So here’s the million-dollar question of the morning: What do you do when you want to act like a child when you’re with your child?
This morning as I walked Laurel to school, we hit a typical narrow passage where there’s no sidewalk. Per usual, I kept the stroller tight to the side even though there were no cars coming. Then, from behind us, a middle aged woman in a (cheesy, I might add, because I’m feeling bitter and childish) red car tore around the bend, hit the brakes, and screamed angrily at me “Excellent place to walk!” Two other cars were slowing in the opposite direction, so I turned briefly and curtly replied “There’s no where else to walk.” Once the two oncoming cars made their way through (at this point the woman in the red car was yelling “C’mon, move it!” at them), she peeled passed us and screamed her sentiment at me again.
This woman clearly was stewing in her own grumpy morning juices, but her childish behavior really set off my desire to be childish. I could feel reflexive responses springing up (an expletive at my lips and a middle finger at the ready), but of course I had to squelch these responses in front of Laurel, who’s at prime aping age. The situation just seemed ridiculous on a number of levels. It was just after 7:30 am, when the world should still be relatively calm and peaceful. We were a mom and baby in a compact stroller, dutifully walking along the side of a common pedestrian area. And I hated the powerless feeling of being part of a “scream and run” – the woman's behavior was both mean and cowardly.
I find these moments of parenthood tough; when I’m supposed to model good behavior but basically want to have a tantrum or, in this case, pull the pigtails of the aggressor. If you have advice on how you cope in these situations, I’d love to hear it. Meanwhile, I’m left to my adult devices; I’m about to email the public works department about putting up yield to pedestrian signs in that area.