I hate being that mom—the one whose kid destroys other people’s peaceful day with his tantrums or exuberance. I’m the mom who will dutifully grab an arm and bark a threat when I feel like my kid is out of line.
But sometimes I won’t. Sometimes you just aren’t entitled to peace and quiet. Because there are times when you’re in my safe space, and you’re assuming the risk of my kid being really damn annoying. Here are seven times we moms shouldn’t have to apologize for our annoying kid:
1. At an animated movie shown before 7 p.m. I get it—you movie aficionados appreciate the art of the animated movie. You enjoy the brilliance of Pixar technology, the innovations in cinematography. Well, guess what? You’re at a kid’s movie during the day. You know there are gonna be hoards of kids there, and kids don’t like to be quiet. So when my daughter’s got another damn question about Lord Business and wants to dance in her seat to “Everything Is Awesome,” turn your stink eye the other way, ‘cause I’m gonna let her do her thing. You can buy tickets to the late show.
2. On a flight to Florida, the Bahamas or Mexico on the first day of school break. Yeah, that’s my toddler crying and my preschooler throwing a shit fit about sitting in the aisle seat. Too damn bad. It’s not a vacation for me either, so suck it.
3. In a suburban supermarket during the day. The supermarket is my second home. As much as I’d like to enjoy my shopping experience solo, that’s just not a reality. So when my kid has a conniption fit because I won’t buy the mega-pack of Big Bird juice, don’t even look at me. You knew what you were getting into. There’s a nice Whole Foods in the city for you.
4. In a restaurant with a kids menu before 7 p.m. Yeah, that’s my kid crying because his fries touched something green and bitching because I won’t let him eat with one hand while his other one plays Subway Surfers. If they give out crayons with the menu, you’re not entitled to a quiet meal. Hit the steakhouse down the road.
5. In a children’s clothing store. How nice that you’re here to buy a gift for your lovely niece. My kid doesn’t give a crap. He’s gonna play hide-and-seek through the clothing racks and do pull-ups at the counter while simultaneously knocking things over and crying for everything in sight. If you don’t like it, order online.
6. In a park that has a playground. That’s so great that you came with your book to relax in the sun or packed a picnic for you and your boyfriend. But you see that big dirty slide with all the swings and the nonsense that kids spin around on until they vomit? Yeah, see all that stuff 50 feet away from you? That means my kid and her friends will be running and screaming and throwing down. So take your pretty blanket and find a new place to relax.
7. In a toy store or Chuck E. Cheese’s. I don’t even know why you’re here. Just go home.
Sadly, I’ve learned that in the real world, these safe spaces don’t exist, and other people usually aren’t willing to give my kid carte blanche to be a douche. So to keep the peace for everyone, I promise to never sit back doing absolutely nothing while my kid raises hell.