By: Amy E
Recently I had the opportunity to reconnect with one of my best friends from my childhood. It was such a treat to see her after all this time. It brought back a lot of memories of vacations, sleepovers and so much more. Time has passed so quickly from when we were young girls wishing to be older, boy were we naïve! We had a wonderful, albeit short meal (due to my future Marine crawling on the floor basic training style) and made promises to get together again soon.
As we were leaving my little soldier ran up to the windows at the front of the restaurant to see the snow
falling outside. As I walked up to get him so that we could leave, the woman sitting at the high top next
to the hostess stand turned and looked down at me crouched over and said:
"I just had a medical procedure done yesterday and I can't be around children. It’s for their benefit not mine."
As I picked up the boy, I just smiled as I tried to process what she had said and what it meant. As I turned I saw the manager standing next to me and just smild at him as well, knowing he had eard the same comment. I really didn’t understand the comment to be honest. Little kids are the biggest germ magnets and spreaders, why would it be for his benefit, not hers? Shouldn't she be concerned that she get a germ from him, let alone the 3 other children sitting in the same restaurant? Perhaps she has the flu, pneumonia or MRSA? But then she shouldn’t be out selfishly exposing all of us to her germs. Was the manager concerned that she might infect patrons in his restaurant with her mysterous medical procedure that she implied is contagious and dangeros to small children? Was it dangerous to me as well? Maybe she had plastic surgery and feared my child might somehow jump magically 6 feet into the air and kick her in the face. Perhaps she just didn’t like children in general so she just made up an excuse, however why even bother saying it, clearly we were leaving.
After mulling this over, I suspect that the woman who made the comment probably didn’t like children. Had it not been the end of a very long work day and my brain been a little bit quicker, I probably would have had a snappy response. This is not the first encounter I have had with people making slight comments that seem to reflect a negative attitude about children. I know there are people out there who have those feelings and they are entitled to feel however they wish. This leads me to a question for all of you….
How do you handle these types of situations? How do you respond? With a smile, non response, humor, grace, sarcasm? I look forward to hearing your suggestions!
I normally don't handle negative comments about my children very well, especially coming from a stranger. Honestly, the lady customer sounds a bit off kilter, she could have just moved away from your child instead of making such a weird comment- but that would have required common sense. I generally lean towards the sarcasm response, or if I become enraged-I'll be deadly silent and just look at a person and shoot daggers at them from my eyes...There are times though, when I am able to ignore people but I have to be in a really good mood for that to happen.
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