Today the family and I went to the NYC Transit Museum. I had never been before, though it was my wife and son’s second visit. For the most part we had a great time looking at old fashioned buses and trains, and learning about all that went into digging the subway system. The museum has a popular lifelike modified city bus on display that the kids can pretend to drive. Of course both children and adults find this particular exhibit kind of interesting. In fact one kid found it so interesting that he hovered around the bus for about two hours. He was always “on line” even when he wasn’t and his mother was always a passenger, not budging from her seat.
When it was finally Devin’s turn (he’s impatient so he would walk away and lose his place forcing us to start over about 11 times) the hoverer was of course there; he acted shocked as my son took his turn. The hoverer’s mother noticed and told her son to politely inform my boy that it was his turn. The kid was about ten to my boy’s four, so we figured he would see that he was wrong and wait for his one thousandth turn. My wife and I opted to ignore most of the interaction because we knew we had been patient and assumed the mother was crazy.
And apparently she was.
After her kid shied away from actually asking my Devin to move she had the audacity to “politely” ask my four year old to move and wait his turn. Needless to say my wife and I got into a heated debate with her. We pointed out that our son had not had a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and that her son had hogged the exhibit all afternoon. Had this not been the case I would have gladly negotiated a withdrawal. I’m not going to go as far as to say that race played a role, however it is an interesting coincidence that she would pull herself out of the seat she was stuck to for the duration of the afternoon to ask the only black boy in the entire museum to get up. Trust me, a lot of other kids hopped into that faux driver’s seat as her boy hovered.
For that the lady from the transit museum should consider herself Black [Dad] Listed.
And with her I am putting all parents on the list that think its OK to give negative direction to other people’s kids without going to the parents first. I am a firm believer that kids at play can work out most issues on their own, but when they can’t a single biased parent cannot be judge, jury, and executioner.
Some mom like that was trying to stop the kids from giving each other hugs at a music show last night.
Seriously, I have no idea how these people made it to adulthood without combusting.
That’s annoying. I hate when people try to correct my kid (not that yours was in the wrong in this case).
It always happens in stores, where some salesperson thinks they need to tell my kid what not to do. Yeah, thanks, I can raise my kid without your help.
Okay…so here is my take on this…there are a lot of parents that don’t correct their kids…and clearly see their kids doing wrong…I’m sorry but if you don’t I WILL…My daughter (the 4 year old) is very quiet and shy…so she wont say much…but I’ve seen her get pushed around alot…and when other parents don’t correct their kids then I will tell their kids to stop cutting in line or to wash their hands or whatever the offense…responsible parents do exist and comment but more and more there are more irresponsible parents then responsible parents…and then we won’t comment on the plain crazy ones! So I admit…I’m guilty for talkig and correcting other peoples kids!
The thing is–while you were only speaking up on your little one’s behalf, the other parent would probably say she was only doing the same for her son–even though the latter sounds as if he was a mite too old to be playing on a dog-gone museum bus display. Could be there were some other issues at play here (smile). Of course, you were in the right. That other parent only THINKS she was . . .
K-I blacklisted today, too! You inspired me. http://watchingthewaters.blogspot.com/2007/09/things-that-make-you-go-what-is-wrong.html
It’s a shame that in this day and age anyone would think talking to a 4 year old like that (when his parents are RIGHT there) is ok. That woman needs to be blacklisted and kicked off the bus!
Amen. I hate, hate, hate it when other people correct my kids especially if I’m right there. She should have addressed you, not telling her kid to say that to your little boy.
I’ve had several heated debates on my blog about this very subject! 🙂
I really appreciate the considered voice you use in this piece, as I have corrected other people’s children, though when the parents were obviously trying to duck out on the job by staying at the periphery of a playground, or some such thing.
I’ve done it to stop a child from hurting others or themselves.
Gentle times to you, Brother.
I’ll bet that exhibit was wonderful…I’m sure my children would love to see it. Are there old tokens on display? Can you buy any?
Gentle times and a .50 ride to you, man.
I’m glad you stuck up for you son & didn’t just walk away.
I’ve always been the first to correct my son if I see he’s doing the wrong thing before someone else has to, Too bad this woman couldn’t see fault in her boy.