This afternoon, we are finished at the grocery and my ever helpful son is roaming all over the cart area with the small cart, going, "Here? Here? Here?" while a woman with a heavy load stands behind him waiting for him to light. Since she was obviously waiting for him to get out of the freaking way, and because, as his mother, I would like to teach him to be aware that his behavior affects others, I told him to say a simple, "Excuse me," to the lady.
Being a pretty good kid most of the time, he turned around and delivered as requested. Per usual.
"No, he's...you're fine."
Now for the digression. I spent the entirety of the Divas early childhood being gracious to people who told me they were fine when they were tearing the 'motor-scooting' house down. That got good and old.
Today, I got up at 4:30a.m., sat in a 10x12 room with ten (10) people for two of the five hours I am confined to the room every Friday. I had two donuts and a cup of coffee for breakfast. When lunches were being made there was a little confusion that was not really anyone's fault and I ended up without a lunch. I had been to the bank and waited while all the old women got reacquainted in the lobby and then I went to the drive-thru and the Head Teller came out and got the deposit of the car behind me and walked it in, personally.
Touche, Bank Lady.
The grocery store thing was taking place about 2:30 -ish.
I said, "No, he's not. I am his mother and am parenting him."
I didn't add: He is going to learn that there are rules of common courtesy and when someone is standing behind you with twenty pounds of groceries and you make them
I also didn't say, "WOW, Thank you for being willing to lose a finger or two standing around holding Kroger bags, in order to give a thorough diagnosis of whether my child needs to be polite or
I have an untestable theory. Perhaps America's youth, desperate appearance, poor manners, moral, uh...confusion, and all-- may just not know if they should listen to their mother or the total stranger* who tells them they're fine. A mom always has to make the unpopular call. So if I am a kid and my mom expects me to act like a little gentleman in public, maybe I would rather go with the opinion of the person who says, "Mom, doesn't know. You just go ahead and dork around." No big deal today, but in a year or three or nine, the whole neighborhood has a problem. 'Cause when everyone is in charge, no one is, and then my child is raising himself.
No wonder kids go off with people they don't know. We've set them the example of letting total strangers tell us what to do.
Thanks, Condescending Stranger in the Kroger, but no, thanks.
My son says, "Excuse me."