The Mommy Drive-by

If you are a mother (and even if you aren’t), you’ve probably heard of the concept of the “mommy drive-by” — enduring the criticism of one’s parenting skills or techniques (usually) from a complete stranger while out in public with one’s children. While I suppose it’s possible that these happen to men, I think the guy code generally forbids it.

Today, I experienced a mommy drive-by of sorts. I brought The Tot and The Girl to the Discount Village Outlet down the block from our pediatrician’s office. His mother was on her cell phone the whole time. The Tot, The Girl, and I were all in the same aisle. The Tot was hanging out *in* the rack and another little boy about The Tot’s age/size came over and wanted to play with him. This was not a big deal, except the mom was on the phone (and swearing) in the next aisle over, and the kid grabbed The Tot by the neck. They were both in the rack, with the little boy hanging off his neck. The mom came over and told him no, then started to extricate him from the rack (with one hand holding the phone to her ear the whole time), but it was difficult. I silently came over and pulled The Tot out, but to do so I had to remove the other child’s arm from around his neck. I didn’t say anything to the mom or the other little boy while I did it, I just pulled him out of the rack. The mom immediately chastised me for touching her kid, with expletives and everything. She said something about how she didn’t have to touch my child to get her child off of him (I don’t see how she could avoid it.) Then she returned to the other aisle and started swearing about me on the phone (“I’m going to kick some bleeping bleep!”) to her friend.

I have a terrible head cold, so shortly after this incident, I bailed on my treasure hunt and went home.

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