Dear Amy: I have two happy, spirited children, ages 20 months and 3 1/2 years.
The three of us went to a store this afternoon for a very quick visit. On our way to the checkout, I stopped to look at something, and my baby began to cry. It wasnt a hungry or hurt cry, just an annoyed cry.
A woman walked by me and in a very rude tone said, Your baby is crying. She did not say this to be helpful; obviously I was aware my baby was crying.
I responded by saying, Excuse me? The woman then was very confrontational, and I suggested she might mind her own business.
She responded by calling me a dirty, very rude word.
A store employee was standing nearby and apologized for the rude womans behavior.
I tried to take the high road and walked away.
Now I keep replaying this situation in my mind.
It would not be possible for me to love my children more. I stay home with them, and I know that I am a good mom to them. We have memberships to the zoo, the aquarium, childrens museum, science museum and local gardens.
I doubt this woman has any children of her own, or she would likely recognize that sometimes kids cry.
I did not want to further engage her, but I feel as if I did not stand up for myself.
What should I have done?
Dear Mom: You did the right thing by walking away. You might have headed this confrontation off at the pass if you had walked away sooner, however.
Now youre doing the normal thing by reviewing the game tape in your head.
No one who has ever tried to take two toddlers into a store to get an errand done would ever judge a parent dealing with a child who is melting down like an ice cream cone on hot pavement.
Membership to the zoo, science museum and aquarium does not automatically make you a good mom. Sometimes, surviving a trip to the store with the kids in one piece is the very definition of good parenting.
Dear Amy: I am chuckling over the letter from Frustrated, who must work in an 80-degree office. Your response said that this is a hostile work environment.
I am a first-grade teacher. This year our classes will continue into the end of June in a brick building with no air conditioning.
For security reasons the windows are shut at night, so the cooler night air doesnt help alleviate the heat that the brick traps in our rooms. The temperatures often go into the 90s, yet we are required to teach in classrooms full of hot, sweaty children with one wall-mounted fan. Unlike an office worker, we cant walk into a cooler area for relief or rinse off our sweaty faces.
I love my job, but it is extremely difficult to teach children when it is hot and humid for days on end.
The public wants high standardized scores but expects children to learn in conditions they find unbearable for themselves.
Dear Educator: I well remember those sweaty June days from childhood but I never pondered the conditions for the teacher until now.
Thanks for the education and for all you and other teachers do, under very challenging conditions. Im crossing my fingers for a cool end to school.
Dear Amy: Im responding to a letter from an older reader who didnt like being called young lady.
While I dont like to be called young lady either, I do not like your suggestion of whacking the offender with an umbrella. While name-calling is impolite, whacking someone with an umbrella is illegal.
You should encourage people to use your words. It is OK to express displeasure at a remark, but it is not OK to hit.
Dear Bettykay: While actual whacking with an umbrella might be considered assault with a deadly bumbershoot, surely fantasizing about it is still permissible?
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