We went to the mall today to do some Christmas shopping. We were hanging out in Pottery Barn Kids, letting M. enjoy the rocking horse and terrier and then turned her loose on the table where they had a roll of paper and crayons. She’s just started scribbling and isn’t always sure what to do. Sometimes she goes nuts, other times she looks at you like you’re nuts when you give her the tools to doodle. S. took off for the restroom so it was just M. and I sitting at the table. Then two other kids came over and sat down to color. Their mothers appeared just as M. started coughing and sneezing. As I tried to get my hand over her mouth, I noticed she had a snotty upper lip. I could feel the glares from the other moms. As soon as S. showed up, I told her we needed to get out of there. Yep, we were the parents with the snotty kid at the play area.
In our defense, it’s not like we’re the parents who let their five year old run around without wiping her nose and letting her cough on others. M. is only 16 months old and I doubt she’s able to understand the concept of not sharing your germs with others. Quite unlike a kid who was in the waiting room on our last trip to the pediatrician. He was probably four or so, and wandering around in the confused haze of a kid who’s sick. His mom was trying to get his younger sibling to take a bottle and probably thought this one was just playing with toys. Instead, he walked right over to M., looked at her, and coughed in her face three phlegmy times. I was so shocked I couldn’t get her out of the way. The kid’s poor mom was having such a hard time with her infant that she didn’t notice what he was doing until he had coughed on two other kids. It was like he was a little biological terrorist, making sure his germs were spread all over Hamilton county. Still, he was four, he should know to cover his mouth. And damn those mothers who gave me dirty looks today. Just because M. has a big head and is clearly the smartest kid in the room at all times doesn’t mean that she’s mastered social skills their kids probably have no concept of. Happy holidays!