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bad parenting

When I close my eyes it feels like my eyeballs are going to “flame on” and burn a hole through my eyelids.

Oh the joy of running a fever.

It would seem that my unfortunate favorite pastime of licking the shopping cart handles at my local Wal-Mart has caught up to me and yet again, I’m sick.

This time I managed to escape without my typical strep throat, but I’m still stuck with a nasty sinus infection coupled with tonsillitis and a cough that could wake the dead.   According to the doc I’m in for 17-20 days of this fun, but he took pity on me and gave me some cough syrup with the good drugs in it, so at least I get to be in a coma for a solid 50% of it.

Luckily, trips to the doctor (ie our friendly neighborhood urgent care clinic) always result is some excellent stories, so you my readers are in luck.

People watching at the doctor’s office is pretty much some of the best people watching around.  Yesterday was no exception.

As I was filling out my paperwork, a woman about my age entered with six (count them SIX) children ranging in ages from two to eight.  That’s a lot of back to back procreation my friends.  The two eldest needed to get their physicals for school.  She and her brood sat down so that she could fill out paperwork and for the next 10 minutes I witnessed what could only be described as the seventh circle of hell.

Was it the seventh?  Is that the one where screaming waterfighting minions take over?  Maybe that’s the fourth.  No matter…

Her six children ran screaming through the waiting room.  They discovered the drinking fountain, and proceeded to have a water fight.  They climbed on chairs and counters, then jumped off exclaiming that they could fly.  Their mother didn’t even look up, or bat an eye.

I cowered in the corner for fear they might start breathing fire or announce their plans to take over the world.

At this point, one of the nurses came out and told the kids they could not behave that way.  She explained to the parent, and her children, that jumping off the furniture was dangerous and could cause accidents, and that having water all over the floor in a medical facility was a real hazard.  The nurse then proceeded to get paper towels from the bathroom to clean up the mess, all while keeping a watchful eye on the children.

Only when she finally walked away did the mother finally speak up.

What pearls of wisdom did she have for her children?  How did she use this moment to teach them the appropriate way to behave?

She hollered at them, “Ya’ll are so BAD!  I hate all of you!  I can’t take you anywhere.  They always ask me to leave because of you.  Is that FAIR?  IS IT?”

Her children were quiet for a solid 10 seconds before they started their antics again and she went back to ignoring them.

I was more grateful than I can even describe that I had my headphones with me.  While children make me crazy, in this particular instance, it was the mother I wanted to throttle.

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