Maybe it is my age.
Maybe I don’t really care about the reasons.
But I will tell you that I absolutely do not enjoy hearing a screaming child as the background music to my life.
Listening to older children melt down over candy, cereal or toys is not my favorite pastime.
And more than a few times I have wanted to apply duct tape to the mouths of devilish teenagers.
Thirty years ago, when my son turned into a human siren, I quickly removed him from wherever we happened to be.
Along the way I learned that if I wanted to be a young mom with some sanity, I should plan life around my baby’s nap time. If he was teething, seeing the light of day was not on the calendar.
Unless the house caught fire, we stayed at home, completely miserable with each other.
I also assumed that other diners in restaurants did not pay for meals, hoping they could watch my kid smear macaroni and cheese in his hair and scream every time I stopped him from crunching crackers and throwing green beans.
To save everyone from my moments of parental hell, I tucked the screamer under my arm like a football and left quickly to avoid punishing the ear drums of innocent people.
It was the same way when my child was possessed by toddler tantrums in stores.
Once the kicking and wailing began, I was out the door while he hollered, “Nooo!” at the top of his lungs. I sailed toward the exit door, promising my kid that he would be seated in the time-out chair until he was old enough to drive.
Today’s young parents seem to think that old chicks like me are just dying to experience their offspring’s scream-a-thons.
A week or so ago, a mother zoned out on the newest issue of “People” while her kid screamed and kicked in the seat of the grocery cart, grabbing and throwing all the candy bars his pudgy hands could reach.
When she saw that I was staring at her intently, she shrugged and said, “The doctor told me to ignore him when he tantrummed.”
I wanted to suggest that she ignore her red-faced little dumpling in her car instead of in the store.
A few days ago I watched a young adolescent female demand that her mother buy her a tube of lip gloss.
In a whiney voice, the mom said, “You have all kinds of lip gloss at home.”
“I said you are buying it!” the girl barked.
Well let me just say that I would have handled that interaction much differently.
I would have let the little dear know that lip gloss would not be necessary if I had to rip her lips off and stick them in my purse.
As the kid called her names like “stupid” and “lazy,” the mother continued to act like a moron.
“Well, it won’t be long before Santa visits,” she smiled nervously. “Maybe you will find that lip gloss in your stocking!”
Had it been me, I would have assured the little sugar cookie that Santa doesn’t visit juvenile detention.
When the mom with no backbone turned away, I whispered, “You are a brat” to the little sweetie.
Shocked, her face reddened as she turned away from me.
This was not the first time I have done this to a spoiled kid.
From the looks of things, it won’t be the last time, either.