I was smacked in the face last night with the harsh reality that even in today's day and age where children have been snatched when their parents have turned their backs for a few minutes, that I am a bad mother. Isn't it obvious? I nitpick, I complain and I do my best to instill manners, respect and discipline into my children.
After we went to visit the Husband's Aunt Pat, who was given just months to live after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, on top of a great many other things, we took the kids, their aunt and a cousin to dinner at our local diner. We visit this diner quite often. My kids were a wreck - there's no denying that. They had just spent over an hour rough-housing with Aunt Pat's grandson, Junior, who is just a little older than Dino Boy. The house was hot and I figured as long as no one was crying, we were all in good shape for a little visit. Of course, no one wanted to leave because they were having such a good time but - dinner calls. I was hungry. And hot. And exhausted after a trying day at work.
Anyhoo - after we received our dinners - Dino Boy decides that he needs to go to the bathroom. The husband and he had just returned from the men's room. I had already taken Twinkletoes to the ladies room. So, because DinoBoy indicates he needs to go #2 - I go with him. He wants to go in the men's room but I'm not going in there to wipe his behind. (Yes, I still wipe his behind - keeps me in practice for the diapers that are coming in April.) I yank him out of the door of the men's room and place him in the ladies room, telling him that an adult cannot utilize a bathroom of the opposite sex (now how many times have I been at a concert, nightclub or bar and after seeing the line at the ladies room, opted for the men's room instead???) but because he is still young (and well mannered most of the time in public) we wait for a stall in the ladies room. While we are in the stall, I'm conveniently peeking out of the door - and there is a grandmotherly type woman with whom we'd conversed before entering the stall talking to the woman who had just emerged from the stall. The emergent woman's voice was muffled, but I could hear the grandmotherly type saying that her daughter still takes her 6 year old grandson into the ladies room. Uh oh. Trouble. The emergent woman is still in the bathroom waiting for a teenage girl she is with (her niece, I think I heard her say) to come out of the stall. While DinoBoy is washing his hands - he still can't reach the soap dispenser in this bathroom - she tells me that he is too old to be in the ladies room. I just looked at her, stunned that she is speaking to me, and continued to help my son. After her niece is finished drying her hands, its DinoBoy's turn to use the dryer, which is still running. She says it again. I just looked at her and said "okay". I am just pissed and stunned that she is still talking to me. Then she said that "his father really should be taking him into the men's room because she doesn't appreciate a boy in the ladies room". HELLO - Whatever. In the meantime, the dryer turns off. Dino Boy looks at me, his hands still dripping, ready to leave because this woman is starting trouble. I walked him over to the hand dryer, right past her. WHY IS SHE STILL IN THE BATHROOM ANYWAY??? We turned the dryer back on and made sure that every drop of water had evaporated from his hands. How did she know that I was with my husband? How did she know there was a father? What gives her the right to tell me what to do? I could definitely understand her point if my kid was looking under the stalls or if there were no stalls at all and she needed to utilize a public toilet for all to see -- but that wasn't the case. There are clearly two stalls. My kid was with me at all times. At no time during our 5 minutes in the bathroom was he disrespectful. At no time did he cause anyone harm.
I guess it just comes down to the fact that I'm a bad mother. I help my kid out. The only bad part about it is, I couldn't think of a dang thing to say to her while she was telling me what to do. I need to work on this skill so that I'm not up all night pissed about a situation that I didn't handle properly. Or up first thing in the morning complaining about it all over again.