To The Two Old Women Glaring At My Toddler
We decided to go out for lunch today. Not a small feat for us, as we have to pack up like we’re moving to a different state. So we packed everything up and made the trek to our local Red Robin restaurant. We chose this location because it is family friendly and they serve their food quickly. Plus our toddler is a big fan of their kids meals. So as we all sat down, my baby played with his teething toy, my toddler colored on the menu with the crayons our nice waitress gave us, and we all picked out our lunch choices.
By the time our meals came, our toddler started to get bored and began to sing Disney Junior songs and some little songs that she randomly made up. Mind you, she was singing at a normal volume. She wasn’t shout-singing, she wasn’t screaming or belting out these songs. She was just being a toddler. And singing. I honestly didn’t think anything of it, and we all continued to eat our lunch (my husband and I did so while taking turns balancing our 4 month old son on our lap). I happened to glance up and was surprised to see two older women at the table across from us glaring at my toddler with fierce scowls on each of their faces. I whipped around to look at my toddler – assuming she was flipping each of them the bird (the only reason I would think would warrant such angry glares). Instead, I saw my happy two year old, singing contentedly and sipping chocolate milk.
To say that this mama bear became enraged is an understatement. Look, I realize it’s a free country and you can glare at anyone you want. But come on. No offense to Red Robin, but you’re not eating at a 5 star restaurant here! And she’s a TWO YEAR OLD. At a FAMILY RESTAURANT. Granted, my husband and I definitely would have taken her out if she was screaming, or throwing stuff, or taking her dress off, or doing anything above the “normal” level of restaurant noise. And because we DO live in a free country and you can glare at whoever, this also means that my toddler can damn well sing at the table. I don’t think they would have blinked an eye if my husband asked me “Hey, do you know who sings this song?” and sang some lyrics. It’s just because she’s a toddler. Acting like a kid her age. I wanted to lean over and whisper in their ears, “Do you think THIS is bad, you old bats? You should see when we try taking her out of the bath while she’s still playing. Shit gets real SUPER fast!” But I didn’t, because for some odd reason I still have “respect your elders” trained into my head.
So it got me thinking. I agree respecting your elders is good. Fine and dandy. But I think we should respect people who DESERVE respect. You don’t get to be automatically respected just because you’ve reached a certain age. And you aren’t exempt from being a total asshole if you’re acting like one. So what did I do? I glared right back at them. When of them finally caught my eye and saw that not only was I well aware that they had been glaring at my 2 year old child and rolling their eyes at her, I have to admit that I was pleased as punch to see her own eyes widen in surprise as I glared right back at her. Sorry I’m not sorry. And guess what? I continued to glare at them for the rest of our lunch. Every time one of them glanced up? Bam. Me glaring at both of them. And I’m not a saint. I obviously didn’t take the higher road here. But I would have done the same thing to anyone regardless of their age. If it had been a teenager, a young adult, regular adult, old person, you name it, I’d be glaring right back at them.
I’m not perfect. And I’ve never claimed to be. I’m just a mom fiercely protective of her children, like most moms are. I will be the first person to admit that I have faults and sometimes I lose my temper and act without thinking. Perhaps a lot of the time. So maybe I should have just smiled at them and “killed them with kindness”, but I didn’t. And to be honest I don’t regret it. They stopped glaring at her and that was that – Bye Felicia!
This post isn’t to slam old grumpy women, nor is it to say what I did was the “correct” response. It’s just a mom vent. If they are mothers or grandmothers, I would hope that they’d remember what it was like to be a young family just trying their best. Trying to go out and have a nice lunch as a “treat” instead of the usual at home lunches we have. Oh well. You can’t please everyone, and you’ll just be disappointed if you try to. So here’s to all you mamas out there trying to just live your lives. The rest is just noise. (Or singing).