Sunday, June 8, 2008

Those who have incurred my wrath

Updated to add that I was unaware of Mrs. Flinger's Brutally Honest Monday's when I wrote this.

I need for you to be brutally honest with me today. I'm going to tell you of two interactions with people who raised my ire. You tell me if a) I was justified in my reactions; b) I am a complete and utter social moron who should never be allowed in public again; or c) somewhere in the middle. Tell it like it is now. I'll only cry for a bit and I can't count on anyone else to be true.

Interaction 1:

Because of the isolated area we live in, my husband is convinced that we will get robbed if we don't get another home security system (aka "a big dog"). I reluctantly concur that he may have a point. We are the only house in our subdivision that hasn't been broken into, largely due, we think, to Maximus . The husband had this in mind when he made an appointment to look at some puppies at a nearby farm.

We arrived and spent about half an hour playing with the puppies and checking out the parents. Chatting with the gentleman revealed him to a registered nurse, his wife an elementary school teacher. Near the end of the visit, said wife arrived with their adorable two year old daughter. She was pregnant with their second.

While we're chatting, the little one decides to take off her shoes to feel the grass on her feet. Her mother told her to put them back on. When she didn't, the mother explained that she could get something in her foot and that this was her warning. The little one ignored her, as little ones are wont to do. With no indication that anything was amiss, the mother snatched the little girl up hard enough to snap her head back, whipped her around and hit her bottom, HARD.

I was gobsmacked. I really didn't think the behavior warranted such a forceful punishment. I closed my mouth, turned around and offered the gentleman my hand. I thanked him for his time and told him that we wouldn't be giving him a deposit on a puppy today. As this was a complete change of heart from two seconds ago, he was understandably taken aback. In answer to his questions, I told him I wasn't interested in an animal that had probably been abused. He was offended that I insinuated that he'd mistreat his animals. I said, "Good grief, man! Your wife just hit a baby, I can only imagine how the animals are treated."

He rightly pointed out that it's none of my concern how he raises his kid. I agreed that of course it's not, but when it's indicative of how the animal that I'm about to bring into my home, around my kid, has been treated, it becomes my business.

I took my leave in a huff. My husband was lagging behind, most likely mortified. I yelled back "don't you dare apologize for me!" because I just know that's what he was doing. I don't feel I was out of line. I made no judgement on the mother. She may have been having a bad day, we all do. But the fact remains that if you're willing to hit a baby, you probably won't hesitate to kick the dog.

So now, poppets, tell me. Complete and inappropriate over reaction? Justified concern? Could you possibly care less?

Tomorrow....interaction #2!!


Anonymous said...

Option #A - All the way! Good for you!

moo said...

I hate people.

Still ... I have two different opinions about this.

#1) That strict form of discipline will probably make that a VERY well behaved child

#2) That reaction was inappropiate to the misbehavior and that parent needs some lessons in felxibility and patience

Twisting Ivy said...

I wish my balls were as big as yours. lol!!

I think you had a completely justified concern there. =)

Sizzle said...

I believe hitting a child just leads that child to fear, not respect. I would have had a similar reaction though I'm not sure I would have told them why as to avoid the interaction. It's actually great that you did tell them even if it won't change their behavior (Sadly). I agree with you- hit a kid, kick a puppy- all stems from the same place.

I'm sad for that child.

Ree said...

You done right. Only my opinion, to be sure, and maybe they'll learn not to slap their child in front of others (did you say she was a teacher? and he's a nurse?) - even if they never learn not to slap, period.

Kate said...

Sometimes I wish I was as brave as you. I just can't get the words to come out of my mouth and I worked with kids for a long, long time. It makes me want to cry.

Vanessa said...

I think the mother went too far. If she is not afraid to show that much force in front of strangers, imagine how she is behind closed doors. I think you made the right decision. This animal will be with you a long long time and behavior/fear problems from the beginning don't start things off on the right foot. Hitting doesn't teach respect, it teaches fear.