Beware the smiling mother
Although I've never been proud to admit it, today I will: Hi! My name is Sandra, and I'm a yeller.
This aspect of my parenting has always bothered me. I always wished I could just smile through my aggravation, and soothingly whisper to my child, "No no no, mommy said not to do that."
My children are older now (and fear me), so I don't flip my lid too often anymore. But there was a time when my husband would run around the house closing windows when he could see I was about to blow.
But then last week, while at a store that sells bulk foods, I watched the mother I always wished I could be in action.
With a big smile on her face, she was explaining to her three and five year old little boys that they could each pick out one kind of candy.
Her tone was so gentle and lilting; I actually stopped what I was doing to admire her.
I smiled as she softly said, "When you pick out your candy, mommy will scoop it. Do not put your hands in the bins."
Then when the oldest attempted to open one of the bins, she gently guided his hand away from the lid, and said, "Remember what mommy said? Please do not put your hand in the bin."
I listened carefully to her age-appropriate rationale: "If you put your fingers in the bin, every person who buys this candy will be eating your germs. We don't want that, do we?"
Mesmerized, I was shaking my head "no" right along with the child.
While she was crouched down, whispering loving words of praise to the older boy, the three year old had put his hand in one of the bins, and had popped a colourful treat into his mouth.
When Mesmerizing Mommy saw this, she yanked his little fingers out of his mouth, and calmly said, "Spit. It. Out."
After the child did as he was told, she pulled his little arm, and directed him towards one of the store clerks, and said to him, "My son has something he would like to say to you."
The three year old said, "I'm sorry I stole one of the candies. I won't do it again."
Agitated, Mesmerizing Mommy then prodded the boys to the exit.
I watched as the automatic glass doors slid open, and Mesmerizing Mommy looked out into the parking lot where she noticed that one of the doors on her vehicle had been left wide open.
Swiveling her head this way and that, scanning the horizons, Mesmerizing Mommy grabbed both of the little boys by the elbow, and proceeded to urge them across the sidewalk, as she said in a very creepy tone, "Who left the door open? That does it! I've had it with you two!"
...Hi, my name is Sandra, and I'm proud to be a yeller.