Probably every mom has experienced this: you're out with your kids, and they're having a day. One's crying, the other is kicking a rock at a duck, you've dropped the bag with the eggs in it. Life gets overwhelming sometimes. Then all of a sudden some busybody comes on over to tell you the reason your kids are overstimulated is that they're wearing too much red, or something ridiculous.
And they don't have a kid of their own anywhere in sight!
Unsolicited parenting advice is never welcome, but it does seem to crop up at the worst possible moment most of the time. A Reddit user named u/crou87 posted in a subreddit dedicated to "malicious compliance," and shared a story that perfectly encapsulates this phenomenon. Only this time, she had her revenge. Oh, yes.
She wrote that she had to go to the doctor's office and brought her 15-month-old twins. Crou87 knew this was going to be a challenge, saying, "These kiddos do not enjoy being cooped up in a stroller but letting them wander around isn't an option since they both will immediately bolt in opposite directions."
Luckily, she's developed a number of strategies for dealing with them, you know, since she's their mother:
In preparation for having to wait a while and wanting to be considerate of the others who were in waiting room purgatory with me, I packed the diaperbag full of endless snacks and sippy cups.
Sure enough, 5 minutes in they lose their minds, so I instantly start giving them snacks and also walking back and forth in the very, very large waiting room.
I am at the back area and not even close to being in anyone's way and as long as I am pacing, the beasties will quietly munch away on their cheerios.
Crou87 was doing just that, pacing around and keeping her kids quiet. She paused for a moment when she heard someone's name called. It wasn't for her, but the pause gave someone in the waiting room a second to butt into her business.
An older lady decided to tell her what she should be doing:
I hear a huffing noise and look over at her and the second we make eye contact, she says "Oh my gawd you have got to stop walking up and down that back area. You're making me dizzy. Also you really shouldn't be feeding them that much, just SIT DOWN and they will relax too. Watching toddlers really shouldn't be that hard, hun."
Watching toddlers isn't that hard?! On what planet?
This was upsetting for Crou87, who writes that her twins were born prematurely and small, so she's definitely not worried about their calorie intake.
She also resented that the older woman didn't realize she was doing this Cheerio dance for the sake of the other people in the waiting room, not herself.
And finally, she was at the doctor to get the results of a cancer screening. She wrote that by that point, she was "was all out of f**ks to give."
So she gave the old lady exactly what she wanted.
I take her advice and sit down. Right next to her. Tons of empty seats everywhere by the way. Instantly, they start screaming their heads off and what do I do? I pull out my book and start reading.
Anyone who has ever been seated next to a stranger's baby having a meltdown, close your eyes, imagine that shitty moment and now double it to account for twins. Within 5 minutes ,she is looking like she is about to snap and suggests they might want a snack.
To which I calmly respond "Nah, I really shouldn't be feeding them that much" and calmly turn the page of my book. Ten minutes later my name is finally called and this lady looks like she is ready to give up on life. I, however, have read my first chapter in ages.
I guess watching toddlers really isn't that hard after all.
Careful what you wish for, nosy parent-splainers. You might just get it.
Commenters love Crou87's response to this annoying lady, and they had their own stories to share. Apparently, there are a lot of judgmental people out there.
I'm the oldest of 5, my youngest sister is 13 years younger than me. One day I was with my now ex-gf in Walmart with said sister at about 5ish...
Old lady came up, started in on not being married, child out of wedlock, we're too young to be responsible etc...
She said father and mother, lil sis looked confused and from the honest mouth of a child said 'that's my brother'
I've never seen someone turn red so fast. We ran into her a couple times while shopping, she always left the aisle immediately.
User sviviani is also a parent of twins, and he has his own coping strategies:
As a father of twins also, I feel your pain. Usually I just ignore all the people but for the truly rude ones like her I like to calmly introduce myself and then very curiously ask which of my bills they were paying. Usually I'll get a very strange look and an answer along the lines of they don't. My response is that until they do they don't get to tell me how to run my household.
That being said no one knows the horrors of twins till they have them. Good luck, as hard as it is, the joy of them can't be beat.
Even the non-parents knew this lady was being a jerk, like Mec26:
I’m not a parent, but I know several people who are parents to premie or failure-to-thrive babies (due to food or breastfeeding issues). The judgement was insane from random people about what they were eating, if the mom should just try breastfeeding again, etc.
Even if I didn’t, wtf? Before they can walk, 95% of the time you should just feed them if they’re hungry. They can out-metabolize most things unless you give them straight sugar. And if it’s not the case, odds are the parent can be told that by a medical professional, and not my untrained a**.
Cheerios for life. I hope a bird sh*ts on her head.
If you must talk to a parent when their kids are freaking out, ask if you can help. It will go over much, much better.
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