For Shame

Today I was shamed in public for my parenting skills, or rather lack thereof.

Esmé and I went to meet up a friend of mine and her daughter for dinner. We decided to eat at a place called Guasaca, which is similar to Chipotle, just a different style of food. Very kid-friendly and a back patio area where you can sit outside.

We got there just before my friend and her daughter did, so we got our food and waited while they worked their way through the line. Esmé was suuuuper excited to see her friend Charlotte, but was even more excited when she saw an older boy swinging on the line-dividing-bar-thing. This she had to try for herself.

She has had several opportunities to hang from uneven bars in her Little Gym classes, but today was the day that she decided she could do it on her own. I was so proud of her. She was swinging (barely) back and forth, but her feet were off the ground!

I think she got so proud of herself she let out a shriek of joy. A couple people laughed and smiled, and I said sorry to the people in front of her, and reminded her that we save our shrieks for when we’re outside. I asked if she wanted to go outside and she said no, and carried on playing.

She shrieked once more, not nearly as loud, and as I bent down to speak to her a loud voice behind me interrupted:

‘Ma’am? MA’AM??? Could you PLEASE CONTROL YOUR CHILD???! There are OTHER PEOPLE here TRYING TO EAT.’

The restaurant went quiet.

My face got hot (and I’m sure red), my arms went numb, my heart started racing, and my hands were shaking.

My wonderful friend stuck up for me saying ‘ Sir this is a family restaurant and if you’re trying to have a meeting or something, you picked the wrong place.’

But I was tongue-tied. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say because I couldn’t believe someone would actually say something like that out loud.

I took my daughter by the hand and went to sit outside, which was where we were going to go anyway, and managed to keep it together until I got home.

The whole way home, I kept beating myself up for not standing up for myself.

I should have smacked him.

I should have called him an old, crabby, insensitive sh*thead who doesn’t deserve the air my daughter sneezed into.

I should have given him the finger as I walked out the door.

But after I got home, put Esmé to bed, did a lot of crying, called some mama friends for support, drank some wine, and did some reflection I realized some things:

1. As good as it would have felt, I would have been no better than him if I had hit/called him names/ flipped him off. Also not the best example to set for my daughter, and the other children in the restaurant.

2. Shame on him. Who the hell are you to tell me how to parent my child?! She was happy. She wasn’t throwing a tantrum. The people closest to her when she was playing did not even notice she was there, yet you critize me from across the room?? Wtf.

3. Shame on me. How dare you let some complete idiot, stranger make you second guess yourself. I can’t believe you started wondering if you were at fault in this situation.

4. I believe that happy little girls should be able to express themselves so they don’t grow up to be suppressed, subservient, obedient little women who don’t know how to respond to asshole old men that critique their parenting skills.

 

 

This entry was posted in Life.

An Igloo Adventure

When I heard that we were going to get to have lunch in an igloo for our trip to Switzerland, I was pretty excited. That’s like a bucket list thing to do, right?? The husband was more excited about the fact that it was in Davos, which is apparently where all the movers and shakers of the world get together once a year, and going snowboarding, but not me.

Years ago, when Seal proposed to Heidi Klum in an igloo, I thought how cool is that?! Ever since then, I have had it in my mind that visiting an igloo would be this life-changing, amazing experience. Basically I could not wait.

The igloo village was in the Alps, at the top near the ski lodge. I had visions of walking up to the igloo village and strolling around with Esmé in hand. They were promptly shattered almost as soon as we got to the ski lodge, and saw what we were dealing with.

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In the photo above, (which I got from their website) you see what appear to be flat-ish snow hills in the middle of the picture? That’s the igloo village. And those tiny dots that are next to them? Those are people. Skiers to be exact. Skiers who are skiing past on the ski slope to be super exact.

My sister-in-law, Rene, and I stood in the exact same spot as this photographer, atop this hill, wondering how the hell we were supposed to get down there without actually skiing. We had a toddler. We could not ski. Therefore it seemed impossible that we were going to get to check this thing off my bucket list.

We decided to call it off after someone skied over to us, and pointed out that standing on a ski slope without skis is very dangerous, and we should move. So we trudged back up the small bit of hill we had hiked down, back into the lodge to come up with a plan.

First we tried calling the the restaurant in the igloo, where nobody answered. We had no choice but to call our better halves, who were out skiing and snowboarding, to let them know that we couldn’t go. They were just finishing their run anyway, so were headed back to meet up with us.

While we stood in the hall waiting for them, an employee (who spoke excellent English!!) happened to walk past. He took Rene outside and showed her exactly where we needed to walk to get to the igloo village. By the time she returned, husband and his sister were back, so we were back in the game, and ready for our adventure!

Essentially we had to start up at the top of the hill where you see in the picture, but we went in a wider, more roundabout way. (Note: it was not necessarily an easier route, it was just people-without-skiis/snowboard friendly.) We had to walk on part of the ski run, twice actually, and there was a monster hill we had to walk down to get there, but we made it!

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Was it every bit as amazing as I thought it would be?

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Heck yes!! Esmé, as you can see, was not the biggest fan, but I was blown away. The walls literally sparkled. Each room had it’s own artwork carved into the walls. In the picture above, we were sitting on one of the beds that they have for guests who stay overnight.

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The room numbers for the bedrooms were carved ice, lit up at the back so it glowed bright blue.

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As for lunch? You just can’t go wrong with a melted pot of cheese, bread, and wine. It was absolute heaven. At least until little E decided she had had enough. We trudged back across the ski slope to the monster hill, screaming toddler in tow, and began the hectic hike back up to the lodge.

About halfway up the hill, the Swiss Aunties and I noticed that it got very quiet all of a sudden. We turned around to see that Papa had shifted his hold on the little monkey and she had passed out in his arms. Ha! So from then on Emile and I took turns carrying her, like you would carry a baby (only she’s not a baby, she’s a 27 lb toddler)…

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allllllll the way back up to the lodge. You can see me in the photo above, literally grinning and bearing it, as my arms were about to fall off. I don’t know how Heidi and Seal got to/ from their igloo, but I feel like it was probably a lot less schlepping.

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It’s funny because all of us on the way to the igloo and on the way back from the igloo were saying, ‘No way. This is not worth the effort.’ But now looking back on it? I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The almost getting run over by skiers and snowboarders, the hiking up and down steep, slippery, snowy slopes whilst holding a toddler, the carrying a passed out munchky until I collapsed on the cafeteria bench, it was all worth the adventure that we got to have together as a family.