I had to leave Barnes & Noble the other day because I was on the brink of morphing into "SuperNanny" and pulling aside two mothers in the store to tell them,
[SuperNanny English accent voice] "Now, ladies, your children's behavior is not ass-ceptable! You're just sittin' 'ere carrying on chatting while your children wreak havoc!"
But I didn't. I was polite and kept my mouth shut and smiled politely as their daughters hit each other over the head with the store's Thomas trains, grabbed books off the shelves and flung them across the floor and tried to pull something out of my own son's hands.
Every once in awhile, one of the mothers would look up and bark a general command,
"Hey! Stop hitting!" or again, "Please stop hitting." And again, "I said stoooop hitting!"
At one point, the older girl (about four years old) started to choke her younger sister. The choking continued for a good 30 seconds until I gasped audibly and one of the mothers, hearing my gasp (but not her daughter's choking, apparently) looked up.
"Hey! I said stop!"
We all know what you said, the SuperNanny in my brain answered, were you planning on doing anything about it?
Nope. Nothing was done.
When one of the little girls pushed Jude aside in order to get to the train table, I was done. If you want to let your own kids kill each other, fine. But once you allow your child to hurt mine? SO not OK with that.
I took Jude's hand and we walked out.
I didn't say a word to the mothers. I guess I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they were having a hard day, maybe they were worn out, maybe their kids' behavior was the exception and not the norm. Plus, I've been on the receiving end of being judged and it's no fun.
But in being silent, did I teach Jude not to fight injustice? Did I teach him that people can mistreat you and you just take it silently?
Should I have spoken up? Would I have only made matters worse? What do you do in these situations?
Please share with me, even if you comment anonymously, I'm truly looking for answers, here.