Monday, December 10, 2012

Baltimorons: Parent of the Year, Nominee #1

So I get on the bus to head home from work, and of course, it's crowded. A woman who got on the bus at the same stop I did sat down in the last available seat, next to a young mother with a toddler son sitting on her lap, playing with his mom's cell phone. Soon after the bus pulled off from my stop, however, the mother took the phone from the child to make a call. If you've ever witnessed a little one having something taken from them that they really wanted (and cell phones seem to be as addictive to children as to adults), you know what happened next: an epic tantrum. The little darling proceeded to go completely apeshit, screaming and kicking and flailing like there was there was no tomorrow. But then, he took it to an extra special level: he turned towards the lady who had just sat down and hauled off and hit her. The mother, who had to have seen this, did and said nothing. The woman who got hit just sort of smiled and let it go.

The little darling, emboldened by these responses, decided that if no one was going to stop him, then he was going to keep taking his anger out on this stranger sitting next to him. And so he did, repeatedly. And the lady continued to quietly take it, the mother continued to talk on the phone and ignore what was going on, and everyone else witnessing the scene grew more and more frustrated. We couldn't figure out who we were madder at: the mother for letting her child hit this stranger, or stranger for not doing anything about it. Was she that patient and saintly a woman? Was she too tired or too scared to say something to the mother? DO SOMETHING!

Then, after this kid apparently got tired of whacking on someone who had nothing to do with him not being able to play with his mother's phone, decided he would take things out on the guilty party. He turned and popped his mother right in the face. "Let me call you right back," the mother said, and then she proceeded to whip the crap out of her child. "You don't hit your mother! Don't you ever hit your mother!" she screamed as she beat his ass. Okay, I'm all for a child not hitting his mother, but why in the hell should he be able to whale on a total stranger? "Don't hit me, but if you hit the nice lady sitting next to you, I won't say anything"...

After the kid calmed down from his beating, he sat quietly in his mother's lap - for about 15 seconds - and then turned and started hitting the lady again. And again his mother said and did nothing; she had resumed her phone conversation and couldn't be bothered. This continued all the way until the lady got to her stop. The next lady who sat down and immediately shot the kid and his mother a look that said "I wish a muthafucka would..."  And you know what, the kid didn't even try to raise his hand again. That kid's momma might have been a fool, but I guess she wasn't "raising" one...

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