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"I would never tell you how to raise your children..."

November 17th, 2015 (12:03 am)

I had an encounter at Rite-Aid today with an unpleasant woman who insulted my son, his friend, and my parenting skills.

When Jon Morgan came home from school today, he had brought a friend with him. I said I was planning to bring him to Rite-Aid for our flu shots and then would take him out for a snack. His friend wanted to come along to hang out with him, though I'm sure the prospect of having me buy him a snack at Alexandria Pastry seemed like a pretty good deal too. I was happy to have him along, figuring his presence would make my son less likely to complain about having to wait for the pharmacist to prepare the injections.

Sure enough, the wait was taking quite a while. But the department had one of those health monitoring machines that will measure blood pressure, pulse, and weight, and analyze the results. To two 13-year-old boys, this seemed like great fun. First they took turns checking their blood pressure and pulse. Then their weight and BMIs. When I told them normal blood pressure was different for adults than for children, they wanted to test that, so they gave the machine false birthdays for themselves, to see if their blood pressure would be considered healthy for an adult. They sat on the machine together to see how much they would weigh and what their body mass index would be if they were one person. They tested to see what the results would be if they were considerably taller or shorter.

Nobody was waiting to use the machine, they weren't loud or disruptive, they weren't damaging the machine, and I liked their spirit of scientific inquiry. So I made no move to stop them. The store wasn't busy, but the people who did walk by -- if they noticed us at all -- seemed amused by the boys. Then came this woman who glared at them for a few minutes before asking me, "Are those your children?" I said one of them was, and the other was his friend, and she started ranting about how that machine is not a plaything, and I shouldn't let them use it in a way it wasn't designed for.

I said I didn't think they were hurting anything. She asked, "How do you know they aren't? Are you an expert on machines like that? You don't know that they're not destroying that machine so it doesn't work for the next person!" Then she claimed, "I would never tell you how to raise your children...if you can call THAT raising them."

I could not believe the gall of this woman. I am the first to admit it when my son behaves badly, but I didn't think he was doing anything wrong! But the pharmacist had our flu shots ready, so we left the grumpy busybody and went into the other room for our shots. While we were with the pharmacist, I told her what the boys had been doing on the blood pressure machine and asked her if that was a problem. She just laughed and said it was perfectly OK. I think she enjoyed the fact that two teenagers were taking an interest in health-related measurements.

On the way out I told the nasty woman that the pharmacist had said it was all right for the boys to play on the machine the way they had been doing, that it would not damage the equipment. She made a harumphing sound, and said maybe not, but I was allowing them to grow up with no respect for anything, and that they would turn into terrible adults.

Who died and made her Super Nanny? I told her my son is doing just fine, that he is a straight-A student who composes symphonies, and that he is very respectful. And I stifled the urge to add "...to people who deserve respect."

It seems to me that Jon Morgan was not the person in the room who needed to show more respect.


Posted by: LuAnn Braley (LuAnn Braley)
Posted at: November 19th, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)

OMG I love the one in the restaurant. I SO want to use it now! *lol*

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