I Don’t Judge Other Mothers Unless They Clip Their Toenails In Art Class

Image from babble.com

Image from babble.com

You’re not supposed to judge other moms.  I know that. I practice not judging because I don’t want them judging me when I lose my shizz in Target. Or the gym.  Or the park.  Because I’ve broken down in all three locations. Sometimes in one afternoon.

But every now and then, I judge.  I honestly can’t believe what some people do in public.  And as I reflect on the people I have judged since the beginning of this year, I am pretty sure you’d judge them too.

I’m not talking about the frazzled mother who can’t herd her children into the car from McDonald’s playland.  And I’m not talking about the dad who’s reading his email on the train while his young son flirts with a homeless person.

No, not them.  They have my love and compassion.  I stare at them, sure, but I am not thinking shaming thoughts.  If I meet their eyes, I smile a smile that I hope communicates I get it, hang in there, and tomorrow I’ll probably be in your shoes.

But there are others.

Like the mom I met at Sadie’s art class.  During the art project, most of the moms/nannies/dads were huddled over their children helping them sprinkle glitter and paint on anything other than each other.  Except for one mom. She found her way to the couch, plopped down, and proceeded to trim her toenails.  During the art class.  Snip, snip, snip went her toe nail trimmings to the floor.  She was mighty peeved that her daughter needed some help assembling her macrame lizard, because duh! She was busy grooming.  Social grooming.

Can I say one more thing about toe clipper?  It was the dead of winter (April in Chicago) so it was a production– she had to remove her Uggs and her SmartWool socks.  This wasn’t a slip-off-the-flip-flop situation.

I was super proud when one of my kids looked over and said loudly, “Mama, what’s that lady doing?”

I don’t know; I really don’t know.

And there’s the parents who were both present in gymnastics class when their little tyke (a dead ringer for Lumpy from Leave It To Beaver) proceeded to ram his head into the teacher over and over again.  Have I mentioned that the teacher was male and that Lumpy’s head was about level of Coach M’s manly bits? No? Did I mention that both parents laughed every time it happened, even though it was clear that Coach M was thoroughly unamused? Had Lumpy being hurting a child, I would have stepped in, but I don’t know the protocol for intervening when a child is racking the coach’s balls with parental consent.  I am a little sad I needed to know that protocol.

The last person I am still judging is the gentle soul I witnessed in Whole Foods. Her quest? To find the perfect apple cider vinegar.  Her method? To berate the stock boy who was scurrying all over the store to find what she was looking for.  I stared.  Yes, I did.  She was being so nasty, and he clearly wasn’t understanding what she was asking for.  I rolled out my semi-annual stink eye for her.  If you are going to be a jerk, don’t do it when your kids are in the cart observing your excellent manners.

And that’s it.  Well, that’s all I will admit to now.  Honestly, are you judging me for judging them or are you with me on this?

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54 thoughts on “I Don’t Judge Other Mothers Unless They Clip Their Toenails In Art Class

  1. The toenail thing almost made me hurl. That is absolutely disgusting and so incredibly rude. And seriously, what is wrong with the parents who let their kid headbutt someone? Ridiculous. I feel like I would have gone all passive-aggressive and made comments just a tad “too loud” about how I hoped the coach was not being injured. I totally judge when judging is called for.-Ashley

  2. I had a coworker who clipped his nails in his office. When he left the company, the IT dude who was repo-ing the electronics from his office lifted the keyboard and discovered YEARS worth of nail clippings hidden under it. Have to say it has stuck with me three years later. Whenever anyone mentions the ex-coworker’s name, it’s all I can think of. Maybe I have a judgement problem too.

  3. Oh, gosh — no one should ever clip anything in public unless getting a mani/pedi in a spa where you’re supposed to get a mani/pedi. Toenail clippings are disgusting. Blech…

  4. I’m judgy. Not proud of it, but I think your situations are clearly in the judge-without-shame because didn’t their mothers teach them any level of common decency??

  5. Nope, judge worthy moments. Seriously, how busy do you have to be to work toenail clipping into another daily activity with people present? So gross!!

  6. [ I don’t know the protocol for intervening when a child is racking the coach’s balls with parental consent.] I lost it when you said that. So freakin funny. Those parents could have at least acted like they didn’t see, or pretend the kid didn’t belong to them. Seriously. What were they thinking?

  7. Like the brilliant comments above, I’m really stuck on the toenail thing. And since everyone has covered the majority of my fury, I need to add one thing. Who wears socks with Uggs? You have gone and defeated the whole point of those furry, soft, wonderful foot creatures. That woman *shudders*

  8. I would add to your list of acceptable judging situations: people who go all road ragey with their kids in their vehicle. Setting a great example, idiots.

    • I agree. Sometimes I do a bit of an EF bomb with a little “What the F?” Not proud of that, but I’ve seen some insane ragey things go down in front of kids. NOT COOL.

  9. With, definitely with. But tell me, if you don’t clip your toenails in art class, where do you clip them? I prefer ballet class for my grooming and usually just tweeze my nose hairs in public, but now that you’ve given me this idea … hysterical post. You have the best observational skills!

  10. A public nail clipper is a new one on me. Parents not parenting in the presence of a presumed authority figure i.e. the teacher, now that I’ve seen. Makes me wonder what their home life is like. And no, I don’t judge you for judging as, I hope, I’m not judged for having similiar thoughts. What I’d really like is a beautifully hand drawn sign that I could hold up in the presence of such folks…it’d say ‘douchebag’. But tastefully of course.

  11. Okay…I am all about not judging…in fact, I just wrote a recent post about it BUT your examples are fair game!
    The toenail clipping made me disgusted and then LOL so loudly that someone in Starbucks turned around and was judging me!!

  12. I don’t even know what to think about the toenail clipping. That’s just gross. Who even comes up with the idea to take off their boots, sit on a public couch and groom their toes? Yuck!

  13. I get people like the apple cider lady at work pretty often. Except it’s paint or a broom or, here lately, flowers. Oh my gosh, do people ever take their gardening and hanging flower baskets and landscaping seriously! And yes, I judge them. I generally judge anyone who is yelling at me over NEEDING the perfect petunia but is unwilling to walk ten feet to the table overflowing with freaking petunias!

    I may have super judged the crazy woman who threw a screaming fit because I asked a coworker to help a sweet lady in her 70s load her mulch into her car instead of letting said coworker fawn all over her and leaving the sweet lady hanging. She screeched that I “just lost a sale” because my coworker was “with her” and then announced she was calling the home office on me for it. Somehow I’m sure my store will survive without her $4 sale in the logs for the day. Especially since we made a $15,000 sale to a contractor before she ever left!

  14. Holy shiz. What a moron. But made for a good post. You can’t do that kinda shit and NOT end up in a blog post.

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