Dear Sanctimonious, Judgemental Mom,
I hope you had a nice ride uptown yesterday morning. I know that I did, and I’m quite sure that my daughter did, too. And do you know what made the ride so nice? That for the sixteen blocks from my son’s school to my daughter’s school – maybe 10 minutes – my daughter and I did not have to talk to one another or really even acknowledge one another. It was like we lived in the suburbs and she was buckled into her car seat while I drove, listening to NPR. Only we were on a crowded Tuesday morning bus.
I am sorry that your son (or daughter, I couldn’t tell w/ that long, stupid hair) was more interested in the shape game my daughter was playing on my iphone than the giant hard-cover book you pulled out of your bag. (Though I’ll note that my daughter initially wanted to listen in on your story until you turned it so she couldn’t see it. I have to believe that was an accident.)
I don’t owe you an explanation, but I’m generally an over-sharer, so let me justify: though my daughter looks like she’s five, she’s actually three (we’re big people), and for some reason, we all rose at 5:34am today so everybody at our house was particularly tired; everyone – dog included – had already thrown his or her version of a tantrum before 7am, and though I didn’t know it then, by noon pick-up, my daughter had a raging fever, so she wasn’t feeling great. We were on the last leg of our kids-to-school journey and, believe me, I did the whole bus a favor by handing over my phone.
Anyhoo, she played her game, without sound, for those 10 minutes, and we both got a chance to re-set for the final slog to school. So please save the “parenting for public” – you know what I mean, when you said to your child in a tone for the entire bus, “Please pay attention to this book. We are not going to resort to that every morning on our way to school.” (Though I liked the way you gestured toward my daughter and the phone by lifting your eyebrows and angling your head in our direction. Careful with that, though – don’t want any unnecessary wrinkles!)
I remember when I was a bettter parent than everybody, too, WAY before I ever had kids. And I know that despite our best intentions, we all judge and think we make better or worse choices than everybody else. (Remember my mention of your kid’s long, stupid hair?) But like they say, we don’t know the shoes other people are walking in, so we should all shut the hell up and keep our foreheads smooth.
Let’s save our disdain for that guy who was giving his 2-year old a ginger ale on the bus. I bet we can all agree that sugary drinks on the bus before 9am are a mistake, especially ones without caffeine. Though again, maybe they overslept and had raced to the bus and that ginger ale happened to be in his bag and was the kid’s first sustenance that day. See? We just don’t know.
Looking forward to seeing you again, riding the MTA,