Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's confession time: I'm an awful person

Yeah, I'm an awful person. Because, honestly, I don't like most children. I really don't want to be around children very much.

Oh, there are exceptions. A few of my friends have children who are funny and nice and well-brought-up. But the average urchin out there? Nope. Keep them away from me and me away from them.

This was brought home to me today when I had to go to the post office. I had had an AWFUL day so far: dealing with students with massive entitlement issues (though how that differs from any day, I can't tell you). Had a faculty meeting where we learned more administrative lunacy (apparently one of the higher admins thinks it's fine to tell a prof what to teach, and says "You still have academic freedom. For example, you an decide whether you allow chewing gum in class or not."). Had to negotiate our constantly-torn-up streets and drive through an intersection that SHOULD have a stoplight, but instead has a red-flashing-light so we have to treat it as a four-way stop, which means traffic is ALWAYS snarled and ALWAYS backed up a mile and a half.

And so, I wasn't exactly cheerful when I walked in. And then, as I tried to go through the glass double doors, a group of four or five kids under eight banged through them. The doors are ALL glass so they could see me coming. The door very nearly HIT me. I jumped back and gave them a look.

The mom said, "Sorry" but not in a way implying she was sorry. Thinking I had a moment of privacy, I shook my head and kind of horse-snorted (where I blow air out my mouth and my lips flap; it's sort of an involuntary expression of frustration). The woman turned around and snarled at me: "They're ONLY children!"

Yes, okay lady. I'm a monster. I'm an unnatural woman who hates children.

Because I want people to like me to a degree that is unhealthy for me, I apologized: "I'm sorry. I'm having a really terrible day."

She did say: "I'll PRAY it gets better" but the way she bit off that word "Pray," it sounded more like and "F YOU" to me.

Okay, fine: I get it. I'm not fit to go out in public. I should just, as a pathetic single person, always bow down and get out of the way when there are CHILDREN out there. No matter how pushy and ill-behaved they are. Because the children are our future! And it takes a village! And all of that crap!

And you know? I wouldn't go out in public and expose the worthwhile people who are raising children to my horribleness, but there are some things you just can't do online. I'm sorry. I'll try to avoid going out in public in the future. 

I'm glad I didn't have kids. I'm not sure I'd have the patience to deal with them when they got pushy and rude. And it's bad for a kid to see their mom break down and cry because she can't cope with it any more.

And yeah, I did come home and cry for about fifteen minutes. Because there's some random woman in my town who thinks I'm a child-hating monster, and because I reacted badly to a situation I should have approached with more grace, and because our dang post office is in such an awful inconvenient spot that I'm already in a bad mood when I walk in, just because it's such an ordeal to get there. And because of everything else. And because no matter how bad the administration gets on campus or how entitled the students get, I'll be teaching until I drop dead, because my retirement savings are just freaking evaporating. I should have just SPENT that money, spent it and enjoyed it, and, I don't know, just planned on checking out early or something.

I expect to be doing a lot of crying in the coming years because I don't see things getting any better.


Heroditus Huxley said...

Ricki, I'd love for you to be close enough. I'd have you photocopy your worst paper/test, take you to the range, and have you shoot holes in it with any caliber you wanted that we had.

Unfortunately, I can't offer the same for bad parents, like obviously was.

I could offer to let you play with my kids. My kids are four and two, and say "'cuse me" when they bump into someone (or nearly so), and are genuinely nice (to everyone except Mommy and each other), and like people.

Kate P said...

That happened to me once, too. In CHURCH. And I was having a bad day. (But seriously, it was really weird that I got my head bitten off in church. And apologizing just seemed to piss the person off more.) It happened years ago but even thinking about it now makes me upset.

And sometimes I get home from school and want some peace after spending all day with crazed kids--and then some kid comes in the door of my building SHRIEKING and doesn't stop all the way down the hall or until the dang elevator shows up. I know I was raised around a parent who expected perfect behavior and quiet, and I wonder if that's just it or kids really are louder and less disciplined nowadays.

After all that--be kind to yourself. Take time to acknowledge your needs and sensitivities and DON'T apologize for them. Even if (like me) you feel a bit sad that we live in a noisy world and it's hard to find those little spaces where we can breathe more easily. :)