Not Smarter Than a Kindergartener

Posted by on December 2, 2010

After I picked the kids up from school, I made a stop at a charity thrift store to drop off some donations. Being that close to the doors of a thrift store, where all sorts of treasures lurk, I fought the urge to go inside but my fetish for Danish modern enamelware and the possibility that some might be in there waiting for me was more than I could resist—I fetched the children and headed for the door.

As we were approaching the door, a guy cleaning the glass outside also moved towards the entrance and stood alongside the opposite door, as if he were waiting to go in behind us. I thought nothing of it.

As I was stepping inside, I felt something wet hit my left eye and simultaneously go in my mouth.I immediately turned to my left and saw the glass guy running a soaking wet squeegee sponge across the glass on the opposite door.

ACKK! PTOOEY! OMGWTF! The exclamations flew fast and furious from my mouth as I glared at the glass cleaning guy.

“Oh, did I get ya?

“Uh yeah—in my EYE, my MOUTH, my HAIR and all over my jacket!!! BLECH! PTOOEY! Thanks a lot!”

He pulled a rag out of his pocket for me but I just went on into the store with kids while muttering an obscenities-laced diatribe of serious discontent.

I was already cranky and hormonal and on this cold day, a wet jacket, poisoned mouth and burning eye elevated the crank level to BITCHCON 5.

We took a quick spin through the housewares and I didn’t spot anything good so I gathered the kids and headed toward the door. I was still mad and grumbly, mainly because I felt like, while the guy didn’t do it intentionally, his inability to wait two seconds for us to get inside caused the unfortunate Windexing incident. It’s the same shit that makes people act like buttheads in traffic, cut the carline at school and run to get in front of you at the grocery store checkout. As you may have guessed, I have little tolerance for that kind of jackassitude.

So, because I was still supremely irritated, I stopped by the counter and gave the cashiers an earful about the window cleaning guy and how his impatience made me get some unknown chemical crap in my eye and mouth…what if it had gotten in my kids eyes or mouths??? yada yada yada…

They were appropriately sympathetic and apologized on his behalf. I told them they need not apologize—just tell the manager of the store what happened and be glad I’m not making a bigger deal out of it—which is funny because for me that was making a HUGE deal out of it. I generally try not to make scenes or act like an ass but I was grumpy and wet and, given the circumstances, I felt fully entitled to my petulant, assmonkey-like mood.

We exited the store and as we were walking to the car, my 10 year old daughter said that the next time she saw that guy (which is highly unlikely) she was going to punch him in the face for me. I know that sounds terrible but I took it in the spirit it was intended—she was mad because I was mad and feeling protective of me. I was touched by her declaration of physical violence on my behalf.

But something nagged at me. Clearly, I’d sent her the wrong message, even though I felt 100% entitled to my feelings.

So I said  something like “I don’t want to hurt the guy. I know he didn’t do it on purpose. I’m just mad because his impatience and discourteous behavior caused the whole incident.”

Then my five year chimed in “I don’t think it was on purpose, Mommy. It was just an accident”

And right then, I had a moment of clarity. He didn’t do it on purpose. I knew that already but somehow hearing it from my five year old made it crystal clear. He didn’t mean to be impatient. He didn’t mean to get that crap all over me. It was an accident caused by a momentary lapse in judgment and just maybe I was being a bit unreasonable.

In different ways, both of my kids touched my heart in that five minute span of time—my daughter, with her fierce loyalty, ready to do battle with a rogue window cleaner to defend my honor and my son with his sweet, forgiving nature and unwavering ability to always see the good instead of the bad.

My kids are awesome. I love them both so very much.

This has been nagging at me all night—I don’t want anyone losing their job over this. I was thinking of calling the store tomorrow and telling the manager that it was an accident and I overreacted butmy husband pointed out that it’s possible nobody ever told the manager and then I would actually be getting someone IN trouble instead of out. *head explodes*


  • Apryl's Antics says:

    If it makes you feel better, they probably all had a good laugh about what a buttmonkey you were and shook it off.

    Just kidding, of course. He really should have waited until you were INSIDE to finish squeegying the window. It’s not like you guys were going to wait around outside until he finished the job.

    • IzzyMom says:

      He walked up to the door at the exact same time as us…I didn’t even know he was a window washer until he “got me.” Dumbass def should have waited.

  • Libby says:

    He didn’t mean to do it. Just like you probably didn’t mean for it to put you over the edge. Things happen.

  • Jack says:

    People have become accustomed to walking around in little bubbles that they forget touch/connect/interact with others.

    • IzzyMom says:

      If there’s one thing I want to make sure I teach my kids, it’s that—you are not in a bubble; the decisions you make affect other people; THINK FIRST.

  • JenGid says:

    Don’t worry, your husband is probably right. They let you vent and went about their business. I love it when perspective is served up by my kids, so much easier to swallow.

  • Kids. I hate when they spew pearls of wisdom and make me look like an idiot. ;-)

  • FireMom says:

    At the very least, it made for good blog fodder, no?

    Sorry you got Windexed. And then schooled by your kid. Which is really what makes it worse, doesn’t it? Man, those kids. They get me every time.

  • Kristina says:

    Ah i would have made a scene but wont… just wanted… like you did….

    Being a mom makes one a better person! Kudos for correcting the message to your daughter.

  • S says:

    OMG- hilarious- as a fellow mom (new to the world of blogging) I totally appreciate this entry. I so there with you in this mindset- we all have those days where for whatever reason we are ready to fly off the handle. Mine often happen when I’m driving my kids all over town and some dumbass cuts me off or simply stops for no reason- I tend to blurt things out that I shouldn’t- that’s probably how my 5 year old learned the not-so-nice phrase “chubb-sickle” for the not-so-skinny man taking his time to walk in front of our car (causing us to miss the light).
    I love how your kids came to your side, each in their own way. Isn’t it great how we learn so much from them every day?

  • Gina says:

    I thought it was usually girls who have a more forgiving nature, and boys tend to regard “punching in the face” as a solution to any problem. Not a very typical reaction in this case at least from the gender standpoint.

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