What You Don’t Know

      35 Comments on What You Don’t Know
open letter

open letter

An open letter to the teenagers at the Great Mall parking lot,

I’m that annoying person who took forever to drive out of the parking spot that you were eyeing yesterday. It’s the same every Sunday, isn’t it? It seems like everyone and their neighbor are at the mall. Naturally, empty parking spots are as dear as gold. I knew you were antsy. It probably was time for your movie and I wasn’t moving out.

The thing is, my 3-year old and I had had a great time at the movies. We watched ‘Finding Dory’. She loved it, but she thought the movie was real. She was distraught that Dory got separated from her parents. In her tiny world, even a make-believe situation like that is like a calamity of astronomical proportions. Although all the blue tangs are reunited in the end, I could tell she was still a little shaken.

We got icecreams later. The cold treats seemed to numb her raw emotions a little. As we walked towards our car, I saw your cobalt blue Volkswagen pull up behind us. You were obviously trailing me to park in my spot after we left. I saw you drumming impatiently on the steering wheel while I tried to get my toddler into her car seat.

Remember how hot it was? The inside of the car felt like a furnace. I’m not sure if it was the movie or the heat, or the fact that she despises car seats, but my toddler chose that exact moment to throw a tantrum. I signaled to you that it would take me a little longer to get out of the spot. I even apologized. You were all clearly annoyed. You could have driven slightly farther, parked in another spot and walked a few extra steps to the theatre.

But hey, why walk when you can harass the exhausted mom struggling with a tiny dictator!

Yes, I heard it. I heard every insinuating word you hurled at me. I heard the honks. Thank you for that, by the way. It didn’t calm my toddler at all. I heard your mocking laughter.

Here’s something you (probably) don’t know. Toddlers are little. They don’t get the concept of time. They don’t care if you’re late or if the world goes down in flames. All they want is whatever they want at that moment. All I needed was a few minutes to calm my little one down and get her into the car seat before driving off.

You’re teenagers, you’re hormonal and angry, I get it. I was a teenager once. But here’s another thing which you (probably) don’t know. One day, you will be me. You will struggle to get your strong-willed child to do something you want. One day, you will have teenagers enjoying your ordeal. I hope you remember me that day.

My initial reaction was to walk over and give you a good piece of my mind. But I didn’t. Only because my daughter’s safety was more important than preaching life lessons to kids I don’t know. I could not have left the spot without securing her. That is what any mother in my place would have done.

I wasn’t having a great time with the sun burning my back, my toddler’s earth-shattering cries and your background noise. But I hope you remember my composure. Because that (if I may say so myself) is how you rock big girl pants. You’re welcome.

35 thoughts on “What You Don’t Know

  1. Suchitra

    …and you rock them so well indeed! Shame on teenagers or anybody else who thinks parents are entitled folks who walk around like we own the places we dare to put a step into. Good for you, Hema and great job keeping your calm.

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      And just my luck that it was those teenagers that day. How can you make them understand, right?

      Reply
  2. kalaravi16

    Aww, Hema looks like you had a harrowing time! Toddler tantrum plus Teen uprising is seriously double dilemma! Hugs and cheer up….you’ll be having your own teen to handle eventually….oops, that isn’t the slightest bit comforting, is it! I am handling two teens at home 🙁

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      hahhaha! I know! Imagine having to handle a three-nager and a few teenagers at the same time 🙂 Thanks for reading, Kala 🙂

      Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      You’re right. And you cannot make them understand, so I thought I’ll rant out on my blog haha!

      Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      I only had the energy to deal with one of the two, and I chose my toddler 🙂 Thanks for reading, Sid!

      Reply
  3. oldendaysk

    Well done Mama! Your actions if lost on strange teenagers will not be lost with your child. She will see you do the right thing many times in her life and that will really rock!

    Reply
  4. Rajlakshmi

    Oh god who are raising those kids… it doesn’t take much to show a little bit of consideration… raging hormones or not… can’t imagine what kind of adults they will make… outrageous

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      I’m hoping they’re really not like that and it was just a bad day. Hopefully they’ll make better adults!

      Reply
  5. pranju

    That’s why I love reading personal blogs. To get acquainted with other’s perspective. Loved your open letter.

    Reply
  6. prettyflyforawhitemom

    I love the spunky and wise way you tell this tale. I can imagine exactly what that situation must have been like,partly because I’m a mom but mostly because of the way you told it, and I am angry at those kids for their behavior. Just another way mom life is a struggle between what you’d like to do- teach those kids a lesson- and what a mom needs to do- protect her children at all costs. Beautiful.

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Thank you! If this had been me before motherhood, I would have said something. BUt then this is how motherhood changes you.

      Reply
  7. ellenbehm

    Patience is in such short supply these days and mothers of toddlers have to summon up the patience of saints sometimes in dealing with their little dictators. Well told!

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Thanks, Ellen! What was funny was as soon as we left the parking spot, my toddler was back to her cheerful self. You never know with these toddlers!

      Reply
  8. Amy Bee

    I would love to see this written in some other way than a letter! Closer to a story format, perhaps?Enjoyable content, good imagery, frustrating situation.

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      A letter was the first thing that came to mind. Didn’t think of writing in a story format, but it sounds challenging. I’ll give that a whirl. Thanks, Amy!

      Reply
  9. Meg

    Rocking those big girl pants! I was ok with the letter format, though it seems the easier choice than writing it as traditional narrative. Sometimes the harder choice will force you to dig a little deeper. But you definitely conveyed the anxiety and frustration and heat and discomfort. Nice job. Teenagers can be such assholes.

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Thanks, Meg. Writing this in narrative form didn’t occur to me. I’ll give it a shot. I learn so much from you guys at YW. Thank you so much!

      Reply
  10. Beat About The Book

    *Clap clap clap* for that letter. teenagers are so impatient and so not clued in to anyone else’s problems than their own. Till I had kids of my own I was also impatient of people with kids who always seemed to ask for/expect concessions. However, now as a mum to twins I know exactly what it’s like.

    Reply
  11. Kay-el-Cee (@MizzSpecialK)

    Being a mom to one who happens to be turning 15 at the end of the month, and just recently hanging out (ALL DAY) with my friend and her two toddlers, aged 2.5 and 4, I was impressed with the patience my daughter displayed even after the yelling, screaming and crying for 20 minutes straight in the middle seat between the 2 car seats.

    I know how frustrating life can be for a mom. Quite impressed with the way you dealt with that situation. Hoping those teenagers find their way to this letter.

    Reply
    1. mixedbag Post author

      Bravo to your teen! I know teenagers also go through phases like toddlers, but being rude is just not right. Thank you so much for reading this. I really appreciate your comment.

      Reply

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