There’s this Daniel Tosh skit that I love about how his friends all think they’re going to make good parents. His response is something like “Oh yeah? Cause you’re a pretty shitty person now.”
I have no expectations of wanting to have a baby or being a good mother. I am just not maternal- my cousin’s baby cried the second that he sat on my lap, despite the fact that he’d made his rounds to everyone else in the room. I know that if I were to have one, it’d end up something like this:
The incoming freshmen are really looking younger and younger
So knowing this, I technically have no room to judge the way that other people raise their kids… but I will. You see, I had three cringe-worthy experiences yesterday from the time I left my desk at the office to the time I walked to my front step at home.
At the train station I take to and from the city, there’s a train platform much like any other train platform in the country. There’s a clear foot or so of yellow paint marking the edge of the platform on either side and signs recommending you stay off of the yellow. I do the usual ignore-everyone-else technique of watching Lost on my Ipod while waiting for the train (is anyone else going crazy trying to figure out where they moved the island to? And when the polar bears are going to make another appearance?) About a minute or so after I planted myself on the platform, a mother came walking along with her kid, clearly walking along the yellow strip. I rolled my eyes and looked back down. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the kid’s feet go up into the air. My heart jerked for a second as I saw the kid in the air over the train tracks, and every part of my head was thinking back to the case files I’d seen all day of situations just like this. It took me a very long second to realize that the mother was still holding onto her kid by the arms. In fact, she was swinging him out over the tracks making airplane noises. Really? Really. I clearly invisioned the interview with her in the post-mortem newspaper article: “He always loved playing airplane, it was an accident. How could that train not have stopped?” And the thing was, everyone else was gaping at the stupidity of this woman. For one of the first times in the station I made eye contact with just about everyone around me, all of us wondering if this was a clear example of survival of the fittest coming into action.
I got on the train and happened to run into my friend John, who loved that story. “Some people are just really, really stupid,” he said. I shook my head as I got into my car ten minutes later, which I’d left a the station the night before (another story, another time). It should have been a two minute drive home, but I got stopped a block from my house. Three kids were playing roller hockey in the street, and for a second I reminisced about my childhood of playing summer hockey in the street. We’d play until cars came, and then quickly roll out of the way. I snapped out of my dream when I realized that these kids weren’t moving at all, despite having looked up at me. I rolled down the window and got their attention. One kid gave me the finger, another told me to go around the block. I realized that this was nothing like my childhood at all. The two best parts? There is a park two houses down that has a giant basketball court in it, a much better location than the middle of a busy street. The other great addition to this story is that I decided to drive forward anyway- I did, afterall, have a line of cars behind me. When I did, their father jumped off the stoop, where he’d been sitting watching the whole action, and started yelling at me for endangering his kids. Are. You. Serious.
I couldn’t believe the father, I really couldn’t. The park is clearly visible from where they were playing, and the fact that a middle-schooler had given me the finger when I’d politely asked them to move blew me away. I watched the father in my rear-view mirror trying to convince the line of cars that they should all turn around. Just as I turned the corner onto my street, a car coming to the stop sign caught my eye. The mother was driving the car with a baby on her lap, a la batshit Britney. No carseat, no seat belt. I’m no expert at child-rearing, nor do I ever hope to be, but really?
I wish I knew how to make those vote box thingies (I speak in only the most technical of terminology) so I could hold my very own Parent of the Year award and give out an award to the shittiest parenting I could find. Oh wait, someone already did that.
Momma Lohan accepting the Mother of the Year Award
from Long Island. Guess that there weren’t many entries.