Saturday, January 5, 2008

Would you like some black socks with your order?

We had a home school 4H meeting yesterday at McDonald's. You get a bunch of home schooled children together in a small closed in area, and you'd better be prepared for the unexpected.

I'm not a big fan of McDonald's. Can you say germalestivitivitis? (I know that's not a word, I just wanted to make one up) Or GERMS! I try to avoid it and have recently used it only as a reward for the boys. It's some nasty stuff. Not to mention the play area. Have you really ever noticed this area? The kids start off with white socks and end up with black ones. I usually just throw them away after they are done playing. Call me a snob!

But you always have the kids who wear shoes up the play area because mommy doesn't want them to get their socks dirty. Or you have those moms that let their kids go barefoot. UB was on shoe patrol duty yesterday and made sure to tell me that those kids were not obeying the rules.

While waiting for the group to get there, I was observing some other moms. Not home school. One had three little ones under 3, we'll call her mom #1. The other had a set of twin boys that were 3, we'll call her mom #2.

Mom #1 had that strong, deep, aggressive voice. The kind of voice that scares the patooty out of you. She never got out of her seat, just yelled at the kids from her bench. When I say yell, I mean yell. I'm sure the Wal-Mart located behind McDonald's heard her.

Mom #2 had that same voice, but she had an added weapon, she snapped her fingers. She snapped them so loud that I was impressed with that. I wanted to go into the bathroom and practice my snapping. This lady snapped at everything. Here is a scene.

Setting: Only four other kids playing. Mom #1 yelling over every little thing. Mom #2 walks in with Happy Meals
Mom #2: 'snap' sit your butts down 'snap'
kid #1: I have to go potty
Mom #2: 'snap' you know where it is, hurry up 'snap'
kid #2: I have to go to
Mom#2: "sit your butt down. One at a time in the bathroom.'snap' sit!
kid #1: (returning from bathroom with pants undone
Mom #2: 'snap' stand right here 'snap' (buttons pants on)
kid #1: (trying to get away and go play)
Mom #2 'snap' I said sit! 'snap' you can play after you eat 'snap'
kid #2 (returns from bathroom with pants undone
Mom #2 'snap' stand right here 'snap' (buttons pants on) 'snap' sit
kids are looking at other kids playing
mom #2: 'snap' eat!
kids finish nuggets, try to get up and go play
mom #2: 'snap' you have to eat everything before you go play 'snap'
(OK, because fried foods are very nutritious)

But by the time 'snap' the 'snap' kids 'snap' finished eating 'snap', (sorry I can't help it, I'm getting good at snapping by now), all the other home schooled kids get there and it's like an invasion. She 'snaps' one last time and tells them to get out because they are leaving 'snap'.

I started to ask my self, Is that what I sound like (minus the snapping) when I am abrupt to my kids? When I'm not happy and want the whole world to know? It definitely was an eye opener. And what about mom #1? Do I yell at my kids when I'm too lazy to get out of the seat? I had time to think about these things and how my actions affected not only me, but my kids as well.

If you ever want to feel better about your parenting skills, just go to McDonald's and sit and observe. And then just smile and nod!!!!

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