I put my hand on my child's head?"
And that's when I simply tell her, "You need to mind your own #*% business;" The only thing that comes to my head at the time; and I hear a couple of people around me reply, "For sure!"
Well, the lady threatens to call CPS (child protective services), and my husband tells her, "Go right ahead! You don't see any bruises on her! I'll gladly have a chat with them!" And all the lady can do is huff and puff. So, we continue on our shopping.
The whole time, all I can think is, "That lady doesn't know us. She doesn't see how close Leah and her daddy are....she doesn't see those nights by the fireplace with Leah crawling on her daddy's head while he's tickling her toes....or the times that he scoops her up and puts her on his shoulders and bounces her around...or the times that she wakes up from a bad dream and crawls to daddy for comfort, who readily accepts her into his arms. Daddy is her whole world. Nor did she see how we had been telling Leah to stay out of people's way. All this lady sees is a split second of what SHE perceives as "mean," and then takes it upon herself to decide what is best for OUR daughter. I'm furious....and I start thinking of the "what-if's..." What if that lady had called?
Let's give a little description of myself and my husband: I am 27, with tattoos and piercings (I am a professional tattoo artist), and my husband is bald with a goatee, also covered in tattoos. Hmmmmm, do you think that might have played on her pre-conditioned fears? The ignorance of humanity sickens me to my gut. Would CPS have looked at us the same way? Could they have actually taken my little girl away from her entire world just then?? And could you imagine the traumatizing fear, confusion, and hurt she would have gone through being pulled from everything she knows and loves dearly? All because some lady thought she would be doing "the right thing."
What is this society coming to?? It's like we've been conditioned for so long to judge each other based on what we perceive as right or wrong, that we’ve become are our own moral police force!! It’s like we have to “put on” our personalities-- like clothes, before we can leave the house; lest we be judged by our neighbors and peers; constantly changing who we are to suit the moment at hand. It’s like grade school never ended…..we all want to be teacher’s pet and are searching for our acceptance in the classroom…even if it means exploiting one’s shortcomings to highlight our own positive qualities.
Let me say this: We are all in this crazy life together; all of us tripping along the way and picking ourselves back up. It seems to me we spend more time pushing each other down and crawling over the bodies to see who acquires “righteousness” first; than helping each other up so that we can all go on our way.
As we were leaving the store, a middle-class white woman with nice clothes and two children are walking out. The boy is picking on his little sister, and the mother tells him, “If you don’t cut that out right now, I’m going to beat you all the way to the car!” I wonder what the fat lady in the wheel chair would have thought about that….and if she’d have said anything to her, too....
Or the black lady in the other isle that was struggling with 4 kids all by herself, grabbing one of them up to keep him from taking something off the shelf…. I also wonder if she’d have the energy or desire to go through the store, policing everyone dealing with a screaming child? Why not go ahead and start in the parking lot too, and then move on to the neighborhoods, going door to door to see if children are being handled “properly.” No, probably not. We just happened to be the ones in her face at the time.