Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dear Mrs. Nosybich,

Sorry about our little dispute at the school last week. Normally I don't take the kids in the morning, but Mrs. Grumpy had an early meeting that day.

It must be nice having a child that is naturally compliant with your orders. Frank, however, is not like your daughter, and will fight us to the death about wearing a jacket. Getting him to wear a sweatshirt over his clothes took an act of Congress and delicate negotiations. While it's not perfect, it was a halfway compromise.

So far he hasn't frozen to death or caught pneumonia/swine flu/AIDS/cooties/halitosis, or any of the other disorders that you seem to think are floating through the air specifically targeting unjacketed children.

But I'm glad you were concerned enough about someone else's kid to take the time out of your busy day, walk over to me, and make a scene in front of all the other parents about how you've been watching the "horrible neglect" practiced by my wife and I. I appreciate you running down a list of communicable airborne illnesses that you got from Google, and closing your argument by threatening to report us to Child Protective Services if you ever see my kid without a jacket again.

I think it's great that you want to pay such close attention to the failings of us lesser parents. Reminded me of the Charlie Brown cartoon where Lucy took it upon herself to write New Year's Resolution lists for everyone else.

I really like the way you punctuated your tirade by slamming your daughter's car door, HARD, to make sure we were all paying attention. We definitely all were (except your daughter, who looked too terrified to speak) because me, 3 teachers, and 20 other parents immediately began trying to tell you that you'd just slammed one of her backpack straps in the door. But you were clearly more concerned with my crappy parenting skills to notice.

Fortunately, your child had the presence of mind to let go of the other strap after she'd been pulled down and dragged about 3 feet as your drove away. And I have to admire the teacher who boldly leaped in front of your car to make you slam on the brakes, at the risk of her own health.

Your kid will be okay, I swear. She has a small cut on one hand, and a tear in her jacket where it got dragged (maybe you should get her a new one).

I felt so awful about it too. You made me feel very guilty when, after you checked your kid and released the backpack strap from the car door, you turned to me and yelled, "Now look what you made me do!" before getting in your car and driving away.

Happy holidays.

54 comments:

Chrysalis Angel said...

I've got to say, I love how you name these people you write about.

What she doesn't know is...her little darlin' will take off her coat when it's time to go out on playground, and she'll be running around out there with Frank having a grand old time. ;)

Christy said...

Now because of her daughter's torn coat, she will definitely get AIDS. NOW look what you made her do!!!

Evil HR Lady said...

That is absolutely hilarious--because it happened to you and not me.

I get lectured regularly about the lack of warm clothing my children wear. I think if the kid is happy, he's not bothered by his lack of hat/mittens/whatever.

I made a comment the other day that my younger brother wore shorts every day in high school, regardless of the weather. His wife replied that he still only wears shorts. Surprisingly, he's still alive.

LBParker said...

My husband wears shorts even in the dead of winter. Hasn't died yet...

WarmSocks said...

I've laughed at people and told them not to major in minor things; it softens things a bit to use humor. Then I explain that my mom made me wear a coat when she was cold, so I know better than to inflict that kind of thing on my kids. They own coats and wear them when they feel the need. Instead of being a dictator on trivial things, I let them use natural consequences to learn decision-making skills on things that aren't critical. When something really important comes along, the kids will already have experience making choices for themselves instead of always waiting to be told what to do. About that time the person's eyes start to glaze over, and my coatless child will pipe up, "I'm not cold so I left my coat in the car." Except for the time that my kid looked at me and said, "How come you're talking to her when you tell us not to talk to strangers?"

Sam said...

hmmm - people like that are just plain annoying!! Mind you, it does make me wonder whether they are trying to appear super caring in order to cover up for their own lack. But hey - I am just glad that my parents weren't like that!!

Capt. Schmoe said...

A similar, though less spirited exchange occurred between the principal of my then 8 yr. old son's school and myself.

I was forced to explain to Mr. Skynard that we were trying to teach the little rebel about the real consequences of not wearing a jacket - namely you will get cold, not that you will get yelled at by a teacher.

Now if I could just teach the little turd about getting a job.

Old MD Girl said...

GroaaaannnnnN!!!! The joys I have to look forward to once my husband and I reproduce!

Poor daughter.

mean_owen said...

It would've been even more poetic if the child's coat had gotten caught in the car door. But still, that's a great story.

The Good Cook said...

My 16 year old hardly ever wears a coat. He is still alive.

That woman needs a psychiatrist. And her poor daughter... did you report the crazy mother to children's services?

DispensingPhysicianCPHT said...

Wow...just, wow.

Anonymous said...

I was going to reply that I hate people that are ALWAYS right (and make me look the fool I am), but really I am glad you related this story at this point in time when I am dithering about contacting the university police dept. because my college-age son hasn't responded to his e-mails for the past week, doesn't answer the dorm room phone, and hangs up when I call his cell and (he just MIGHT be studying for finals--and, if he isn't--... and, if he's planning to drop out after only the first semester--...I guess I have to get over that, too), but he is the kid just like his older brother that wears running shorts in winter--(and, starts the upper respiratory viral rounds--I just know it is him because he started coughing first, never mind I work in healthcare facilities) and, makes ME think that he's going cuckoo. (He only has an IQ 135-150 next to his parent with IQ 100 but I HAVE to worry that he'll ... .)

C N Heidelberg said...

"Now look what you made me do!"??? Oh no, she didn't. My god. That poor child. Any adult who would pull that line has very serious problems. :(

Anonymous said...

Can you say 'projection'? - We stopped buying coats for our sons when they were 8 because they refused to wear them and I saw no point in stocking a closet with new coats every year. My son did wear a jacket/snow pants once when we went to the snow - then he got the flu.
-whitecap

The Melancholy Mommy said...

Lovely. Great parenting on her part by showing her kid it is ok to scream at random people she knows nothing about. And BTW, I have hauled my kid out in the driveway in his underwear for refusing to get dressed. Great parenting, I know, but that kid got dressed in 30 seconds flat. The neighbors may have been shocked but I have more important things to do than argue about apparel every morning.

student dr. blaze said...

one time i saw a mother screaming at her son in a public place (though no one else was around at the time) and she smacked him. i didn't know what to do--i felt like stepping in, but where's the line? if i were to get between her and her child, would that make it worse for him in the long run? i asked my mom about it and she told me a story about how she'd once seen the same thing happen in a supermarket. my mom looked at the woman and said, "my goodness, you must be exhausted!" the woman was so taken off guard that she stopped berating the child and burst into tears.

i have to wonder--what if you'd said something similar to this woman? clearly, whatever it was that upset her so much couldn't have been your child's lack of a jacket. i feel sorry for her and her child--whatever is going on in their lives must be really shitty.

it's a shame, though, that such people feel the need to spread their shit to others. that's just not okay. i wonder if she ever considers how her actions are affecting her child?

The Rapin Man said...

Not to mention the bus full of little old ladies (on their way to the local outlet mall to buy Christmas presents for underprivileged children) that she plowed into at 60 mph two blocks later because she was too traumatized by her encounter with you to notice her speedometer or that red light. You have blood on your hands, Dr. Grumpy! Blood!!! And Fixodent!!! And what about all those underprivileged children who won't be getting their presents this year because of your sartorial negligence as a parent? I just hope you can live with all the guilt, you homicidal Grinch...

Cheryl said...

Oh, my. Oh, my. That poor little girl. And I bet her classroom teacher could tell stories . . .

Fiz said...

What an interfering self-righteous moron!

Anonymous said...

Did you tell her that you're a doctor?

Someone should have called Child Protective services on her. If she treats complete srangers this way, I can't imagine how she treats her kids while at home.

mommy-medic said...

The only way I can get my kids to wear coats is to remind them that in my state it IS child abuse to have them not "dressed appropriately for the weather" and, although that is open to interpretation, when its 28 degrees outside, some type of coat is necessary. Mine still fight me tooth and nail too (then the oldest one "forgets" her jacket at school, and it takes another four days of harping to get it to show back up at the house!)

We feel your pain!

Miss Kismet said...

Don't you just envy her husband with her parting remark?

You really should call Child Services (being serious here)....that child is in danger with a parent like her. Besides, a tiny part of you will go "take that NosyBitch!" but it's okay because you had a REAL reason to turn her in. Oh Karma :)

Janna said...

Although it does annoy me greatly when parents fail to properly discipline their children, I know enough to keep my mouth shut about it.

I would never, ever be so presumptuous as to speak to them about it, and certainly not in front of other people. I'd be mortified if I created a scene like this lady did.

She sounds bossy and rude.
Even if her heart might (?) be in the right place, her methods leave a lot to be desired.

Mary K said...

Oh my, what a PITA, you showed great restraint by not telling her off in no uncertain terms. I don't know how you did it. You are a better person than I.

Queen of Crafts, Current Events, and Such. said...

She was putting on quite the show huh?....trying to mask her own shortcomings.....I cant wait until she has a teen...A coat will be the least of her worries...hehehe

Kim Kasch said...

Coats weren't the issue for us - it was shorts, whether it was snowing, freezing rain or whatever, shorts were what my kids wanted to wear. And, sometimes you just have to pick your battles. Clothes wasn't "wear" I wanted to focus.

GB, RN said...

Now there is a woman deserving of a good, swift kick to the vagina.

Anonymous said...

Her daughter probably said "Frank doesn't have to wear a coat. Why do I have to wear a coat?"

Angelina said...

Holy smoking truck tires!!!

Funny, the last couple of weeks I've been having this struggle with my son. I did say to him, the teachers are going to think we're bad parents allowing him to brave the elements wearing a hoody instead of a warm jacket. To that he replied "If they were running around as much as we are, they wouldn't wear their jackets either." So be it, if he is cold he'll wear his jacket.

donna said...

While pregnant with my daughter
I received a letter in the mail
from (our neighbors) saying how
evil I was to bringing into the
world another child, while neglecting the first. Seems she had an issue with the time of morning I took my son to my mothers. She suggested that I have the pregnancy terminated and sterilize myself. It takes all types of busy buddies who seem to know more about you. I am happy to say both children thrived during my years of neglect, err ... work. They are well adjusted adults.

Donna

Anonymous said...

May I just say, Dr. Grumpy, how much I admire your restraint?

My daughter when through a very long period of time where she would refuse to wear shoes. Sun, rain, snow, didn't matter. Getting anything on her feet would require (here in Canada) the proverbial act of Parliament. So I feel your pain.

When people come up to me at triage and threaten to call their lawyers, I like to call their bluff, and tell them to go right ahead, I welcome the call. I think if I had encountered Mrs. Nosybich, I might have done the same.

Anonymous said...

I think someone should report you to CPS for "fighting to the death" with Frank about wearing a jacket.

I'm assuming that the school is heated and once inside, a jacket is not necessary. So the only time a jacket is needed is for the short walk from the car to the school.

Being cold for a few minutes while walking to the warmth of a heated building is not worth a death fight.

Dr. Grumpy needs to be reported to CPS for this and Ms. Nosybich needs a 72 hour psych eval (and CPS).

Anonymous said...

Jaw hits floor..

WTF?

How did you not tell her to get her Thorazine dose adjusted?

I'm 45 and never wore all the crap that was deemed neccesary for surviving Michigan winters.

Too bad nobody captured a vid of psycho helicopter mom near Darwinizing her kid. Next time the hag piped up with parenting tips, you could just replay that.

LD50 Rat

Anonymous said...

I am a 32 year old with a Ph.D. in Physics. I still wear shorts year round. I grew up in Plattsburgh NY (just south of Montreal and over the border). So Frank is heading for a bright future. The mother on the other hand is heading for the loony bin.

Mr. Knucklehead said...

Just kill the effin' bitch. There's not a jury in the country that would convict you.

WTF? said...

That's the most compelling argument for retroactive abortion I've yet to hear.

Too bad nobody video'd her daughter being dragged down the street and the rest of the commotion.

VetRN said...

Since about the age of 10, (he's now 28) my son refused to wear a coat. He would sometimes put one on if it was below zero, but never zipped it up. To this day, I seldom see him with a coat or jacket on, and of the whole family, I can honestly say I can remember him being sick with a cold or flu only twice. I also chose my battles; and coat-wearing just fell way below driving without a seatbelt, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and other risky behaviors on the battle-scale. Just ignore Ms. Nosybich!

quixote said...

All that over a jacket? In Southern California? It was 65 outside today. My relatives from northern Wisconsin would have been in bathing suits. They would have really been in trouble.

River said...

My husband tries to make ME wear a coat when HE feels cold.....

word verification is "comicals". How very appropriate.

Grumpy Admirer said...

"Now look what YOU MADE ME do!" Amazing how much power you have over her - that she is GIVING you!! Next time MAKE HER get a life! Crazy broad.

comment moderation: blewmene
Funny. Fitting.

Anonymous said...

This woman is lucky SHE still has HER kid. I think I would have called CPS after that incident. Imagine what could have happened had she not been stopped...My kids wear hoodies all throughout the winter...But they're not standing at a cold bus stop in the morning, and they only have a short dash home in the afternoon...Although, I do insist on warmer hoodies when the temp drops below a certain point...Aeropostale now has a little people store online...you may want to try that for Frank...they have a nice selection of "thermal" hoodies...

amy said...

My two boys (we live west of Boston) never wear coats. Or hats. Or gloves. They wear sweatshirts, and somehow they are managing to get through the freezing cold winter just fine.

That woman not only helicopters her own child, but you are lucky enough to be embraced by her boundry-less parenting skills.

She reminds me of Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched.

Anonymous said...

My very elderly grandfather is a retired doctor. He always told us that you could walk around in the snow barefoot with wet hair and you wouldn't get a cold unless you were going to get one anyway. This in answer to our laughter about our friends and their old wives tales.

kate said...

I used to wear flip flops to high school when it was snowing and I've managed to survive to adulthood. I'm sure Frank'll pull through.

minimedic said...

There's a BuckCherry song that describes her PERFECTLY...

The Mother said...

Perfect parents need to get a life.

And a microbiology textbook.

maddmedic said...

Oh my.....
When her kid cracks from being under an overbearing, over oppressive, over bitchy Mom...I'd like to see it!!

elsi said...

The high schoolers in our NJ town seldom wear coats. The younger ones are generally made to by their moms. My 21 y.o. son has not worn a coat in 7 years, or gloves.

I think he IS going to give himself Reynaud's syndrome, though. He'll have some fingers white, and some red or purple, and the circulation can take a long time to normalize.

But he's too old for me to call CPS on myself.

Rebecca S. said...

I'm with student Dr. Blaze. My mom probably would have done that, too.
Good rant though, Dr. Grumpy. When my boys were little they wore wool sweaters instead of coats. Coats inhibited their play too much. They were always warm enough!

Fordo said...

That was me, Doc. I'm sorry I made a scene. I was having a bad day. You see, my husband just left me, my teenager decided to major in acting instead of pre-med, my pants didn't button this morning, and my dog barfed on my expensive shoes.

runti said...

If you have not heard the Canadian xmas-time radio tale "Polly Anderson's Christmas Party" by Stuart McLean, you will laugh yourself silly over 'not wearing a coat'. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

You can always tell her that you are following recent scientific recommendations to promote brown fat activation so your son does not face a lifetime of obesity. Maybe you should report HER for overdressing her child and suppressing this important metabolic response to cool temperatures.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Nuh. Uh! She did NOT!

WOW!!!

[draws air circles around temple]

Eileen said...

Very late - but was the coat to be worn over the head to avoid the airborne diseases? Just wondered...

 
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