Dear Lady at the Phlebotomist's:
Yes, I was sitting there in the waiting room with 4 small children (you missed the two I didn't have with me). Yes, the four year old boy was sitting in a chair back-to-back with mine. It made it difficult to follow his every action, since I was also nursing a baby, chatting with a six year old and being climbed on by a two year old. They were all sitting quietly -- no screaming, no running through the aisles. I thought they were being rather lovely (and I've seen them being rather unlovely).
And then, there you were. Glaring. Shoving a small piece of paper at me and saying, "I think this is your child's." I said, "Thank you." Although your rather belligerent attitude was odd, I thought you were returning to me one of those precious doctor's office stickers that my children cherish so much. Then I flipped the paper over and realized it was blank. Stripped of its stickers. The stickers were on the arms of my four year old.
Ah ha. He must have dropped it on the floor. The vicious, nasty little litterbug. How could I have missed that with my back to him and a million things going on? I'm so glad you directed my attention to it. After all, if you hadn't interceded and pointed it out, my children would have spent their entire lives thinking that dropping garbage on the floor was ok and some day we'd be buried in sticker papers. It certainly would not do to ignore such outrage and quietly pick up and throw something away for a busy mom.
Or perhaps my presence with part of my horde was annoying in and of itself. Was it that obvious that I was a neglectful and negligent parent? I sure fell down on the job when I missed that falling sticker back. What else must be wrong with a woman who has so many children in tow.
I thank you for making me aware of my miserable failures, my lack of care for my children and clear ignorance of social mores. In future, whenever the children mess up and drop something on the floor, I will remember your outrage and take proper measures. Just in case you were mostly outraged by the sheer size of my brood (and you only saw 2/3 of them), I'll try to keep you annoyance in mind next time I look fondly at my husband and he gets that gleam in his eye.
The Crazy Woman with the Litterbug Son
4 years ago