Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Close Encounters of the Unkind

"It is annoying to be honest to no purpose." -Ovid, the Roman poet

This past Saturday I was flying solo with Peanut. My Director had a work event to attend. Usually these days can be stressful, but we had a great day filled with activities and laughs. We took advantage of the amazing weather and set up the soccer net in the backyard and kicked the ball around. I filled her sand table up with sand again. Peanut had a play date and dance class. Busy, but a great spring day nonetheless.

Threatening the mojo of our day were a couple of d-bags we ran into who couldn't help but share their unsolicited opinions with me. Every parent knows about unsolicited opinions. These people just can't help themselves. It's an illness, really. Instead of feeling sorry for these people, I let them bother me. Then I blog about them.

It started innocently enough. Peanut and I stood in Starbucks waiting for my drink because I NEED coffee to get through the dance class gossipfest if I'm going to contribute anything informative or witty. That's when a woman who was also waiting spotted Peanut holding her Lammie and sucking her thumb.

"I used to do that too," she said. (Thanks, lady. That makes me feel so much better about it.)

"Yeah. We're going to the dentist today. They keep telling her she needs to stop."

"Well, I sucked my thumb for a while. Eventually I had to get four of my adult teeth replaced because of it. Whatever. That wasn't too bad."

Creepy and completely TMI for the love of God. Really? Can't I just wait for my iced Venti black coffee with my daughter in peace? I dismissed her as just a lonely creepster. Besides, we're working on the thumb sucking. It's really none of anyone's business.

Fast forward to the aforementioned dentist appointment. Once again, the thumb sucking came up. The pushy hygienist has been making a point to say something about it since we started taking Peanut there when she was two. (Uh, she's two... we're going to go ahead and let her suck her thumb because the alternative is she doesn't sleep. Jerkface.)

Well, she's five now and My Director and I have a goal of stopping the thumb dependence by the time she starts Kindergarten in the fall. Still, pushy hygienist can't help herself. Behind a masked face and goggled eyes she holds up her thumb, looks at my daughter and says, "Pretty girls don't do this, ok?"

Is she f*cking kidding me?! Did she just tell my child that pretty girls don't suck their thumbs? Yes. She did. Pushy, inappropriate, passive aggressive jerk. And this woman is by no means someone who should be judging beauty contests, if you know what I mean. But she wasn't finished there. As she's cleaning Peanut's teeth, with Peanut laying on me in the dentist's chair, she asks me if Peanut is an only child.

"Yes she is."

"Oh, well if you're going to have a second you don't want to space them out too much because then the baby will also be like an only child." Meaning, Peanut will be older and independent and the hypothetical baby (which we're not having, by the way) is also going to be spoiled. Because this woman clearly thinks Peanut is spoiled since she sucks her thumb and is sitting on my lap in the dentist's chair.

Now, you might be surprised to learn that I exercise a considerable amount of diplomacy for an opinionated guy who likes to talk a big game... on his blog. There are just certain social interactions in which I choose to be, as My Director puts it, the bigger person. I figure I have this platform to vent instead of causing a scene in front of my daughter. I find it comforting to know that in certain instances, someone else is the jerk and not me. So I just nod, smile, think badly about the person and imagine their untimely death.

Oh, and we're not going back to that dental office again either. I'll be calling them to explain why after I've found a new one.

54 comments:

  1. Granted, I hand out advice about kids, but it's always SOLICITED. These people need to learn when to shut their trap! You are the parent, not them.

    And obviously, pretty girls DO suck their thumbs, if Peanut is doing it, so THERE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, if I'm asking, I'm listening. Absolutely. I'm all ears. But this crap is non-stop. Everywhere.

      And thank you - I agree that pretty girls do in fact suck their thumbs.

      Delete
  2. I actually sucked my middle and ring finger. So, apparently, THAT is what pretty girls do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My daughter sucked her left pointer finger. The speech therapist got her to stop in like first grade. I honest to God have no idea how but it was all BOOM, no more finger sucking. Pretty girls suck their fingers and play ice hockey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ice hockey! Nice. The thumb sucking will go away. but the d-bags will always remain.

      Delete
  4. hahaa...greatest photo of all time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe. Thanks man. I'd never done one before that. I'm so proud. :-)

      Delete
  5. Hey man... not responding to the idiocy of the two fools you encountered... but in regards to the thumb sucking, don't sweat it. If she ALL the time then there maybe cause for concern if it lasts very much longer.
    I think Special K did it til she was about 6 almost 7... but it was when she was really tired. It was a comfort thing. Every once in a blue mooon if she is SUPER tired... we might catch her... In short.. she'll grow out of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She does it when she's tired or bored. We're limiting it to when she's tired... and at home. Just started the new rules. Working a little. baby steps. We shall see. But we're not really sweating it. Just kinda think it's gross and that it's time to stop.

      Delete
  6. Thumb sucker until age 9, party of one. Years of braces and head gear later - there are a few people who might say I'm pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thumb sucking is nothing I would worry about. Lots of kids do it. Heck, my middle one did until about 6. She'll outgrow it on her own. BTW, Kudos on being the bigger person, because I would have made a scene in the dentist's office. With any luck, karma will reek havoc in this hygenists life.
    You and the director make great parents. Keep trying to ignore the unsolicited advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. The hygienist actually even told me a story of how she held the arms of a relative's baby so the baby couldn't suck her thumb. And she was proud. She's craycray.

      Delete
  8. I sucked my thumb until I was eight. Don't tell anyone. To this day my right thumb still tastes different than my left one. I don't know why I would taste them but it is weird. Look how perfect I am!

    Um... Maybe you should stop that sooner rather than later. SHE MIGHT BECOME A BLOGGER!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NOOOOOOO! Not THAT. ANYTHING but that.

      And re: how your thumbs taste? Creepy dude. LOLOLOL

      Delete
  9. I finally had to put some "helpful" preschool teachers in their place as they tried to passively agressively shame my TWO going on THREE y.o. for his binkey. I tried to be bigger but couldn't take it anymore. Told them, "That's how we roll in our home right up till we turn 4." And he doesn't even have the dang thing AT the school! Ok...venting...thanks for listening! Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not their place. ESPECIALLY if he's not even doing it at school. Geez.

      You can vent here anytime!

      Delete
  10. Geeeeeze. I'd fire that dental office too! We get the same crap about our daughter with her pacifier. She is turning two next month and will not sleep without it. She barely sleeps as it is so I am in no hurry to take it from her. I want to scream, "What the hell???" at your hygenist. First, basically telling your daughter she isn't pretty because she sucks her thumb is just cruel and rude and untrue. Second, who is she to give advice on spacing your children? Suddenly everyone is an expert...she probably doesn't even have kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is with people and the pacifier/thumb sucking? Honestly. Some people are just freaked out about it for some reason. Friends of ours made it a point to have the "pacifier fairy" take their twins' away when they turned three. That seemed reasonable to me. But you can't take away or thumb. Or force a kid to stop. So we're doing the whole subtle reminder thing and eventually she'll stop.

      Delete
  11. 3 out of 4 of my children sucked their thumbs. They are 21, 19 & 16 & none of them needed braces. I believe it contributed to their independence in the long run because they learned how to comfort themselves. She will stop when she's ready & it's nobody else's business. Kudo's for being the bigger person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I never thought about the whole independence. What other socially unacceptable things that she does can I attribute to that? Her passing gas? Licking people? I like this independence thing.

      Delete
    2. Passing gas allows her to deal with the issue, express herself and not bottle things up; she will be less prone to stress. Licking people will allow her to avoid people who's thumbs taste different.
      Combine these with thumb sucking and you have a confident, independent, slightly scary adult - that is a good thing, she will be confident and comfortable in expressing her opinions, probably agreeing with someone like you who is writing a blog about his child! I love that you are sitting in the dentist chair with her at her visits, that is such a clear indication of how totally switched on you are as parents. I think your little girl is going to grow up to be an incredible woman, with you guys to thank.

      Delete
    3. I sucked my thumb well into elementary school, to my shame. My sister had not a binky. She got braces and I still have straight teeth.

      Delete
  12. OH NO THEY DIDN'T. Kudos to you for keeping calm @ the dentists office - I would not have. But then I'm pregnant and can always blame hormones. People really need to eff off, me included. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. You'd be surprised, Neandermom. The guy who started a fight with the entire SU lacrosse team because he didn't like where they were standing in the bar has mellowed out considerably since then. Besides, the whole setting a good example for the daughter thing wins out 90% of the time. I speak to her about these things afterwards. Ya know, "using my words" like we tell our kids. I've come very far.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Until you solicit answers, shut the hell up. I do the same thing you do, smile, give them an 'oh, ok' sort of nod and pray to the gods they don't continue talking.
    A quick idea. Stay with that dental hygienist but when you get the bill give it to her. Tell her since she knows so much about Peanut, maybe she should pay it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent idea. I never thought I'd grow up to be so passive aggressive.

      Delete
  15. this is why i am never having children. your blog is the most effective form of birth control on the planet. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On behalf of all mankind, let me just say thank you for not reproducing. You've made the world a better place by ensuring there will be no more of you.

      Delete
  16. My kids are 2, 3 and 4 so I get all kinds of "advice" from strangers. (Emphasis on the STRANGE) The biggest jaw dropper was in target one day. My youngest was upset about having to sit in the buggy and had kicked off a shoe during his tantrum. I was calmly talking to him about it and a middle aged woman walked up to us and informed me that I need to sing to him to calm him down. I politely explained that it was a tantrum and I don't give in to tantrums. She gave me the stink eye and started singing to him. Not shockingly prince charming ignored her and kept up the tantrum. She then proceeded to tell me he doesn't really need his shoes on anyway and that I should just leave them off. I was trying to be polite but who the heck is this woman? I finally tell the kids to say goodbye and she starts giving me "facts" about how I should research online about pain meds and red heads and make sure I always show it to his doctors because they require more anesthesia than other people. The most ridiculous part of this encounter was when I asked how many children she had she said she didn't have any. Are you kidding me?!?!

    Anyways, just wanted to share. I am a new follower and I always enjoy your posts. Good luck with the thumb sucking! My oldest has just started doing that and we are trying to break it before the girls start prek in the fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's amazing. What comes over these people that they feel the need to give their two cents? Thanks for sharing. And for following and reading!

      Delete
  17. I am literally fuming mad and I wasn't even there. "Pretty girls don't do this, ok." What a B. Sorry to use harsh letters. You still managed to give me a chuckle in my enraged state with your "untimely death" remark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kill these jerks with kindness, and in your imagination. Then blog about them. That's what I say.

      Delete
  18. One of the reasons I'm most terrified of having a child is dumbassery like this. I hate people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dumbassery knows no end, Katy. Get ready for it!

      Delete
  19. Like I always say, "The people who think they mean well are sometimes worse than those who don't mean well."

    Or like my son says, "Just smile and nod, smile and nod".

    Your daughter is beautiful, by the way (:^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your son is very smart and you are very kind. Thank you. I agree. :-)

      Delete
  20. Oh my god, I would have slapped a bitch! My daughter is heading into four and sucks her thumb. She's actually doing it right now and it's to head off a tantrum. She knew she was getting upset and out of control, so she calmed herself down by curling up and sucking her thumb. I see nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Yeah, I'd be looking for a different dentist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. i'm no psychologist. But I know that kids find a way to cope with their stress, and this is how some of them - MINE in particular - do it. Geez.

      Delete
    2. There IS nothing wrong with it. There IS something wrong with these jerks who give us their two cents.

      Delete
  21. You're a bigger man than me not responding to that hygienest! I'm going to follow your Willy Wonka quote in the future and say, "You've got it all figured out, huh?" when receiving b.s. unsolicited opinions.

    As a pre-teen girl in the '70s, the dentist offered some similar "advice" about brushing. My teeth were probably only as icky as the next kids' but he felt the need to frighten me with, "Boys don't like little girls with yellow teeth." I resent that asshat to this day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I think I will actually use that in the future myself. I'm actually amazed at how much I bite my tongue. I do it for Peanut. I don't want her to see me lose my cool over the small stuff. But next time... I'm going all Wonka on that beeatch.

      Delete
  22. Oh ... and I just lifted your dumbassery quote (but gave you credit, lol). Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. dig the blog. been poking around the last few days. this is a great post. If you want to hear something crazy, I WISH my little Geel would suck her thumb. She is absolutley horrible at self-soothing and she is a shitty sleeper! She toyed around with it months ago (she just turned one--http://not-so-super-mom.blogspot.com/2012/05/what-difference-year-makes.html) and I used to clap my hands and try to encourage it! I just figured I'd deal with getting her off the thumb when I crossed that bridge--I'd much rather get the sleep now. Anyway, good luck when you get there, I wish I had that problem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly... she slept like a champ from a very early age. We're gonna mess with that? Thanks for stopping by and looking around. I will do the same. :-)

      Delete
  24. As a person who happily sucked her thumb for 10 years I must implore you to stop trying to get Peanut off the thumb =) She will stop whenever she is ready and no longer requires the comfort it brings her. I was subjected to horrible things like hot sauce on my thumb, nail polish remover and other things that are too grotesque to mention all by the well meaning parents. Nothing worked because I wasn't ready. My teeth are perfect and straight and actually would have been crooked if i had not sucked for 10 years to align them! trust that Peanut has her own instincts and knows what's best in this case. Thanks for the laughs =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need to worry. We know she only sucks her thumb when she's tired. And sometimes when she's nervous. We've made a deal with her that she can do it when she's home. And that's worked pretty well.

      Delete
  25. OMG! Can't believe she said that! My 5 year old still carries her "blankie" (which is actually a cloth diaper) everywhere we will let her. (We are trying very hard to limit it to only at home and in the car.) With 3 daughters I feel like I am constantly trying to combat the crazy social/media images of what is "pretty". Comments like the one from the hygienist are certainly NOT helpful in the least and are actually more harmful than ignorant people like her realize!

    BTW - glad to have recently found your blog!

    ReplyDelete

Share

Widgets

THE STREAK IS ALIVE!



What is "The Streak?" Click here to read more.