The other day I was up the street with my 4yo son. I had my arms full of groceries and was holding his hand. I needed to get across the road to my car, so I chose to cross where I was rather than walking 25mt to the pedestrian crossing (I know, I know, bad mother). So I waited for the cars to stop and hurried across the road, dragging 4yo along.
Then I heard a woman yelling at me from in the car I’d just walked behind. Something along the lines of “Use the crossing!” She was mad, shake her head at me and clearly enraged at the terrible crime I’d just committed. Now, I feel the exact same way as this lady did when I see people crossing the road with their children and not using the crossing. I just don’t say anything because I know that hey, sometimes I’m imperfect like that too.
The lady pulled into a park two parks down from me and, since my defences had gone up, I was incredibly mad at her, wondering how dare she judge me. But as I’m trying to work on my patience and tolerance of other people I thought hard about what I could do instead of hurling abuse back at her, and calling her a child when she poked her tongue out at me (oh yes she did!).
So what did I do? I went across the road and bought some daffodils. I wrote a note that went something along the lines of:
Thank you so much for the concern you showed my son when I chose not to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing. I too feel that anger at other irresponsible parents who choose not to use a crossing while walking with their children. The fact that my hands were full was no excuse to not make the extra 50 metre walk to the crossing, over the road, then back to my car, rather than the 10 meters across.
However, I’d appreciate it if you did not judge me at my momentary lapse of judgement. I’m sure you, too have made mistakes and I strongly doubt that you are a perfect mother. If you are, I suggest you teach classes, since there really are not many of us.
In the meantime, please accept these flowers as a token of my appreciation, although maybe next time you might want to refrain from poking your tongue out when you’re trying to make a point. You lost a little credibility when you did that.
I was so proud of myself for coming up with this idea. I would still be expressing my emotions (much healthier than repressing them) and doing so in a positive manner. But, my awesomeness wasn’t to be recognised, as by the time I emerged from the supermarket, flowers and note in hand, I saw the woman piling her daughter back into the car and leaving.
What a shame I wasn’t able to give that lady my note. Oh well. I did end up with a beautiful bunch of daffodils! 🙂
How about you? What’s your way of dealing with awful or judgemental people?