Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dear Abby, I didn't ask...

I ate a Boston Creme donut on the way to the library today. I wish I hadn't. If I hadn't eaten it, I could have smushed it into the face of a MILP (Mother I'd Like to Pie) I had the displeasure of encountering today. Although a Boston Creme is not technically a pie, it's creme-filled gooeyness is close enough to the real thing.

The MILP we are deconstructing today is aptly named "Haughty Advice Giver" (or HAG) because she freely, abundantly gives you worthless advice that you neither requested nor want. In her mind, she is the expert all things having to do with parenting and it is her quest to share her abundant knowledge.

HAG finds herself moved to walk up to complete strangers and dole out both advice and criticism that would make any normal person cringe. Since I am not a normal person, we were both thrown out of the library.

But I digress.

When we got to the library today, Big A scampered over to the elevator so he could do his favorite thing...push the "UP" button. As I gave him a boost to do so...a woman came up behind me and said "Excuse me, but you really shouldn't let him do that."

"What?" I said, confused.

She sighed exasperatedly and pointed to the elevator. "He shouldn't be pushing that button" she said sternly.

At this point Big A slid down from his perch on my knees and snuck behind my leg, peering out with the top part of his face. He must have smelled the crazy because that's something he only does when our neighbor, Mrs. Blumpsky, walks her 5 cats past the house while accusing our garbage cans of "spying" under her breath.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because you're not teaching him the right way" she said with a raised eyebrow. "You shouldn't let him push the button."

In the back of my mind I thought I had heard this button-pushing debate on Lost.

"Umm...well, good to know," I said and Big A and I hopped on the elevator. To our chagrin, HAG followed us on and stared at me.

"I just can't believe you would do that," she continued. "It's so dangerous."

"Okay," I snapped. "I don't know what you're talking about." I was polite, but firm.

Apparently, so was she, because she continued.

"I have three healthy beautiful children," she said, "And I would never let them ride the elevator alone."

I responded despite myself. "He's not riding the elevator alone. Do you see me? I'm right here." See? Polite but firm.

"Well, if you teach him how to push the button" (were we REALLY back on that again?) he'll be able to get on and ride the elevator on his own." She peered down her nose at me. "And I'm sorry to tell you but that is not good parenting."

Can you believe she said that to me? No, you probably can't. Because it was unbelievable.

"Lady!" I snarled as I got out on the children's floor, which she did as well. Of course. "I don't let my child ride the elevator alone. He's 17 months old. He's never out of my sight. He can't even reach the button on his own!" Now I was raving like a lunatic about this button. Her crazy was obviously contagious.

But unbelievably, as these type of people often do, HAG persisted.

"Don't you care about your child getting lost?" she said.

"Lost in an elevator? NO." I said.

"Well," she sniffed at me..."to each, their own."

"Indeed!" I sputtered back as Big A pulled me over to the tiny library fish tank. "Don't worry," I yelled over to her, "I'm not going to let him jump in without a life jacket."

"I was just giving you a friendly little piece of advice," HAG yelled back. "Clearly, you have issues. Not me!"

It was at this point the librarian asked us both to lower our tones or "perhaps come back later, when you can use your quiet voices."

"WE'RE going to back down to the reference floor" I announced. "I feel it's never too early to teach my son about the dynamics of antisocial behavior. And we're taking the stairs!"

I stomped away, Big A in tow, as HAG shot me a snotty, superior dirty look.

God, I wish I still had that donut.


  1. Seriously, I might have asked if she were employed by the library as the "elevator woman" or I would have continued her comment about her "3 healthy beautiful children" and asked if they were in counseling at the present moment for their mother induced neurosis?!! Or you could've have been really crazy and wide eyed and over exuberantly said.. "OMG, thank you for all of your concern, for taking time out of your obviously busy day to worry about not only your 3 children but everyone elses"... or something.. actually- I probably would've have inappropriately told her to go F herself on her elevator ride down, in front of all the other mothers and their children... Would anyone blame me? I am sure it was a test some how...really, where do they make people like this?

  2. I KNOW, GILLY! It was INSANE! This really was the blog that wrote itself! THANK YOU, as always, for your witty commentary!

  3. Wow that is all I have to say.

  4. What a PIG (Psycho Instruction Giver)!

  5. I can't even with this lady! Do you understand that what this mom is saying is that she blindfolds her children whenever she brings them out in public so they never see anyone use the elevator button, crosswalk button, a doorknob, the stairs etc. etc.? Kids learn by watching as well as doing. These poor, poor children must just be scared balls of goo that lay on the couch waiting for mom to come over and regurgitate food into their mouths.
    Wouldn't want them to learn to use a knife and fork, someone could get stabbed or choke on their food.

  6. What a funny blog! I guess pretentious, nosey, snobs are everywhere in the world. Where does a mother of 3 exquisite children find the time in her perfect parenting life to annoy other mothers just trying to live their lives? Love the HAG and PIG initials. ;)

  7. natty--If i didn't know you and your personality I would have thought you would have made this up as such the creative writer you are...but our life expereinces obviously give us the best material!
    And I know this is for real bc I can hear your responses!
    It's amazing how righteous pple are! No grace, gratitude...obvioulsy very insecure.
    Thanks for the email reminder bc that's how I got to read about your insano expereince!! Shall I bring you baked goods to make you feel better...or better yet a dozen bostons aresnal for the next library visit?

  8. You told me you attracted the crazy and clearly it's true. I think that you need to go to the dentist, since you have some kind of crazy-homing device stuck somewhere in a tooth filling or something. Maybe you can get it removed (although then you might not have anything to write about).