Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parenting Fail #1498

Experts say that women have natural mothering tendencies. I would agree with that, especially when one first gives birth and the doctor or nurse hands them their fresh new baby. You can't help but feel the most enormous amount of love fathomable when you sit there holding that warm sack of skin that you just introduced to the world. Pure love. The good stuff.

The thing is: those little cuddly infants get bigger. Then they start talking, and that includes talking back. And thus the real challenge to that "natural instinct*" begins.

*and I may or may not be referring to the natural instinct that some species have of eating their young.

I was in the grocery store the other day with a very docile Thing 2. He was in one of his particularly charming modes that was causing random strangers to come up to me and comment on "how lucky I was to have such a cute little guy". My personal favorite was an elderly white lady, probably in her 80's, that said "You are so fortunate to have a BOY! All of my grandchildren are girls. I want a boy so bad that I would even take a black one."

How the fuck do you respond to that?

I patted her wrinkled old hand and said, "Thank you. I am lucky. And I hope you get your black baby."

Later, in the same store, I was waiting in line at the deli counter. I was standing next to a mother/daughter combo. The young one was probably around 2 1/2 or 3 years old. She was talking and bobbing her cute little curly head. I smiled warmly. Then I heard her say, in that jabbing way that the speaking children possess, "I'M NOT HAVING ANY FUN WITH YOU, MOM."

My "mothering instinct" kicked in upon hearing that and I immediately knew that my response would have been, "Well I'm not having very much fun with YOU right now either. Maybe if you were nicer, we would ALL be having more fun."

Instead, the cultured mom, whose child won't be in therapy, said "Well, that's too bad because I'm having fun with YOU!"

Shit. Out-mothered again.

I probably need to read some books to enhance my "natural instincts".
Eh.

Peace, Love and Black Babies,
Johi

29 comments:

  1. ahh, its not failure in parenting.. it just makes you question other peoples parenting skills.. haha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, damn. And now I wish I had a black baby to give to that woman. Actually, she probably just wants someone to drive her around, Ms. Daisy style. That's ok, though. My kids gotta learn some skills at some point, right? Damn my white skin! How accepting of her, though. She would even take a BLACK baby? Wow, a true humanitarian, that one. Please tell me this actually happened on MLK day, because that would just be perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let's just say that it did, for the sake of comedy.
    Good thing she lives in a city that only has approximately six black people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've always kind of wanted an asian baby ... those things are so cute! Plus, they could do my taxes for me when they get older (like 8 or 9 years old). Win-win!

    ReplyDelete
  5. LOL WTF...My poor people are at the bottom of the totem pole. lol crazy coot.

    hilarious post as usual...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the sign out- have read to this to two co-workers already;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Heather- I say GO FOR IT! I would try for a musical prodigy as long as you are at it.
    @Tish- Especially since you are a female. The old lady only wanted a black baby if it was a BOY. Sorry. Again.
    @Erin- Can you believe it? I wasn't even at Wal-Mart. I was at the Sunflower Market, where I thought the enlightened people shopped.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The woman at the deli counter has that whole "make em feel guilty" mothering technique down pat. I still find it particularly effective and my kids are 17 and 20.

    Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Jayne- Indeed. I blame the Catholics.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd never out-mother you, because we seem to be on the same page. I'd have said the exact same thing you thought of saying. And then wondered later why my kids are so snarky. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Rita- Which is why I am certain that we would be friends "in real life". :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Would even take a black one? What the hell is wrong with some people? Everyone knows asians are way better babies. Just sayin'. :)

    I'm not a mother, but I think I have that natural instinct as well. Small children frighten/annoy me. Probably best for everyone that I stay motherless for now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My best friend is mixed, but she looks like the whitest white girl ever. Her brother, on the other hand, looks mixed. I made a comment to her in front of him the other day about how awkward it is when strangers think they can come up to me and make racist comments because we are both white. My favorite are always the ones about people not speaking English, because my husband's first language is not English and our daughter, despite looking extremely white, is mixed and starting to speak in both English and Spanish. He was just like "are you serious? Does that actually happen to you? Because that has never happened to me". And I was like... "yeah, I guess it wouldn't happen to you". He says he will always think of that now whenever he is around too many white people. I'm sorry. Not really the point but your "black baby" story made me think of it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, to the old lady that wants a boy so bad she would even take a black baby boy...I have a white teenage boy and there are days, I think "I would trade mine for a black labrador.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "then they start talking..." nuf said. yeah well, you're in good company with the out-mothered bunch. and when you have girls, it's a whole 'nother ball of wax! yeesh! i'm so very glad mine are now grown and we like each other wwaaayyy more than we used to, following the tortuous teen years. good times ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yesterday one of my short people asked if I loved his brother more than him. I replied: "Actually, at the moment I'm not particularly fond of either one of you." Aaaaaaannnd, FAIL!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jen- damn right "parenting Fail!" You ALWAYS say yes to that question!! Breeds competition for your love. Jeesh. Do I have to teach you everything???

    I will accept my mother of the year award any time now, thank you. Make sure there is a sash. I love sashes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. L-Kat- I was the same way and look at me now! I'm a fucking natural!
    @Jaclyn- My dad swears that he has Native American heritage and I usually reply by sweeping my hand in front of my nearly albino face and saying "Clearly".
    I liked your story.
    @Tina- Comments like that will get you everywhere with me.
    @Namaste- I do think that the girls can be a sassy bunch. Boys on the other hand, are just LOUD and turn everything into a weapon.
    @Jen- Those exact words have come out of my mouth. Oops.
    @Misty- I could fashion a sash for you. Do you prefer glitter or feathers? Maybe BOTH!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Whenever I get all worried and shit about the little one's speech delay, I just look at his big sister and thank Baby Jesus that only one of them talks.

    Hubs said the other night, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we could just call our kids assholes when they're acting like assholes?" I fell in love all over again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Kelly- I left that store feeling thankful that Thing 2 can only say "Daddy" and "Bapple" (clearly that means apple) and a series of sounds that mimic the first syllable in words. What can I say other than, "he's planning on being good with his hands".

    ReplyDelete
  21. I loled. And I read it to my husband and he loled, too. Much loling, there was.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ahhh Floozy... WYWH right now so that we could say WTF and LOL together.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That was a needed laugh. When the OH's boy child told me he didn't like me sunday for a timeout stay I failed with the response "good, that's what I was aiming for." He didn't know how to argue that one.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have told my kids, "Tough. It is my job to keep you alive, not to make you happy."

    I get strange looks from parents.

    ReplyDelete
  25. i just found your blog. i think that there is a mother instinct. i have a 5 month old, my days of back talk will be here before i know it he is growing fast.
    i'm a new follower
    check out my blog, you may want to follow back. if so check out my giveaway.
    -chelsea
    chelseajuarbe.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm not convinced there's such a thing as "instinct" when it comes to parenting 'well'. I think that our instinct is to defend ourselves against danger and insult... so I would have definitely reacted the same way you did.

    When kids get bratty, they lose all of their cute and become targets of sharp-tongued remarks. Really it's a good thing I'm not a parent.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Australian Shepherds are so cute and I have heard they are loyal and really smart. We had a weimaraner, I loved him! I am trying to talk the boyfriend into getting a new puppy. =]
    thanks for stopping by.
    -chelsea
    chelseajuarbe.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Um, so I seriously just choked when I read the comment about the black baby. I thought nothing would phase me after listening to some of the old tourists here--"Why don't the locals speak English here in the middle of buttf*ck, Mexico?"--but that takes the cake.

    If it wasn't for socially-awkward ignoramuses (sp?) I honestly don't know what I would laugh at...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow. Great story! One thing though. The mother at the deli was stoned. Had to be. She probably has some very high-quality "pain" meds keeping her mellow.

    For the record, I have no mothering instinct, and therefore am not a mother. I have phenomenal Aunt instincts however: noisy toys for little ones, gift cards for older ones... Always "yes" to ice-cream...

    ReplyDelete