Here goes---I went to Target before going home after work one day a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't feeling well, I was really tired and just needed to go home and put my feet up. But we needed some essentials so I decided to stop at a Target Greatland. I am in the frozen food section when I hear a very terse "Hurry up! I need to get home and ice my knee!!!". I was a bit perplexed. The tone was very stern, yet the voice was a bit immature. I turn to see a girl, all of fourteen, standing next to a cart with a boy about five years old. I slowly turn to gaze in the direction of this girl's glare when I see a very petite woman, probably all of 5 feet and 125 pounds. At this point I am definitely not minding my own business. I don't even bother to pretend that I am reaching for my food items. Instead I glance at the girl, then back to her mom. I am holding my breath thinking "oh boy, here it comes---pow, right in the kisser!".
Now don't start sending me posts criticizing me for condoning child abuse---I don't. But I did have flashes of Jackie Gleason winding his arm and shouting 'to the moon'. No such thing happened though. Instead, Miss Petite quietly, very wearily, asked her daughter "what did you say honey?". I glared at the daughter, inwardly daring her to be snippy with her mom. She took on my challenge and not only repeated her demand, but added more attitude. Do you think mom gave this kid what she deserved? No! Instead weary mom sweetly said to her daughter to just give her one minute, she only needed a few more things. What?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I couldn't believe mom didn't reprimand her daughter.
Bratty girl looked at me as if to say "ha, I won!". I couldn't believe it. This poor woman has no clue what she is getting herself into. If she is tolerating this kind of bossy sassiness from a fourteen year old, what on earth is this kid going to be like at 18? 21? And what about her son? Surely if he is watching his sister treat mom like a doormat, he is going to follow suit. Then petite mom is really going to have her hands full, dealing with a defiant male when he hits adolescents.
I proceed to check-out pondering this family in my head. I stumble upon another kid, probably ten or eleven years old. He is muttering to himself: "thanks for helping me beat the crap out of that kid". Over and over he repeats this phrase; no one is with him, he is merely talking to himself. At this point I feel like I have entered the twilight zone. I start looking around for a hidden camera, wondering if this is some joke. Or maybe SuperNanny is starting a new tactic, where they look for families to rescue instead of waiting to be invited. But no such cameras emerge. Nope, this is just the state of kids today.
I pay for my items, get in my car and go home. In light of what I have encountered in the stores, those heathens that scream "mommy mommy" when I walk through the door may not be so bad afterall. At least not right now :-)