Thursday, February 08, 2007

How to Ruin a Stranger's Day

(I should just title each blog entry "Sorry for the delay in posting..." and go from there.)

Today is one of two days every week when I don't have an activity planned for me and the boys. I decided to take them to one of those big gyms where they have huge inflatable toys. My little guys are 3 (next week, can you believe!) and 17 months: perfect ages for this kind of thing. But really, with the cold snap that doesn't seem to be ending, anyplace indoors they can get up speed enough to run would suffice!

Anyway, so Son 1 has a cold, the coughing kind of cold. I guess his running and hard breathing were what prompted a coughing fit in the middle of the (carpeted) gym, a fit so violent that it caused him to throw up. Twice. Or three times. They kind of ran together.

The place was kind of crowded with benches lining the walls, and we were, uh, lucky enough to be near one where there were three or four other moms happily chirping away. So I'm trying my best to keep a grip on Son 2 before he runs out the door or to the water fountain while trying to clean up after Son 1 and comfort him at the same time and struggling to decide which of the three tasks is most important.

I managed to flag down a staff member who brought some towels and a trash can and offered to take care of Son 2 while I worked on Son 1, who was really okay and had stopped coughing and wasn't crying, but did utter "you hold me" no less than three times.

Now here's where my hackles raise: the three moms on the bench??? They watched this all take place and continued to chirp the whole time. Three feet away. Not one of them offered any assistance to me whatsoever. Nothing. NO THING. One of them was pregnant but hey I've been pregnant twice and I was still darned agile and could have scooped up a toddler, if needed. Maybe these women were practicing their multi-tasking skills by exchanging babysitters' names and recipes while thinking to themselves "wow, glad that's not my kid..." I don't know, but I have never sat by and watched a stranger in need without helping. And absolutely not when there are kids involved. I gathered our stuff and headed to the restroom to wash the boys' hands, thoroughly disappointed in the behavior of my colleagues and vowing I would never make any other mom feel like I felt at that moment.

I've let the incident go, to be sure, I mean what else is there to do? People don't always have the same take on things as I do, I guess.

But I'm just sayin', those moms better hope they don't meet me in a dark alley without my kids.


Anonymous said...

I have actually caught a child's vomit to save upholstery. Granted, it was a friend's child and not a stranger's, but still. I stepped up.

You can count on me for the blanket party in the dark alley.

Annette said...

another take on the whole situation is that perhaps they had no clue what you were dealing with.

Sometimes when people are chit-chatting they are so involved that they wouldn't notice if a dog peed on them (seen it happen) so... perhaps they just didn't notice you.

Just a thought.