Sometimes other people annoy me.
The way these people raise their children annoy me.
Their children annoy me.
Until now I have been reasonably able to avoid these people. Sure, I’ve been stuck behind one or two at the odd check-out line or in the dentist’s waiting room, but for the most part I do not frequent the places where these people congregate.
Local concerts- no kids there.
Galleries, lectures, old black and white movies- just try to get kids to go there.
I’ve enjoyed my adulthood.
I’ve traveled and indulged in hobbies; I’ve joined in philosophical discussions, and critiqued art and literature.
My ever expanding belly; however, reminds me of one thing- I will soon be required to attend kid friendly places. And kid-friendly places means kids- and the people who raise them.
I walked into a chiropractor’s office today fifteen minutes early for my appointment.
The overwhelming odor of a dirty diaper smacked me in the face as I opened the door.
There is no way this child’s mother cannot smell it. Why has she not been changed?
I look for a chair; one child is lying across three while another is using one as a discarded toy chest. Their mother and grandmother have the other two occupied as a third child runs wild.
I squeeze into the corner. I pick up a magazine, but I cannot read it due to the droning apathetic sound of “Maverick, don’t do that.” “Maverick, help your sister.” “Maverick, fix your sister’s dress. No with your hands.” (The short purple tutu referred to as a dress did not cover her panties even when “fixed,” and the bright pink cowgirl boots it was paired with made one wonder if the family was preparing her for the inevitable eventuality of stripping for a living.)
“Don’t pour that on her.” (This was said of a cup of water from the cooler.) The boy just laughed. The mother got up, poured herself a cup of water from said cooler and dumped it on the boy. Now both boys’ laughter was joined by the grandmother’s.
Finally the doctor called them into the exam room.
They did not go, though.
The mother needed to take a camera phone picture of her smelly diapered, sopping wet, stripper attired 2-year old first. These are the moments, after all, that one could not afford to forget. However, the child, ever oblivious to her mother’s attempts, just wondered aimlessly as the mother followed after her, phone erect and ready.
It was then it occurred to me, I will be seated next to these people at a Chuck E Cheese one day. I will look up from my perch at the local splash pad to see them scurrying toward my own child. I will be hosting a birthday party at a kiddie park when these hoodlums will be terrorizing the smaller children in the ball pit, or their dirty diapers will be stinking up the bounce house.
These are the people with whom my free time will henceforth be spent.I did not sign up for this. My kid- sure- but other people’s kids- no sir.