Monday, March 5, 2018

The Kid I'd Like To Smack

Don't get me wrong! Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not believe in the abuse of children. They shouldn't be beaten. But every now and then, one of them might need an attention-getter. Just a signal to cease and desist the tomfoolery. When mere words don't do the job.

I dashed in Save A Lot for some Caesar Dressing yesterday. While I was there, I also picked up some broccoli, and a couple of frozen McRib-looking sandwiches that Farmer H has taken a liking to. Just a few items. I wasn't in the store long. But long enough to have my nerves shredded with a cheesegrater. Okay. It wasn't an actual cheesegrater. Not one of those silver rectangular-cylindrical contraptions with holes and slots of varying size, with a handle on top, that leaves your cheese in a nice pile in the middle. Not one of those flat graters that always slip halfway through your grating session, and send the paper plate of grated cheddar spraying across the counter.

No, I might better describe my sudden-onset affliction as having my sense of hearing assaulted by the incessant jabbering of a young girl. My patience tried. Tried, and convicted, and sentenced to ten minutes of incarceration in a discount grocery store with a hardened abysmal chatterbox.

Shortly after I entered the store, a woman came in towing four kids. She was probably late 30s or early 40s. With three girls around 7-8 years old, and boy a couple years younger. I don't know if they were cousins or friends, but I heard one refer to the woman as Grandma, and I think another called her Mom. Anyhoo...they managed to be right behind me, no matter which aisle I chose, until the end, when they ended up checking out ahead of me. One checker.

I got in line anyway. The Kid I'd Like To Smack (TKILTS) was behind the cart, playing around with stuff shelved around the checkout for impulse buys. She wasn't out of control. Just annoying. Picking stuff up, looking, putting it back. Commenting on it to her friend/relative. And when a box of PEEPS (the chick kind, not my favorite, they were out of the bunnies, I checked) was put onto the conveyor, she squealed, "OH! PEEPS! I LOOOOVE THEM! I'M GONNA EAT ME SOME PEEPS!"

Okay. So she has a zest for life, that TKILTS. The grandma/mom was very good with those kids. She didn't let them run wild. She didn't raise her voice with them. She calmly corrected them. But TKILTS was too exuberant for me. I didn't want to hurt her. Not even her feelings. I just wanted to smack her. And say, "Straighten the not-heaven up! You're annoying people!"

Is that so wrong? I'm pretty sure I'd be arrested for such an act. I would never actually do it. But that doesn't stop me from WANTING to do it. Times are different these days.

I remember when I was in college, student teaching at a local high school, giving an archery lesson to a co-ed class of freshmen. My supervising teacher from the college was there that day. A tall, no-nonsense woman who had previously coached the field hockey team. As we walked out of the gym to get to the archery field, one young man was cutting up. Nothing big. Just seeing how far he could push it. Dr. Doll-Hair (that's what we called her behind her tall back, because of her bowl-cut hair that did not move, ever) walked up beside him. She put her hand on his shoulder as they strode along. She leaned down a bit, sideways, to comment softly in his ear.

Next thing you know, I heard that freshman boy exclaim shrilly, with the voice of an adolescent which has not fully deepened to adult timbre, "OW! YOU'RE HURTING ME!"

And do you know what my supervising teacher, Dr. Doll-Hair said?

"I know."

Cool as a cucumber, never loosening her claw-like grip on his shoulder, showing him that she meant business. That kid was a model student for the rest of the six weeks that I was student teaching.

Some kids are more high-maintenance than others. Don't I know THAT, after raising Genius.


River said...

Most of the time an over exuberant kid doesn't bother me, but catch me on a bad mood day, when things out of my control have been going wrong, I'd want to keep to the far end of the supermarket where I couldn't hear her/him.
A cranky/grizzly/whiny child winding up for a tantrum? I quit shopping and checkout. The store is close enough that I can go back later for the rest.

Sioux Roslawski said...

That DDH was a character. She did what so many teachers yearn to do. There's a reason why I buy pants and skirts with deep pockets...

Hillbilly Mom said...

I couldn't seem to get away from them! Wherever I went, here they came. She wasn't really being BAD. She was just being a kid, one who probably needed more attention than she was getting, with those 4 kids to share it among. I don't have near the patience I used to. Which was precious little, even then!

I think Dr. Doll-Hair had reached a point in her life where she gave no EFFS. And I'm not talking about a grade.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I love her!! I can totally relate, having raised the child you refer to. My youngest daughter would start up conversations with anyone, anywhere, even those with strong "stay away vibes". It was a given that taking her along on a trip to the store would make somebody's life miserable. Others found her to be enchanting. I was mostly humiliated and known to give a really painful pinch.

Hillbilly Mom said...

She was SO subtle. Or sneaky! More of a slow, vice-like squeeze than your patented painful pinch.