Sunday, June 27, 2010

"The Look" Decoded

In my post about our attempt at gymnastics class yesterday, I talked briefly about "the look" that other parents give you when your child acts out in public. The look that basically says, "My child would never act in that way." Well, while we were out and about today Peanut had a few freak outs and as I looked around I saw several distinct "looks" from several distinct groups of people that I would like to decode now.

1. The look from the two college aged girls in the mall says (think Paris Hiltonesque accent) "Oh my God! Look at that kid! Thank God we don't have kids. There is no way I am having kids till I'm like 35 and even then they will never have temper tantrums in public."

2. The look from the elderly couple at the next table in the restaurant says (think grizzled old man accent) "In my day when a child had a temper tantrum in public all we had to do was give them a good, hard public spanking that way they will learn their lesson. Parents these days. Thank God we are done raising kids."

3. The look from the mother with the two teenagers walking down the sidewalk says "Oh I've been there although I would never really admit it to anyone. Thank God my kids are out of that phase. Now they just silently hate me."

4. The look from the wealthy couple laying on beach chairs by the pool says "Look at those parents. Our kids never act like that in public. Or maybe they do. I'll have to ask Katie when we get home. Thank God for nannies."

I'm sure there are many more but these are just the few looks that I have managed to decode going through my day today. If you can think of any more looks, please leave me a comment.

The bottom line is this: babies cry, toddlers have tantrums, and older kids misbehave in public. And I can say from experience that 95% of the parents involved in caring for them are doing the best they can. We don't want to disrupt your shopping, dining experience, or relaxation time. But sometimes kids freak out.

One other thing: at any stage in our lives we have all stared at a screaming baby or toddler in a restaurant and without even knowing it, silently judged the parents of that child for their behavior. I know I have, especially before I had kids. But maybe the next time we catch ourselves doing it, we should turn our look into a smile and give the parents the look that says "Hey, we've all been there."


  1. I give the "look" too when I see that, but I try to make sure my look is "Been there done that and I know how it feels...hang in there!" My 4 kids are almost all double digits, and I would give anything to have those temper tantrums again.

  2. So funny! And true. I think you've covered the basic ones :) I know I use to look at my little niece and nephew a few years ago when they started freaking out in public and would always think to myself that witnessing those moments was all the birth control I needed.

  3. I totally agree. I always try to either give the 'look' of encouragement or say something that will make the parents feel a bit better. It's so hard when you are in that situation...I've been there on a 5 hour long flight to Hawaii...and red-eye mind you....Parents need to be understanding, but are not...I like Linda's standpoint...sometimesparents of 'grown up' kiddos are the worst...Thanks Linda for being so kind.

    I came across your blog through Tuesday Tag Along, and I love it!!!

    I am newbie to the blog experience too. It's kinda a tough crowd, huh??? he he he...I will def be following you, and hope you'll stop by and follow back!!!

    Congrats on your new little one!!!