When it’s your child that people are rolling their eyes at

April 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 6 Comments
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I experienced something new today as a parent – and it wasn’t a nice feeling. That feeling of the burning eyes of other mothers glaring at you, secretly saying ‘that woman’s child is a total pain’ to themselves.

It’s a feeling we’ve all had about someone’s child if we’re totally honest.  Come on – the one at the soft play centre who is throwing balls really hard at other children and won’t stop. The one in the cafe who keeps kicking the seats. The one at the park who won’t let anyone else on the swing.

This morning it was my turn to experience what it’s like to be that kid’s parent. We went to Barefoot Books, a fantastic book shop in Oxford which puts on story time, craft activities and singing and dancing.

Initially he didn’t want to do the singing and dancing but we dragged him in knowing full well that as soon as he sat down he’d want to join in. And join in he did – he sat right next to the lovely teacher – so close he was pretty much on her lap.

He then spent the next 45 minutes interrupting her, talking the loudest, vying to answer every question she asked first and pulling faces that if I’m really honest, grated on me too.

And I only made it worse. I spent the entire time whispering very loudly to him to sit down, give the teacher space, let someone else speak, stop interrupting and calm down.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to quash his enthusiasm and I’d far rather he was hyper than really shy and clung to me – but there was a middle ground where he fell and it was a very happy, comfortable place.

Up until very recently he was chatty, sociable and polite. Today he was testing. I could feel the other parents looking at me. Some with pity, others with a look of ‘thank god you not me’.

If I’m 100% frank, I was glad when it was over.

We retreated downstairs for  face painting, however my trauma was set to continue. He was practically on the face painters chair hanging over her shoulder while she tried to paint someone else’s face. When it came to his turn, the face painter had to ask him numerous times to stop talking so she could do him up as Spider-man – which aptly, by the end of the day looked more like the devil.


If you’ve experienced anything like this, do tell me – PLEASE! And share your wise words of encouragement and advice. Before I put him on Gumtree with all of my beloved clothes that are too small.


p.s. I put ‘problem child’ as a tag which sounds a bit harsh, but it sprang to mind far too readily to be excluded.



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  1. I have always been this mother, however, I want my boys to be able to express themselves and I have given up worrying. Better they whinge and point at me and mine than some other person who can not deal with it. I was told that it was down to the fact that my children are confident and feel secure. So this is what I keep in mind. .

    • I think you’ve found a good balance, will take a leaf out of your book – I especially like the feeling that he feels secure. Like I said I’d rather he was confident and I would be a awful mother if I took him out of situations where he was over acting. Tempting as it was yesterday!!!

  2. My daughter is only two so it’s a little different, but she is always the one that doesn’t listen and seems to run amok. Like the comment above, I’ve been told she’s just very confident. It was suggested that I remind her of her manners rather than instructing her to do things, so ‘remember it’s nice to share with your friends’ rather than ‘don’t snatch!’ and accept that it won’t always work. It often does works but I have found her to be much harder to ‘control’ since her baby brother came along. Could this be a factor for Bear too? I do believe that he’ll calm down and become the chatty, sociable and polite little boy you know and love again. I frequently tell myself ‘this is normal behaviour for this age’ to get through the day. Keep your chin up 🙂

    • It’s definitely been more obvious since Sully arrived that’s a good point – maybe it’s an attention thing and he’s just trying to be noticed more so. We shall see!!

  3. I have experienced this many times. I realized it was more important to let my daughter know how I felt when we got home, and many times I would leave if she was out of hand and talk to her in private. Better than driving myself and my daughter crazy by staying. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. 🙂

    • Love that saying not heard it before!

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