Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Well-Meaning Neighbor....

Mind your own business!!

Friday night before the holiday Stitch and I were walking home, and my Well Meaning Neighbor caught up with us. We chatted briefly about the holiday and I casually mentioned that I had to run home and grab the skate bag, so we could hit Public Skate.

"Wow, Stitch skates a lot," says Well-Meaning Neighbor. "Does he like to skate that often?"

Do you hear the subtext here? It gets louder in his next response.

"Yes," I reply. "He's often asking if and when there is public skate. We typically hit all of them on weekends."

"Wow," says Well-Meaning Neighbor. "Stitch, do you ever get a break?"

Stitch mumbles something.

"Do you want a break, Stitch?"

Stitch mumbles something else.

Did you catch that? Well-Meaning Neighbor has made the implication that you are making him skate too much!! Stitch's less than enthusiastic reply has affirmed his suspicions. What Well-Meaning Neighbor didn't hear was Stitch's earlier question, "Is there public skate today? Can we go? Yay!"

My immediate reaction is to reply to this is perhaps he's making his daughter hang out at the stupid bookstore without buying anything too much, or perhaps they need to question why it is whenever she's at my place, she's glued to the TV watching some pre-teen magicky pseudo drama. They don't own a TV. Yeah. They're those parents. But I didn't. I politely responded that yes, Stitch does like to skate as often as he can. (I'm doing my best down here, Southern Grandmas, but darned if I don't want to have words with these people sometimes!)

I don't question other people's parenting, it's too much of a minefield. So why is it that just about everyone I talk to about the skating will give me a look and subtly imply that I'm forcing this on Stitch. I'm not.  Stitch asks to skate. Further, if Stitch's endless communications of spinning in my kitchen, hopping all over the sidewalk and asking, "Think I can do this on the ice?!", talking about wanting a fan club, and sleeping with his trophy are saying that he wants to progress in skating, then this is what I need to do. Don't bug me about it! I wouldn't deprive him of a chance to excel any more than I would deprive him of his Nestle Quick.

I don't question other people's ridiculous parenting methods, and here in Gilded Suburbia there are all types. I would never call you weird to your face for not owning a TV. I would never laugh and offer sweet Muffy Pixie Sticks after you boast that she thinks Brussel Sprouts are candy. I don't make too much of a face when it slips that your kid plays four hours of vidya games a day.  I won't giggle about your notions that a field trip to LegoLand is a vile consumerist marketing ploy, not until I get into my car. I will politely smile in gentle pity as your son lands a punch to your shoulder while you attempt to lace his shoes. I don't bug you about your uber-paranoid delusions about vaccinations. I don't turn up my nose at your super-organic goji berry yogurt brittle. I will bite my tongue and say nothing as you order me to paint two soccer balls on your kid's face because "he's gonna be a big famous soccer player one day and make us all rich!" (Yes, this actually happened. Kid was four.) I don't bug you about your parenting, don't bug me about mine!


  1. Sometimes in tot class I draw a cupcake on the ice every time someone falls. Asked why I do that I reply "because cupcakes are more fun than falling." One day little Starshine Flower Buddha says to me "we don't eat cupcakes they have sugar in them." "Hey every one!" I said, "Starshine can't have cupcakes even when they're for pretend. More fantasy cupcakes for everyone else!"

    The mom was not amused, for some reason.

  2. God, I just want to give her a Baby Bottle Pop on the sly...