A woman was waiting with her newborn baby at her pediatrician’s office, a crowded space that caused her a lot of stress. She felt that other children were often left to act out of control by their parents, and this opinion would soon manifest itself into a parental altercation.
Managing Restless Children
The woman believed that the overcrowded waiting room made it essential for everyone to maintain proper etiquette. Whilst children would be children, she felt that parents had to make an extra effort to keep them out of trouble.
The Lady With Four Kids
During this particular visit, another mother arrived with four children in tow: a newborn, two toddlers, and a kindergarten-aged girl. It quickly became apparent that she should have brought some form of entertainment or a second adult to help manage her lively children.
The mother’s children were running frantically around the tiny waiting room, yelling and screeching. The mother, however, appeared completely engrossed in her phone.
The Unwanted Responsibility
As the chaos escalated, other people in the waiting room found themselves reluctantly taking on a parental role for the unruly children. Several individuals had already attempted to calm the children’s antics down, which ranged from bothering other children to being excessively loud.
The Daughter’s Intrusion
Amongst this chaos, the mother’s kindergarten-aged daughter took a keen interest in the woman’s newborn. “She was absolutely enamored with him and his stroller”, she explained. “She was asking me if she could push it around (no), she was getting super close to my newborn (stop), and was generally just being annoying.”
An Invasion of Personal Space
The little girl’s behavior crossed boundaries when she dug into the woman’s diaper bag and started throwing her belongings around. The newborn, already fussy from being at the doctor’s office for a sick visit, was antagonized which added to the woman’s stress.
Attempts at Politeness
The woman tried to handle the situation with politeness, asking the little girl where her mother was and pointing to her, attempting to redirect her attention. Despite these efforts, the child kept returning and invading her space.
The Final Straw
The girl’s behavior quickly got out of hand. “I’m trying to fix a bottle of formula while holding a screaming baby”, the woman explained. “She knocks my bottle of formula off the table and into my stroller, so now I’m out formula, my baby is still screaming, and I have a huge mess that I don’t have a great way to clean up.”
The woman explained what she did next. “I raise my voice at this kid: ‘LOOK WHAT YOU DID. I AM NOT YOUR MOM, I AM NOT YOUR BABYSITTER. YOU ARE BOTHERING ME. GET OUT OF MY FACE!!’”.
Causing a Scene
The woman’s outburst garnered the attention of other people in the waiting room, and a lady speaking Spanish even called her a derogatory term. The girl started crying, but the woman was unapologetic. She believed that the girl’s mother should have stepped in, and if she had, there would have been no need for her to raise her voice.
The Forum’s Response
The woman was certain that she had done nothing wrong, and refused to believe that she should have apologized. However, she was interested in what other people thought, so she posted the story online. “Don’t worry – some kids just don’t get the point until you raise your voice because their parents have never enforced boundaries”, sympathized one reader.
Not an Overreaction
Some people expressed that the woman’s behavior would have been wrong under different circumstances, but not these. “Normally I’d say you overreacted by yelling at the girl but she was endangering your newborn so forget all that – she’ll get over it”, another commenter defended.
Don’t Blame the Kids
However, there were still many readers who felt that it was unfair to shout at the child, no matter what she did. “I get you are on your last nerve”, empathized another mother. “I’ve been there with a fussy baby, but you can’t take it out on little kids. It’s your responsibility to be the adult in the room.”
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