I heard the World’s Worst Mother interact with her small children today at Marshall’s. I could hear crying from halfway across the store and I responded with my usual thought: better her than me. Crying kids really don’t bother me too much when they aren’t my crying kid.
But when I strolled closer to the children’s clothing section, I couldn’t help but overhear this bratty mother and her bratty children in full concert. And it was really bad.
“NO! I am not buying that!”
“Waaaaaah! But you promised we could buy something this time!”
“I did not! Now put it back!”
“You’re a liar!”
“Don’t you dare call me a liar!”
“Owwww, you’re hurting my arm!”
“Stop it! Stop it!”
“But, mom, you said we could get something.”
“I said no!”
“You never spend your freaking money on what I want!”
“Don’t you dare talk to me like that! Do you understand!?”
“Yes, I understand. But you’re a liar.”
That’s just a small sample. It was worse than I can express.
The kids talked back to her, sassing personified. The mother screamed at the kids, ineffective screaming with no results and no reinforcement. The kids cried. They ran off. She ran after them, grabbed them. At one point, I looked up and caught her looking at me and then she hissed loudly, “EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT US! STOP CRYING!”
The kids were probably four, five, six, seven. Something like that. I think there were three of them, but there could have been four. I was really trying to ignore them.
I shuddered to think what that household is like–between the children who did not listen and who did not respect the mother and the mother who had no idea how to control her children and who twisted their arms in public, I imagine it’s a hellhole. I mean, if they behave like that in public, what are they like in private?
I always wonder if I have any responsibility in a situation like that. And then I decide to mind my own business, lest things get worse. Children like that wouldn’t listen to me and the mother certainly wouldn’t appreciate my interference. But what a sad, sad situation.