Case in point - library story time.
Here is a group of parents that theoretically stay at home with their children instead of working a 9 - 5 job. They work a 24 hour job instead. I am part off this work force and have full respect for how difficult it is. But do you think that maybe some people stay at home with their children because they are too dumb to get work outside of the home? I am beginning to think this.
I think I could give you 6 examples of reasons for forced sterility but I will only grace you with two. Also - This is a story hour for 18 month olds - 3 year olds. I always feel a little guilty taking Harrison and we always talk about being careful of the littler kids and waiting his turn, etc.
Case number one: Failure to mother and mom who brings too many children to story time.
First there was a mom there with 4 children. All hers. The oldest are twins and if they are 3, they are 3 years and 11 months old. The middle child is probably 2, if not 3 and the littlest is crawling. In my opinion this is too many kids. I have only brought all 4 boys to story time once and Miles was in a stroller at the time AND he was sleeping. I think story time is a time to do something together. Which is why Will is usually on one knee and Bennett is on the other and Harrison is right next to us and we share in the experience. Calm and together. (I'm perfect, aren't I?!!!) Anyway, the boys, all boys, must have sat down and started off fairly well, because I didn't notice them right away. But, by the time I did notice them the twins were handing out hand puppets to everyone else while the librarian was trying to read her first story. Where was mom? Not sure. But after story hour she did put on a production about her kids helping her be a zoo keeper while they ran around and ignored her being the zoo keeper picking up all the puppets. After the puppet sharing episode their next adventure was 'helping' the librarian gather the egg shakers she had given everyone while we sang a song. Their way of helping was by going around and snatching the egg shakers out of poor kids hands. Luckily I saw this coming and had gathered our shakers and gave them to Harrison to return to the bucket. Again, mom? Still not sure. The 2 year old spent most of the time right in front of all the books so that no other children could see and the crawler spent most of the time either with mom or over by the basket where the puppets used to be stuffing books into his mouth and tearing pages. But the thing that really sent me over the edge (and the librarian too as she finally spoke up) was the bead necklaces that they were wearing. At the end of story time, the librarian put on a song and got out bubbles for the kids. The twins were running around swinging their beads at the bubbles to pop them. I saw 3 kids narrowly miss a nice smack in the face, but yet I never saw their mother intervene.
On a side note, as we are getting into the van in the parking garage, this family is walking to their van as well. I over hear the mom say to the twins: "I know you two think you are super heros, but you are really not. Now please try and behave." Great wishy-washy advice, right? She said this just as one of the boys knocked the other one over (just playing around, but still!). Did I mention that he knocked him over almost right into the path of an oncoming van? Right. Traffic. Oh, and did I mention she was pregnant. Yeah...
Case number two: Embarrassed to discipline child in public mom.
So this mom has one 2 year old who is WILD! Opposite of my children in public. This child is not shy and very friendly and likes to play up for the crowd. All of which would be fairly acceptable if he had some limits. He does not. At least not in public. There were several instances in which the child should have been disciplined, removed, etc in which mom tried to intervene. When this happened the child would start to protest or even scream and mom would back off right away. Eventually she just stopped trying. He just ran from child to child smiling at them (right in their poor little faces) or shaking their hand or even rolling on the floor from child to child. All of this went on while the librarian was trying to read books and tell stories. The straw that broke the camels back for this one was the stool. There are stools at the back of the room for parents to sit on if they choose. I guess this child decided he wanted one and picked it up to carry to the front. He narrowly missed the head of a 3 - 4 week old baby with the leg of the stool. Thank goodness for narrow misses today. That one could have been bad. Even then t he mom didn't take the child and leave. She just tried to stay a little closer to him as he roamed the room. The parent of the newborn took her well behaved 2 year old and newborn sibling and left though.
I really don't know what to add to my little rant here. I honestly only take 3 children to story time because I know that I won't be embarrassed by their behavior. This is a horrible reason. I should take them because it is enriching and a good experience and I suppose that is part of the reason I take them, but still. If I thought I couldn't 'control' their behavior in public you wouldn't see me in public. I would venture out with one difficult child, by myself, but never four! And that one difficult child would get a lot of attention from me on how to behave in public!
We did have a relatively good time at story time today. Harrison was really the only one put off with the crazy children. Bennett and Will were just enthralled that there are that many children!
Anyway, please parents. And non-parents. Call me before you decide to get pregnant again or for the first time. I will let you know if I think it is a good idea! And if it is not, I know the name of a great pet store that sells fish.