Yay! (Plus Bugs)

I found my tile today! I decided to flake on work and go to a new tile place, and I found the tile I wanted, for cheap, deliverable this week. Woo hoo!

There was a weird, pregnant-looking, translucent spider walking on the tiles near our hands as I talked to the tile-store owner. He didn’t brush it away, and neither did I.

When I got home, there was a half-dead stink bug trembling on its back in our walkway. I screamed very quickly and quietly, then carried my bags inside. I sent my son out to retrieve the trash can from the curb, warning him about the stinkbug. When he came back, he said the bug hadn’t been there. But the air stank. It stank like dead stinkbug.

I am so, so glad I decided to take the day off today. I had only planned to take the afternoon, but after waking up at 5:45 AM with a huge task list already on my mind, and after getting caught in an unexplained, un-broadcast-by-radio traffic jam, I decided to just U-turn and go back home. I called Florence to tell her I wouldn’t be in. She didn’t answer. Gloria answered and said Florence had taken two days off to get her one child ready for school tomorrow. I thought of my three children going to school tomorrow and decided to quit feeling so damned guilty about taking one day off.

New couch shows up some time this afternoon. Woo hoo! Although I’m afraid to get too excited about that, since my kids will almost certainly stain the couch as quickly as they can. They’ve already put two scratches on laminate floor. :

Speaking Of

There are some bad kids – no, bad parenting in this subdivision. Twice this morning I witnessed children saying things to their mothers that would certainly earn them a slap across the mouth in my family.

1. A woman led her brat to their car. “Open the door and get in,” she said. “Shut up!” he said. “Don’t talk to me like that,” she replied. What the hell??? I thought maybe he was disabled, though. Maybe he had Turrets or something.

2. In a craft store, a little 8- or 9-year-old brat ran around and almost knocked over some glass things. His mother said, “What in the world is wrong with you?”

He replied, “What in the world is wrong with you?

See, right at that point, I felt a slap across my cheek as if I said the words myself. At the same time, I felt a slap within my own hand at the mere thought of a kid saying that to me. So what did his mother say?

First, she sort of raised her voice and said, “You are acting like a nut! You are acting like a nut!” Then she said it a few more times for good measure. I kind of thought she might be about to have a nervous breakdown, from the way she kept repeating it in a weird, high-pitched, sing-song tone.

The boy said something in a rude tone and kept running around. Then, I don’t know if she grabbed him by the arm or what, but he sort of squealed. Not as if he’d been hit, but as if he’d been inconvenienced in some way.

Then, the mom said, “Honey, I just want you to be safe. There’s a lot of glass around here. I just care about you and want you to be safe, okay?”

The boy grimaced at her and walked with his arms crossed. I went away at that point, before the compulsion to discipline her kid became more than I could bear.

I’m not saying people need to hit their kids, necessarily. I’m actually kind of hyperbolizing when I say that. But, seriously as hell, what is wrong with telling your kids, “You’d better quit running around or I’m gonna take your ass home.” I swear to you – the first time you actually drag a kid home for acting bratty in public, that’ll be the last time you have to do it. After that, the mere threat will suffice.

Okay – for some kids, you have to drag them home twice. I admit that. But still. It’s worth it. You drag them home once or twice when they’re young, and you never have to put up with insane public behavior again.

It’s not hard, people. They’re kids, not teacup chihuahuas wearing little pink jumpsuits. If you present the consequences of their actions in a clear, stern voice, they will usually come around to your point of view.

Maybe I should write a child-rearing manual. I could self-publish it, carry it around with me, and sell it to people whose kids are being brats in public. Hmm.

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Posted in domestic, insects, parenting, venting on 08/15/2006 05:50 pm

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