Jude is majorly outgoing, one of the few qualities that differentiates him from being my perfect miniature clone. He is constantly jazzed to go out into the world and chat up new people, which is quite an adjustment for someone who would rather stay in the house forever and never speak to anyone (that would be me) (the person who loves twitter).
Jude's friendly nature has forced me to improve my pretending-I-like-stranger skills, which has been a good lesson in self improvement and also because it turns out that "staying at home" is something of a misnomer. Life with
someone three is infinitely more tolerable when you go out and do lots
of things. The trouble is that a huge number of the other parents we meet seem to be puckered pickled assholes.
You would not believe the number of times last week alone I got
the lazer beam death glare for Jude happily chirping, "Mom, can that
kid be my friend? Hi, do you want to play?" Here's a clue: it's a lot, a lot of times, a heaping truckload of sad, kid-shaming times.
How dare my child speak to their precious darling, or how dare we get
in the way of their stroller-clique's favorite walking path.
I'm happy to give strangers the benefit of the doubt for their
sometimes specious behavior, but when they point at Jude and tell their kids, "Ew get away
from there," or poke my kid and call him "stupid peanut head" I don't believe they're just
having a bad day anymore, and there are only so many undisguised eyerolls I can take before you get lumped into the asshole bin.
Luckily not every mom/dad we've met is a jerk. We do meet nice
people occasionally, who have equally nice, normal children. I know that other nice parents
exist so each public encounter with friendly people just serves to highlight the painful cavernous
disparity between normal behavior and getting the cold-shoulder at the park from a heaping pile of winkies. Why you gotta be like that, so many winkies?! The universe needs to pull up its pants.
The rate at which I have encountered angry, standoffish,
rude, miserable humans has vastly outpaced the rate at which I've spoken
amiably to other parents for 35 seconds before our children run in opposite directions. A huge number of moms and dads appear to be miserable jerks, both to strangers
and occasionally to their own offspring, suggesting that they are oblivious to basic politeness and completely disinterested in passing that learned skill on to the next generation of budding assholes.
How did this pervasive attitude come to be?
Where do people learn to act like this? Are they not aware that they look like giant assholes? And why on earth would they want
to model that behavior for their kids? Look, I hate awkwardly making small talk with other kid's parents as much as anyone, but it doesn't take that much effort to shut up, stand nearby, and smile while your kid practices not being as huge a dick as you are.
1.) A given percentage of the human population are assholes. (That's asshole math.)
2.) A lot of assholes have children.
3.) ...Who will probably grow up to be assholes.
4.) All of this is 100% preventable, if you just act like a normal human being and not a self-absorbed twat-waffle.