5 Things I Was Never Going To Let My Kids Do in Public

by Suzanne Fleet
Originally Published: 
A little boy hanging on a tire while having a big smile on his face

Back when I was engaged and preparing to move, I had a giant garage sale. Friends came over to “help” but really to drink Bloody Marys and hang out.

In the late morning, a lady showed up with her kid who I’m guessing was about five or six. She proceeded to take her own sweet time browsing through all my merchandise whilst ignoring her son completely.

Said kid was pretty hard to ignore, seeing as how within a few seconds, he’d found a foghorn I had for sale and was running around like he’d recently consumed three gallons of Go-Go Juice blowing the hell outta that sucker nonstop.

My friend and I jumped every time he blew the horn, our cortisone levels shooting sky-high, but it seemed like his mom wasn’t even hearing it. In fact, she was conversing with us right over the horn as if she was at a Sunday morning jazz brunch.

I was aghast.

If I’d had the nerve, I’d probably have said this to her: “Hey lady, get your kid under control or leave. I don’t need the $1.25 for those salt and pepper shakers in your hand as much as I need to hold on to some shred of my sanity.”

But If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I’d say something more like this: “Hey lady, would you like a Bloody Mary?”

In honor of that dead-behind-the-eyes mother and in honor of all the times I’ve been out in public with my children also looking like the lights are on but nobody’s home, I present to you Things I Was Never Going To Let My Kids Do in Public That I Totally Do.

Because I’m tired, y’all. So, so tired.

1. Go to restaurants in their pajamas. Be in restaurants after their bedtime. And sometimes run around restaurants bothering the other patrons. Basically, just abuse the hell out of restaurants. Sorry, waiters. I know you see us coming and cringe. I promise to leave you a big tip.

2. Pee on trees in public parks. I know, I know. Bathrooms are so much more civilized. But sometimes there are no bathrooms in parks. And by the time my kid needs to pee, he has to go RIGHT NOW. I should note this is a particularly nice bonus of having boy kids. For me. But for you? Don’t touch the trees in public parks.

3. Play with all the toys in Target while blocking the aisle and making incredibly loud car/robot/crashing or exploding noises while you’re trying to think about what you came here for in the first place. Sorry. Can I recommend the pharmacy section?

4. Walk around with a dirty face. Or a dirty butt. Do you know how often a 5-year-old boy gets something on his face? Statistics show it’s at least every 6.5 seconds. And changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom is hard. And often much nastier than just enduring the other half of the grocery store with the smell of big brown wafting up your nose until you can get home. I know you smell it too. I think that guy over there farted.

5. Get in a tussle with your kid. No, I won’t let him hurt your kid. But if he’s not pushing, shoving, hitting or biting, then sometimes I think it’s better to let them work it out. They need to develop those skills, right?

I admit it. I’m the mom you roll your eyes at in public places.

But don’t judge me. Offer me a drink if you’ve got one. Trust me. I need it more than you do.

Related post: The 10 Dumbest Things I’ve Said to My Toddlers

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