Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lessons...

~My darling Mickey helping in the studio~

I was in Walmart two days ago selecting fabric for the kitties. I'm making them little tush pads. Yes, I do stuff like that. There was a little girl crying in the next isle and I just wanted to hug her because her demand was really quite simple. She just wanted to get out of the cart and look around, but her mother was cruel and said, before smacking her, "If you don't shut up I'll beat you right here." It took less than a second to get to the next isle. Those of you who know me know I would come to a childs rescue in an instant. I informed the mother that if I heard that again I'd call 911. She told me to "f*** o**." I informed her she wasn't allowed to disrespect me like she did her child because all I had to do was dial three simple numbers and she could give her sob story to a cop. She looked at me a good long time, as if to say "get out of my face." I didn't move. I want to know why a child is hit to stop him or her from crying. Like that is a logical solution. I looked at that beautiful child and knew she understood why I was there. I told the mother before leaving "You don't deserve your daughter." And I meant it. I wasn't blessed with children and often wonder why idiots are. If she speaks to her daughter like that in public, what does she do at home. It made me sick.
~
I'm writing this because on the way to the park this morning I was feeling a bit low. I'm very sore from my tripping accident yesterday. I look like crap. I feel like crap. And every hour something new hurts. I thought about what it must be like to be a battered woman or child. How it must hurt like this all the time. I'm going to trip over my cat probably once in my life and feel this way, but abused children and women deal with these sorts of bruises, cuts, aches and pains on a constant basis. My heart just broke for them. My pain will go away in a few days and be a distant, funny memory, but how many abused woman and children can say that?
~
Why am I writing this? I don't know. Perhaps because people who say they love you can often hurt you and I wonder why. Being all battered and bruised from a careless kitty accident helped me feel the pain of people who are suffering in ways I can only imagine. I'm a lucky woman. I have a good life and even if I'm left with scars from my fall, that's all I'll be left with...a big old chuck out of my forehead and a nice little reminder above my lip. I'm lucky because I don't have to deal with stupid stuff. I think about that child and hope she grows up to be a strong woman despite being abused by her mother. And yes, she is an abusive mother and yes, that is my definition of abuse. I dearly hope that before that woman hits her daughter again, she sees my face and stops.

XO Suze

P.S. I know that a number of my blogging friends with children believe in corporal punishment, but know I don't, so your take on my lovely meeting with my Walmart friend is probably different. Please feel free to express yourself. I promise not to be harsh or judgemental. This was a valuable lesson for me and I'm willing to lean more. I love learning. For instance, I learned that dirt tastes like, well...dirt!

29 comments:

just bob said...

You're a lot tougher than I am. I'd hate to meet you in a dark alley!

My mom spanked me once as a kid... and I think she cried harder than I did. Look how I turned out... I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Hope the aches and pains aren't as bad today.

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne said...

Bob,

Hi honey. No, know one ever believes that all 5'1" of me holds this much venom. My poor mother worries about me constantly. Has since I was a wee one. I've always been opinionated and have never held my tongue. Never. She told me once, "Sue, you're going to get killed." I told her "If I am, I'd like to be cremated." She didn't laugh. And trust me, I'm from a family of laughers!!! She put on her serious baseball cap and didn't budge.

I'm so glad you were only spanked once. Your mom leaned a valuable lesson. And no, it did you no harm. You have an amazing mom and you're a terrific guy. One of my most favorite guys in the whole wide world.

Unfortunately, you know sport, I'm more sore today than yesterday. I'll probably be more sore tomorrow than today. I got my ass kicked by a 10 lb kitty. Oh, and I look like crap too!

XO

kylie said...

hmmmmmmm

this post makes me think there were probably times when i behaved something like that woman.

you are right that it was abusive and you are right that there is probably more to the picture

i admire you for taking a stand, suze but if you could be less confrontational about it , that might be a good thing. if you add to the anger load of a person like that the child might cop it even more.

also, i believe that the majority of parents, even abusive ones, want the best for their kids. abuse happens when the abuser is at the end of their rope, if you stepped in and offered a hand it would stop the abuse pretty quickly but possibly also give the mum a sense that she has been seen.

i remember once when my boys were much much smaller and i had had a terrible time with them in the shops. i told them they could walk home and got in the car without them. i wasn't going to drive away but they were panicked and started running aroung the parking lot. it was sooo dangerous. i pretty soon realised that i was wrong but it sure would have looked like i was irresponsible and uncaring and abusive.

well, there you have it.....

for the record, i don't really believe in hitting kids but i have done it many times. unless you have a number of really good alternatives it often becomes the default. we need to give parents alternatives.

i could go on forever.....

cheers to you blottie

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kylie said...

hi leah,
i'm grinning here.....
what a can of worms!

as i wrote i was aware that i might be too forgiving on someone who is just plain nasty but i guess i'd rather see some compassion applied and even if the mum was indeed awful a quiet offer of help would hopefully defuse the situation

i once heard a woman in an elevator tell her daughter that she was stupid, she wasn't a little girl, maybe 11, and my heart broke with the knowledge that she most likely was already carrying a self loathing that would be with her forever

the smacking thing has always been a struggle for me but there are some things i vowed never to say

"you're stupid"
"you're useless"
"why did i have kids?"

if we can even keep stuff like that out of our speech it has to help

Suzanne said...

Well, the Voice of Reason is here and I love these comments from friends I cherish. Unfortunately I have to load the dishwasher. Something neither of you have. I'll be back in about a half hour, cuz I also have to start some laundry. Just want you to know I'm on this!!! Oh. My. God. Do I have an opinion. For some reason I see you both in a recliner being hit by a 90 mile/hr wind. Yup, I love you gals!!! Oh, just a hint. Trust me, I gave my reaction a great deal of thought because I know how mothers often need a "cooling off" period and sometimes say really stupid stuff. I've been the sort of person who approaches a mother and has said "Can I help you out?" But she wasn't a "cooling off" period sort of mom. She was just a nasty woman and not a good mom. I wanted her to know that what she was doing was absolutely NOT okay and that someone was paying attention. Trust me, she got the message. I don't think she will ever forget me. Ever. And I don't want her to. I want her to always see my face. And most importanly, I'm confident her daughter, when old enough will follow my example. I saw the way she looked at me. She's a smart little girl and she'll find her way through all that stupid muck. And yes, trust me, I thought about the little girl first. Would she have to deal with her idiot mother's wrath if I spoke up. I took my chances. You don't want to see me really, really angry. And trust me, I was really, really angry. I know I put the fear of God in that woman. And she deserved it. She will never hurt that child again without seeing my face. Trust me. And that gives me hope. And that's why I did it. No child deserves to be treated like a piece of crap. And no, I will not stand by and watch it happen. Trust me my darling Kylie. I know the difference between a frustrated mom and an abusive mom. And you know me by now, I would never let that go. Never.

This is why I love the two of you! You're smart and interesting. You always make me think. Oh and smile. Unfortunately smiling hurts today. God, I'm so damn sore!!!

Love you two, see you later. Keep chatting. Your banter is fascinating!
XO

Suzanne said...

Oh, and just so you guys know, I didn't write even a 10th of what I said!!! Trust me, she'll never forget me.

hnter1018 said...

I have spanked my kids and realized it does no good. Unfortunatly like Kylie said be careful how you approach someone. If they are at the ends of their rope you don't want the anger redirected at you. Though for me it's better at me than the kids. I have used spanking as a last resort and found it does nothing except hurt the child and make me feel like a giant PIECE O' SHIT.

I will write more later. Gotta get things done.

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne said...

Rob,

Hi honey. Spanking kids. Not my favorite theme. But you're a good man and understand it isn't a solution. Why? Because it just doesn't make sense. I do understand the loss of control and the need to spank. I do. But it doesn't make sense to me because it's not where my heart is. I think what I love about you guys is your guilt!!! An abuser feels no guilt. A good parent feels it rain down upon him or her. Huge difference. The woman I confronted was an abuser. It was so clear and so no, I didn't even hesitate. And yes, I do consider my safety, but this is my thought process: What's she going to do, shoot me in the fabric department at WalMart? Hummmmmmmm, nope, probably not. I would rather be horrible wrong and apologize profusely, than be right and do absolutely nothing. I knew by the tone of her voice I was right. You can hear a normal mom or dad at the end of their rope, you can also hear a mom or dad who is physically abusive on a constant basis. There's a difference in the inflection. Huge difference. I made it clear when I confronted her that everything is recorded on video at WalMart and if I was ever called into court I'd inialate her. And I meant it. I reminded her she had given birth to an amazing child and she didn't even appreciate her baby. I said "Have you ever listened to your daughter? She's so smart and she told you exactly what she wanted and you hit her. What gives you that right? I think you are a horrible mother and you don't deserve your daughter." I wanted to grab that baby and just run, but I'd be on CNN within minutes. I don't understand parents who treat their children like absolute garbage. I do understand parents who become frustrated. But stupid parents? Nope. Never will, never want to. I don't want to get down to that level.

Thanks you guys for your comments. They're wonderfully informative. You're good parents. I already knew that and writing here just confirmed the obvious. She's just one child, you know? There are thousands of them out there. Why? I never look at life simply. Why? I don't know? I'm just not programed that way. I know you understand and cut me a lot of slack. And thanks for always listening. You guys are the best and I love you.

XO

Suzanne said...

Yes, I saw that annialate is annialate. Sorry. I'm tired.

Suzanne said...

Rob,

Hi honey. Spanking kids. Not my favorite theme. But you're a good man and understand it isn't a solution. Why? Because it just doesn't make sense. I do understand the loss of control and the need to spank. I do. But it doesn't make sense to me because it's not where my heart is. I think what I love about you guys is your guilt!!! An abuser feels no guilt. A good parent feels it rain down upon him or her. Huge difference. The woman I confronted was an abuser. It was so clear and so no, I didn't even hesitate. And yes, I do consider my safety, but this is my thought process: What's she going to do, shoot me in the fabric department at WalMart? Hummmmmmmm, nope, probably not. I would rather be horrible wrong and apologize profusely, than be right and do absolutely nothing. I knew by the tone of her voice I was right. You can hear a normal mom or dad at the end of their rope, you can also hear a mom or dad who is physically abusive on a constant basis. There's a difference in the inflection. Huge difference. I made it clear when I confronted her that everything is recorded on video at WalMart and if I was ever called into court I'd inialate her. And I meant it. I reminded her she had given birth to an amazing child and she didn't even appreciate her baby. I said "Have you ever listened to your daughter? She's so smart and she told you exactly what she wanted and you hit her. What gives you that right? I think you are a horrible mother and you don't deserve your daughter." I wanted to grab that baby and just run, but I'd be on CNN within minutes. I don't understand parents who treat their children like absolute garbage. I do understand parents who become frustrated. But stupid parents? Nope. Never will, never want to. I don't want to get down to that level.

Thanks you guys for your comments. They're wonderfully informative. You're good parents. I already knew that and writing here just confirmed the obvious. She's just one child, you know? There are thousands of them out there. Why? I never look at life simply. Why? I don't know? I'm just not programed that way. I know you understand and cut me a lot of slack. And thanks for always listening. You guys are the best and I love you.

XO

Mr. Shife said...

Well I think you are, oh what is that is that word I have been using to describe you lately, oh yes, awesome. It was nice of you to stand up to that lady and hopefully she will think twice before doing that again but I don't it. But at least you made the effort. Mrs. Shife and I have talked about spankings with our future and we feel there is a place for them but it should not be used on a regular basis or just as a way to quiet a child down. But slapping and threatening are no way to raise a child. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Megan said...

I keep starting to write a comment and it ends up going in circles so I just erase it. I can't get my thoughts together on this subject, I guess.

But I'm trying.

Suzanne said...

Wow, lots of spelling errors. You'd think I'd have words down by now because I'm almost 50. Nope!!! I don't know if it's that I type too fast or I'm just a really crappy speller. When I read them on the second run I see crappy spelling immediately, so I don't think I'm a crappy speller. Perhaps I'm just a lazy speller. You know, spell the damn thing phonetically, then come back before I post to look questionable words up in Oxford American Dic. What? No, I'm not brilliant, I just skate by. Trust me, that's the God's honest truth.
~
My dearest, darling Mr. Shife,

Hi honey!!! What? If you keep calling me by my first name (starts with A end with E!!!) I'm going to have to marry you. Mrs. Shife, I know, forgive me, he's making it impossible to think rationally. I bought Bride magazine today. Believe me, I'll be great around the house because I can do a gazillions loads of laundry a day, change a baby with my eyes closed, walk the dog, feed the baby, walk the dog, feed the dog, feed the kitties, change the baby, feed the baby, clean the house, mow the lawn, well, you get the drill. I also have a show on TV called "The Nanny!" You should both watch EVERY SINGLE EPISODE!!! NO I'M NOT KIDDING!!! You will never spank your child, you'll simply learn techniques to become an amazing parent. I'm not even a parent and I watch myself just to be a better person.

Runs through meadow, sees Mr. Shife through Queen's Anne Lace and throws self on him. Is immediately attacked by Mrs. Shife with grocery and baby bag. "Mrs. Shife, cut me some slack, I just got my assed kicked by my kitty at the park. I'm still very sore and disillusioned."

Love you both, you'll be great parents. Just think before you do something pointless. And yes my darling new baby, Aunt Suzy's the best. I have your back! Straightens cereal box and fluffs green dress. Pulls Queen Anne's Lace out of teeth.

;)

Suzanne said...

Megan. My darling, darling Megan. I love you despite your lack of focus. Trust me, I've been there, done that. I have deleted brilliant posts and comments because I couldn't find my voice, so understand completely. However, I will say this about that, you are an amazing writer and know all the words, I'm not, so it only makes sense that I wouldn't!!! What's up girl!!!??? Here baby, take my hand. Let's go to the Wild Onion. Maybe you just need a moment to reflect. We'll sit on the Macy's sofa, watch the boys dance and hopefully not have to serve ourselves. BOB!!!

Love ya baby! And thanks for trying. I understand. Honestly, I do.

XO

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne said...

Hi Honey!!! Me too. I'm sort of anticipating what she wants to say, so just waiting for her to find the words. She will. Like I told everyone in the beginning, say whatever you want. Parenting is hard and honestly, I don't think anyone is perfect at it. It take an anormous amount of effort to raise a child and do it well. I swear to God though, The Nanny is an amazing show. Watch it. You'll learn so much.

I realize tonight my oldest cat (Newman) is dying. I'm tring to figure out what to do. Do I end it because I love him so much, or do I wait because I love him so much. I held his head in my hands and asked him what I should do. He didn't answer me, but just the look in his eyes was enough. I don't know how to do that. I don't. Why has this year been so hard? What am I supposed to learn and why? You're a very wise, smart woman. What have you observed about me this year that explains all this? I will bury our fist cat in the next week and I don't know how to do that. Honestly I don't, but I refuse to let him suffer. So here I sit tonight is absolute agony tying to figure out what the hell to do. It'll be like buring a child. Why would any one ask me to do that? I am so sick of this year. It has been so unkind.

XO

P.S. It's after 6:30 there. You up? Oatmeal on? Coffee. Good honey, because I'm at the front door. Love you. Knock, knock. Hi Sarge. I know, I don't look so good in the morning after crying all night. Wow, nice placemats Leah. You should knit some for Kylie!!! What?!

;)

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Good on you, you say it like it is. You're a girl after my own heart and I would have done exactly the same. We seem to have to extremes of child rearing that prevails - those blasted parents where the child centred parenting gives the child much too much access to information and decisions beyond their tender years and then we have the other end of the spectrum where the child is treated like a posession and to be kicked. Both extremes are abusive in my view. A nice middle of the road approach where a child has boundaries coupled with understanding and love is a great approach. Good post.

Suzanne said...

Yes, I know, my spelling sucks.

Cece said...

OMG! What a topic. Frankly, it makes me sick to see or hear of a child being abused. But, I also know what it is like to be a parent at the end of her wits. One day a few years ago my husband, my boys, and I went to Wal-Mart. Forrest was being a MAJOR stinker. I told HB and Nathan to go on into the store and we would follow. I sat in the truck for a moment with Forrest, and then I got out and told him that if he could not behave, he could stay in the truck. It was summertime, and I had no intentions of leaving my child in the truck. I just wanted to put a bit of fear in hopes that he would behave. I locked the doors of the truck and walked to the rear of it. Suddenly a strange man appeared with his cell phone in his hand. He told me, "I know you are not going to leave that baby in this car." I made me so mad. How dare he stick his nose into my business. I got in his face and I said, "Hell no I am not going to leave my child in the car. I am trying to prove a point. Why the Hell do you think I am standing at the rear of the vehical. If I were going to actually leave him here I would have gone right into the store. Now, put you cell phone back in you pocket and mind your own damn business." By this time Forrest was banging on the driver's door glass, crying hysterically. I walk to the door and unlocked it and opened it and carried him into the store. He told me through his sniffles, "Mom, I sorry I bad. Please, don't leave me." By this time I was crying. I was holding my precious son in my arms and sobbing. HB and Nathan was waiting at the door, and HB hugged me and told me it would be ok. We did our shopping, and amazingly, Forrest was the perfect child in the store. Nathan acted pretty good that day too.

Cece said...

I had a terrible dream about my boys last night. I dreamed that we were investigating a broken down house in the middle of the woods. We all have an unhealthy obsession about old broken down houses. Anyway all four of us were poking around this old house when we stumbled upon a crazy old woman. She looks around some more and found 4 children locked inside a broom closet. We rescued the kids, and located the parents only to learn that the parents sent their children there as punishment. Then the mother of the children told me that my kids were actually her children and that she wanted them back. She proceeded to tell me that my entire pregnancey was a conspiracy. She contacted authorities and the authorities were actually trying to take my kids away from me. I woke up when they were dragging my kicking and screaming boys away from me. I was so heart broken in this dream that when I woke up I was drenched in sweat. I also realized that I had been crying. My chest ached so badly so I had to get up and go to their room to check on them. I knelt down beside both of their beds for quite some time caressing them, kissing them, and just looking at them. I do not know what I would do if anything happened to my boys. But I am exhausted now because I could not go back to sleep after my dream. When I was kneeling beside Nathan's bed, he woke up slightly when I kissed his cheek. As he wiped my kiss away, he whispered,"I love you, Mom." It just made me want to kiss him more.

MARIA said...

Peace to you my dear friend and Happy Thanksgiving!

kylie said...

have a wonderful thanksgiving suze!

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
krystyna said...

Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Holiday to you and yours, dear Suzanne!

Love and hugsss...

Karen ^..^ said...

I was that kid. I wish you had been there in the many instances we were all abased, treated cruelly, slapped in public and screamed at. And we lived in a foster home while that all went on.

My take is the same as yours. I do beleive in spanking, but rarely had to do it. If you are intelligent, and don't underestimate your kids, you CAN encourage them to behave without "beating them" or humiliating them. If my kids had temper tantrums in walmart, or out in public anywhere, I'd give them a chance to stop, by warning them we would leave. This was no idle threat, as many wimpy parents love to issue an idle threat.

If they continued, I'd leave the cart sitting there, take my unruly child by the hand, and march right out of the store before the child even realized what was happening (if they realized it, they would do the famous "fit collapse" where they go completely boneless, and are totally impossible to get hold of, they are like slime slipping through your fingers, LOL)

Once home, they put two and two together, and realize thier behavior had an immediate and harsh consequence. No need to hit. No need to scream. Mom's still in charge, and they have learned a valuable lesson.

Good for you, Suzanne. You are one tough cookie.

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