I meddled

At the stupid, annoying big box store I was at yesterday looking for fishing line and ceiling hooks, a mother and son were strolling the aisle with me. The boy was maybe four, maybe five. He said to his mum, “I have to go pee”, and she started railing on him.

“Why didn’t you do that when we were just there?” she cried. “That’s why we went to the bathroom!”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Well, you should have gone when were were there.”

“Yeah,” he said.

A couple of minutes later (I’m comparing the line weight of two different spools):

“Can we go to the bathroom now?” the little boy says.

“You should have done that when we went to the bathroom before,” the mum says, looking over some tackle boxes.

“Yeah.”

A few minutes later. I’ve chosen my fishing line, and I’m distracted by shiny lures. They work on more than just pickerel, folks. I glance over, and the little boy is crossing his legs, holding his crotch and doing that crouchy thing that means pee is imminent. I say “he’s going to pee his pants.” I *think* I have said it inside my head.

He’s clearly desperate for a bathroom. He’s saying “PLEASE can we go to the bathroom now?”

His mum says, “Yes, we’ll go in a minute.”

I was horrified. I walked up to the woman and said, “I don’t think you have a minute. He’s about to wet his pants. You should go right now.”

I know I meddled. I know it was none of my business. But for Christ’s sake. I know how that would have played out. She’d have stood there with some goddamned trinket in her hand, and her little boy would have wet himself, and then she would have yelled at him and berated him and said ‘why didn’t you hold it?’ And he was young enough that he wouldn’t have said “I DID hold it. For a REALLY long time!” And I don’t know anything about this family, but I assumed she’d fed him pop (which always makes you have to go often and lots), by the look of his teeth.

Now, I’m certainly not the best parent on the planet. I lose my temper an awful lot. And I let my kids fight with each other until someone gets hurt. And sometimes, I let them play computer games *all day*. But let me tell you this: when one of my kids says “I have to go to the bathroom”, I drop what I’m doing and get them to the loo, because there’s no worse feeling than having to go when you’re in public.

So maybe I was out of line there, but honestly, I don’t care. That woman was being a bitch.

  5 comments for “I meddled

  1. Parmeisan
    2 February 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Did she get mad at you for it?(Methinks it was worth it.)

  2. Big Score
    2 February 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Good for you. I’m glad you aren’t the type of parent who takes their kids to the bathroom and then expects them to go. Just once. For the whole day. And then never have to go again, like little robots.Parents like that CLEARLY don’t remember what it was like to be little kids. Sheesh.

  3. Silent Winged Coyote
    2 February 2010 at 1:25 pm

    See and this is one of those things about language that I like/dislike.You say you meddled. I say you were a responsible adult by speaking up when a child was suffering. You did what was needed to prevent that same child from being humiliated and embarassed if he did pee himself.Meddling is a word that is used by people to justify their own exclusionary behavior by shifting the guilt they may feel for their behavior onto the individual who is attempting to create positive change.How was that for a long winded sentence saying ‘You did the right thing Ceno, good on ya.’ :)

  4. cenobyte
    2 February 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Parmeisan: No, she didn’t. Well, she didn’t get all snooty with me. Actually, she might have. I was so horrified, I didn’t notice.The next time I saw them, I was in line, and the little boy was *much* happier. The mum sniffed and hauled him out of our line to get in another line.

  5. brielle128
    2 February 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Sweetheart? There is an old saying that fits. “It takes a village to raise a child”And a better one:“And an even larger country to teach how to parent.”Good for you. I am afraid if it were me, I would not had the same restraint.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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