I had an attitude the other day.
Yes, you heard me right... I had a MAJOR attitude.
with a complete stranger.
Here's what happened:
We were at the laundry-mat washing our comforters and sheets after a LONG morning of Little Bug only taking a 30 minute nap.
I was looking forward to getting out of the house and letting him run around the laundry-mat for fun.
Being the curious boy that he is, he pulled a mechanical pencil right out of his Daddy's pocket and started toddling around with it.
A "ghettofied" Detroit man, who I didn't realize was so well versed in the ways of parenting, decided to give me some advice.
And when I say "ghettofield" I mean it with all respect to the men who wear sunglasses inside, an MP3 player stuck in their ears, a baseball hat worn backwards, and some sort of black suede jacket with cool patches and emblems that go way above my street sense.
"He's got a PEN in his hand!" he yells above his music.
"Thank you," I replied, but do nothing to take it away.
"I don't want him to fall and stab himself with it."
"I'll watch him," I said, knowing that taking the mechanical pencil away will only escalate the temper-tantrum day we've had already.
Side note: I am not new in allowing Little Bug to play with things he shouldn't just so I can get a moment of peace... remember this post? Please don't judge me :)
Then, as if Little Bug knew what would happen next and that all attention was on him, he put the mechanical pencil in his mouth.
"He's got it in his MOUTH! He's going to swallow ink!" the man yells.
I grab the "pen" from Little Bug, slam it on the nearest surface and snap, "There isn't ANY ink in it."
It was, after all, a mechanical PENCIL.
My husband walks up just as I'm snapping at the complete stranger with a confused look on his face. This is not something I normally do... blame it on the pregnancy hormones, I guess.
As we walk away I explain to Mr Bug what happened and then ask those famous words:
Do you think I should go apologize?
Mr. Bug calmly replies,
"I'm not sure what you should do, but if you DID apologize, it might be a chance to build your character."
How could I NOT apologize after hearing that.
I sheepishly stalk the "ghettofied" Detroit man as he enters the bathroom.
I continue to stalk him as he exits the bathroom and heads over to his washing machine.
And then I say it...
... pretty quiet so he might not hear me and I could get away with "trying to apologize"...
"Thank you for your concern for my son. I'm sorry I had an attitude with you."
Moments pass and he takes off his sunglasses, pulls out his earphones, looks at me with these compassionate eyes and graciously accepts my apology.
I walk away relieved and a with my character built up a little bit.
It's still hard to have complete strangers tell me how to parent my child, but I'm starting to realize that while I may not be in control of them, I am in control of my reactions.