oh yes she did

Tonight Mike, Nathan and I were eating at a Mexican restaurant. It was a loud, boisterous dive filled with college students and their final exam discussions. Nathan was growing weary and had begun reacting to my requests not to run down the hallway by completely collapsing on the ground. An older woman, with poorly-streaked blonde hair, who was eating alone at a nearby table stood up and surveyed my son, grimaced at me and said, “THAT FLOOR IS VERY DIRTY!”

I was taken aback by how forcefully she declared this over the collegiate boon and the mariachi music pumping through the speakers. I said okay and shrugged and she walked off toward the bathroom. Nathan began pushing his stroller back and forth in front of our table as we gathered our things to leave. The woman marched toward me and said, “One time I was chased by a child.” Then she raised her finger at me, “SO KEEP YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM ME!”

And in the movie version of this scene, this is when my THX surround sound inner-monologue would boom: OH. NO. SHE. DIDN’T.

Hot angry vengeful adrenaline flooded my veins, presenting several Choose-Your-Adventure options, like if you want to drop kick this woman, please go to page 65. And on page 65, I’d end up in jail and wouldn’t be able to hear Nathan say for the first time, “Mommy, you are a magnificent feminine wonder!” So instead, I retorted a sharp, biting, “Sure! And thanks for letting know this floor’s dirty! I wouldn’t have known that without your help! THANKS!”

Her face tightened and she silently returned to her table, her hump back facing us.

Sure, I could have just shut up, turned the other cheek and went on with my life. But then I would have held on to that angry rush watching that woman berate me and I would have played this moment out, mostly to Mike and every number on my cell phone, replaying what she said and filling in what I should have said and should have done. I stood up for myself without using the “You better check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self!” card. Because I’ve filled my quota for this month. I wonder if she had gone to the bathroom and peed out whatever common decency that prevents people from childing a family on their way out of a restaurant for what their child has NOT DONE.

But I have to think about her side, too. I suppose it was probably difficult for this woman to watch a frightening child flail on the ground and then veer toward her, almost touching her from ten feet away! She could have almost been poked by Stretch Armstoddler!

Have you met my son? The almost two-year-old who strikes fear into the hearts of Mexican restaurant patrons? ¡Que horrible!

And FYI: This blog is very dirty! One time, a blog chased me around so keep your blog away from me!

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  1. Really though, Nathan is three feet of terrifying. Don’t squirrel cheeks and huge laughing smiles terrify you?


  3. SERIOUSLY?! “a child once chased me. so keep your kid away from me”?


    yeah i totally get that. because everyone knows how scary it is to be chased by a child.

    whack job…

  4. The lady was scared of /that/?? I’d like to know what she would do if she had been at Volunteer Park today with my 20-month – when his little girlfriend picked up a pile of dogsh*t and stood there, holding it in her hand while my kid just stared at her…

    But really – love you blog! I recently found it… Thanks for writing.

  5. See, now I would have just about blown a snot bubble laughing at that nut job. I mean seriously, who would let a child chase them (especially one as adorable as Nathan) if it wasn’t on purpose? Terrifying.

    Makes for a great visual though.

  6. But did she RUN?

    Next time, tap Nathan on the shoulder, point at the woman and yell, “Sic her!” Because that’s so totally what I would have done. On the inside, anyway.

  7. You guys totally should have thrown chips at her, like one every couple of minutes. OH and then order her one of those HUGE margaritas with 4 beer chasers….OH OH OH THEN you could take a Tylenol pill out of your purse and write CHILL on it and set it in front of her! Oh the possibilities, stupid lady.

  8. annenahm says:

    What the hell is up with people? I wish Fox had done a special on people like her when they were in their nutsploitation phase: When Toddlers Attack!! She could be all tearful and shadowed out to hide her identity. Because Toddlers! Might be Back!

  9. Was she, like, incredibly short or something? Because that’s the only way I can imagine that she wouldn’t easily be able to outrun a child — with SHORT CHILD LEGS — and thus be traumatized by such an event. WTF?

  10. thecandyqueen says:

    Were you at Puerta Vallarta? WTF? You should have told that woman to get the f$%@ out of a family establishment if she didn’t want to be chased by kids. And who the hell chased her? Chucky? Or that kid from the “Problem Child” movies?

  11. Mayberry says:

    Nutjob! (Um, I mean her, not you.)

    I like jmc’s idea too. I’m totally going to use that someday. Probably only in my imagination, because I’m a wuss, but still.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe how many parents I see letting their child TOUCH THE FLOOR with their bare hands. My mother NEVER let me do that as a child. OH MY GOD. And can you just see them putting their hands in their mouth or licking their hands right after? It always bewilders and amazes me when I see parents, time and again, let their kids DO that! If I had a kid I would pick them up AT ONE and say to them “There are tons of nasty germs on the ground – never touch it with your bare hands!”

  13. mrs. blogoway says:

    It sounds like that lady has undiagnosed mental illness. I’m not kidding.

  14. Pickles & Dimes says:


  15. Chickenbells says:

    People have such lovely advise to give the mother don’t they? How was she all freaked out that she was chased by a child? I don’t get it…I mean, chased by a goose, sure…but a child? Maybe she was a child too…and it was a traumatic school yard incident…

  16. willikat says:

    i also think that maybe, just maybe she wasn’t in her right mind. . .
    but if she was just an idiot, i would have LOVED if he ran at her, hands full of guacamole!

  17. Just found your blog and this cracked me up! I would have been FURIOUS so I am really glad you said something back to her! Even if it wasn’t as forceful as you may have wanted, you expressed your anger and didn’t keep it pent up!

  18. Sam's Lackey says:

    Just so you know, I saw this on Oprah and the thing to do when small children chase you, is stand VERY STILL. Children are only attracted to moving objects, so if you are still, he will think you are dead & move on to his next victim

    and also

    They have this new stuff called SOAP. And when you touch things that are VERY DIRTY, you can use it with water to make your hands clean again. It is like magic!

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