23 Feb 2011

Overheard: Momma Bear Gone Rabid

I don't dislike kids, but I can admit that I'm not really a child-drawn person. My friends' kids are all cool, but the average baby or kid I pass on the street? I'm sure they're lovely, but I'm not really interested. Just as I'm not going to run over to an adult I don't know and start chatting with them, I'm not going to bend over and start making idiotic sing-songy noises at your kid. I don't even particularly notice them, to be honest. It's nothing personal.

Similarly, I'm not going to crap myself when a random child is in my presence at a restaurant, on an airplane, or hogging up valuable aisle space with his or her stroller. They have the right to be there just as I do. It's not a big deal. I imagine a lot of people feel the same way.

It seems that this live-and-let-live mentality isn't good enough for some delusional parents. I always wonder if these people were always self-absorbed assholes or if it's a special trait that develops only after watching a placenta slime out of your body (I'll admit it, that would change me too. Probably into a vegetarian). Here's a lovely encounter I witnessed at Winners today that demonstrates parenthood-gone-batshit.

A few aisles away there was a woman looking at something on the shelf. I hadn't particularly noticed her as I was also being sucked into vapid consumerism, specifically, a piece of fitness equipment that I'll surely stop using next week.

Suddenly, I hear someone loudly speaking in baby-talk. 

"What a mean, mean wady."

I glance up and there's now a second woman standing in the other aisle. I can see that this second woman has a stroller. For some reason, I notice that this thing has two cup holders, both of which are holding Venti-sized coffees from Starbucks. Grade-A Mom Fuel.

A part of me worries that I'm the mean wady, er, lady, they're talking about, even though I was 100% minding my own business. Let's be clear, I don't automatically presume I'm the focus of anyone's attention. After all, Toronto and its Bluetoothed Bay Streeters and crazy people (who are sometimes interchangeable) have quickly and embarrassingly taught me that even when it's just myself and another person in a room, they're not always talking to or about me. The cringe-worthy specifics of how I learned those lessons are for another day's blog post.

It turns out that the other woman doesn't know the mom either. Or if she's being talked about. She glances around at first too and then turns to the woman with the stroller.

"Pardon?" she says.

"That was really rude," the mom barks. She then looks down to whoever is in the stroller and switches to baby talk. "Wasn't dat tewibwee wude, Emma?"

Oooh! Drama alert! With both confrontation and passive aggression! I pretend to really care about a package in front of me.

"Excuse me? What was rude?" the non-mom says.

Oh, boy. It's a rare thing when a Canadian doesn't just automatically apologize for something, even when he or she has no idea what they've done. This was just like watching TV. American TV!

"Um, it was pretty clear that my daughter was interested in that box you picked up. Did you take that just to be mean to a little girl?" She again turns to her kid and in a child's voice says, "Dat was so mean!"

Ugh. But anyway ...

The daughter is obscured from my vantage point, so I have no idea how old she is. For what it's worth, I didn't hear a child's voice (besides the baby-talking mom) leading up to this. I try to casually position myself a little differently to get a better picture of it all (I know, I'm horrible). I still can't see the kid (the woman is blocking her), but I can now see what item is being fought over. The non-mom is holding a hair straightener. There are at least six others on the shelf. Seriously?

"You're kidding me, right?" the woman says. "First of all, I didn't even notice your daughter ..."

Apparently, that's not the sort of thing one should admit to a drunk-on-child mom. If a sense of indignation was a commodity, we had just hit pay dirt with this woman.

"How could you not notice a precious little girl?" yelped the mother. "She's right beside you!" She turns again to her daughter, "Yes, you are so precious, so, so precious.Only mean people don't notice you."

This conversation has officially gone Def Con Crazy.

The mom snaps back up and glares at the woman, "I can't stand bullies."

Bullies? Bullies? This all seems like a weird misunderstanding, being blown way, way out of proportion.

"Wow. You know what? You're fucking insane. I feel sorry for your daughter," says the woman, who slams down the hair straightener and leaves.


The mom stands there, her jaw dropped. I get tingles of sympathy for her until I finally catch a glimpse of her daughter. I have to hold back the urge to scream, "WHAT?!?!"

The child is probably no more than nine-months old. Hardly an age that is communicative enough that the rest of us should be obviously tuned into her needs and desires. The child's near baldness also makes it rather insane that it's a hair straightener that caused all this commotion - but that's not what was so ridiculous about this all.

The kid was asleep.


Image Source: Dealcetera


zchamu 3:59 pm, February 23, 2011  

Heh. I don't think that woman's idiocy had anything to do with being a parent. She's just a grade-a douchebag.

Jen 5:38 pm, February 23, 2011  

Oh I only hope I could witness something like this someday! Really? Really?!?!!!! Some people are truly incredible.

Rebeka 5:39 pm, February 23, 2011  

I share much of your opinion about babies, and many of your opinions about Life in Downtown Toronto, and I am coming to love your blog more and more. Thank you for sharing this so skillfully!

K2 5:44 pm, February 23, 2011  

Giggle. I would have LOVED to witness that. Too funny. If it had happened to me, I probably would have been too dumbfounded to respond at all. And I AM a mom, but not one of THOSE moms!

As I told my Husband on Saturday, "Leave Crazy alone." You are best off just walking away.

Jenne 6:21 pm, February 23, 2011  

*raises eyebrow* What, was her purse dog on vacation or something?

Being someone's mother really has nothing to do with that kind of passive aggressive baloney. The kid was just a prop.

Alison 6:24 pm, February 23, 2011  

brilliant!!! hahahahah

Marsha,  7:15 pm, February 23, 2011  

Are you sure that was a real baby? That woman sounds crazy enough to be hauling around one of those really lifelike dolls and then going whack-a-doodle when someone didn't notice her precious was REAL!

Anonymous,  2:16 am, February 24, 2011  

Thank-you so much. You made my day with that story. Happens alot here in Australia too...

Mad Mums with Small People Complexs... drives me nuts.

Di Smith 3:22 pm, February 24, 2011  

Oh, Jen. How you do make my day with your observations, opinions and better-than-reality-TV-life. LOVE the non-mom's response. I would have hard time not cheering out loud like a teenage bimbo for that one.

Meghan,  5:51 pm, February 24, 2011  

Haha, a pox on all people who use their pets or children as buffers to express their own feelings-sooooo annoying. Kudos to that lady for calling the mom out on being 'fucking insane', but curse you Jen for having made me say the baby talk words out loud so I could figure out what they were! I'd love it if you commented more on why you don't have a thing for children, sometimes I feel like I am the only one. We broads have to stick together!

Chantal 8:08 pm, February 24, 2011  

I am a mother and even that struck me as insane, oh and you can be a child/baby person and still not have the erge to walk upto a strangers child and start talking baby talk to them, how creepy for the child, I am one, I love children and Babies but don't go out of my way to do that. but still very funny.

Meg @ write meg! 1:49 pm, February 25, 2011  

There are no words. What a crackpot!

Jen 4:53 pm, February 25, 2011  

Thanks for commenting, all.

Yeah, none of my friends who had kids turned totally manic and self-involved post-child, which I'm guessing has more to do with the fact that I'm not friends with people who are manic and self-involved to begin with.

But crazy in the name of parenthood truly is a fantastic kind of crazy to witness.

doctor T 11:07 pm, March 01, 2011  

Barf. And that is why I don't like most other moms.

Anonymous,  3:58 pm, March 06, 2011  

Oh wow, this is ah-mazing. That woman was definitely, fucking insane. My guess is she was a jerk to begin with.

Unknown 4:17 pm, March 06, 2011  

It boggles the mind... But I'm dying laughing over here picturing the insanity of the slavering mother. Cheers!

Maggie,  8:46 pm, May 05, 2011  

Marsha beat me to it - I was totally going to call "not a real baby but a doll" on that kind of crazy.

ARM 9:32 pm, May 05, 2011  

Love it. I also live in Toronto and deal with crazies in the Winners. My BF thinks they should change the name of the store to "I saw it first, B*tch" and so now that's what I call it.

Anonymous,  9:39 pm, May 05, 2011  

Hi - traveled over here from STFU Parents, and that is incredibly amusing. I too hope that I will be able to be involved in something like this someday.

Shouldn't she have pinched her baby awake so that it would a. look like it 'wanted that box' and b. looked like it was sad that the mean, mean wady TOOK her box?


Coco 12:31 am, May 06, 2011  

Wow. WOW. I just... have... no words. (and that's a first)

velocibadgergirl 12:41 am, May 06, 2011  

Holy shit! I'm glad the "bully" called the mother out for being fucking insane.

Anonymous,  1:32 am, May 06, 2011  

My gawd.
I have a few friends who have gone baby crazy like that. Your baby is cute, get over it. I don't want my facebook littered with poopy diaper pictures or throw up or whatever other disguising bodily function your child can do.
I'm sure when I have kids this will bite me in the ass.

But still, there's no way that woman is sane. And I do feel for her child. She's ruining the future generation. I bet that child is going to grow up to be an even bigger self-loving twat than her mom.

Anonymous,  12:46 pm, May 06, 2011  

I love it. I just wish assholes in my town were so transparent.

Unknown 2:12 pm, May 06, 2011  

Followed a link left by B on STFU Parents.

Wow, that bitch was crazy; I reckon that she's only going to get more so, as little Cznoflayke grows up.

I tend to ignore small children who talk to me randomly. Not cuz I'm a nasty mean bitch, but cuz I have Aspergers and I find socialising difficult. It's much easier to ignore a small child, rather than respond and then have to *oh horrors!* have a conversation with them.

However, if some mombie went Mama Bear (mombiespeak for "crazy bitch") on me, I'd retaliate, more than likely teaching little Cznoflayke a few words she's never heard before.

Anonymous,  6:40 pm, May 06, 2011  

Wow... call me old fashioned but... my kids five and the only extra coddling he gets is when blood is involved... other than that, he's only required to act his age... five. If there are people at the store who he tries to talk to who look annoyed by him bothering them, I tell him that the person is trying to shop for their own stuff and he should leave them alone! lol. If they were in my house being rude, that would be different, but at the store?

Anonymous,  9:24 pm, May 06, 2011  

Just found you - totally agree! These people are mental....

brandy,  12:06 am, May 07, 2011  

Came over from STFUparents. I'm in T.O too and I know there is a crazy woman who has a fake baby downtown. I'm really, really hoping it was not a real baby! Although I look forward to reading that childs tell all in about 20 years.

Ali,  9:17 am, May 07, 2011  

I just wrote this on your 50s Housewife Experiment blog post, but had to say it again: you are such a good story teller! I love your sense of humor and how you describe things. So glad I found this blog from STFU Parents!

IcedTeaWithLemon 1:30 pm, May 07, 2011  

Marvelous blog! Marvelous story! Makes me want to move to Toronto so I can experience the essence! Ahhhh!

PS: I'm an interloper from STFUP, too!

Unknown 11:54 am, May 08, 2011  

What!!! No pictures??

Great story Jen.


Katie 5:32 pm, May 09, 2011  

I'm so happy I decided to end my work day with a visit to STFUP and came across your blog. Absolutely hilarious!!!!!

EarleyDaysYet 11:31 pm, May 17, 2011  

300 points for "Cznoflayke". And yes, I'm also an a-baby person (like "apolitical" - not pro or con, just not really interested). Why would I rush across a store or an office to make annoying baby noises at random children? When my sister was pregnant, she spent 5 months back-pedalling with one hand outstretched, saying, "actually, I'd prefer it if you didn't touch my belly, complete stranger I've never seen before". I mean... seriously? It would NEVER occur to me to go up to some random pregnant lady and PET her. Gack.

Unknown 8:44 am, May 21, 2011  

lol. I always worry that I am one of those moms that people are talking about, but I am not that crazy!

Mommy Rotten 7:10 pm, July 07, 2011  

this was totally and thoroughly delicious.

Emily,  9:27 am, September 30, 2011  

That was fantastic! As a nanny, I can see how totally insane moms can be about their kids. This simply took the cake!

Nicole,  9:04 pm, October 27, 2014  

So even though this post is way old - I just linked to it from STFU parents and burst out my coffee laughing out loud at work. Honestly ... WTF? This did not actually happen. But somehow I know that it did.

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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