Mom regrets being too shocked to tell the woman to go f**k herself
People regularly give side-eye and unsolicited opinions when they see a child they deem to “old” for something like a pacifier. But rarely do you see the sort of next-level mom-shaming that happened to Corissa Rieschieck. She writes about an experience on her blog that will blow your mind. Not only did a stranger feel like it was her place to comment on her two-year-old son’s pacifier — she actually took it out of his mouth.
Corissa was experiencing a moment we all have: the mid-shopping meltdown. She was with her son at a Woolworth’s and had gotten barely any shopping done when he decided he wanted to go back to the car. She diverted his attention with whatever mom tricks she has in her arsenal, and managed to make it through her shopping by distracting him. In fact, he was so well-behaved she made the common mom mistake of letting him entertain himself on one of those quarter car machines as she left the store.
(Aside: Screw whoever invented those demon ride-on devices. Screw whoever invented quarter plastic-choking-hazard-toy machines, too.)
Back to Corissa. “I made the (rookie) mistake of allowing him onto the car as we left the supermarket. All was well, until I decided he had played long enough and it was time to head home,” she explains. “Dragging the once more kicking and screaming gremlin from the car and into the trolley, I pulled out my trusty accessory and with his dummy firmly in place, the crying ceased and we began making our way towards the exit of the complex.”
She placed his pacifier in his mouth to calm him down, because that’s why those freaking things exist. To help us out when we need them.
It was then that a stranger approached her and did the unthinkable:
“Out of nowhere, an older woman approached us. She reached out, promptly plucking the dummy out of the gremlin’s unsuspecting mouth while scolding me about how he doesn’t need it and I shouldn’t be so bad a parent as to give it to him. Stunned silence (from both the gremlin and I) met this proclamation, though I suspect he was more stunned that a stranger had come near him and his precious dummy was suddenly gone than by anything that had been said. Before I had so much as attempted to gather myself to respond, the woman walked off with his dummy in hand!”
She walked off with this pacifier. Oh, HELL no.
She then had the nerve to circle back and bitch some more, at which point Corissa grabbed the pacifier and stuck it back in her child’s mouth. “To be perfectly honest, this thought makes me cringe now for I surely should have disinfected it first, but it was very satisfying to see her face as I did so,” she writes.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how many grandchildren you have, or how much experience you think you need to bestow on another mother. It’s bad enough to give unsolicited opinions about someone’s parenting, but touching another person’s child and flat-out taking their stuff? Get back on the crazy-train, lady. You’re not needed here.
“What bothers me most of all is that the absolute shock of that situation stunned me into silence. What bothers me is that a complete stranger actually had the nerve to get so close to my son as to take something from him without any care for getting my permission,” Corissa explains. “I pride myself on using my voice, on standing up for myself when I feel I need to do so, and this sudden silence, this sudden loss of agency, had me furious.”
Don’t feel bad, mom. How can you prepare yourself for such an out-of-left-field moment of ridiculousness? You can’t. It’s impossible. You froze. That’s an appropriate response to shock. And this was some pretty shocking behavior.
“That anger at myself for not responding, for being so shocked by the situation that I didn’t tell that woman to go fuck herself still sits inside me to this day, months later,” she writes.
We hear you.