The Mother Can Just Go And Suck It!

, , , , , , , | Right | February 28, 2018

(I am standing in line at the post office waiting to send out a package. There are a few people in line, but only one person at the counter. By the main entrance, there is a spinning display full of gift cards. Next to it is a counter where a young-ish mother stands with her maybe four-year-old daughter. The daughter is having fun tearing down gift cards from the rack and leaving them near the entrance. Anyone not paying attention could easily slip and fall on the cards. The mother is downright ignoring her daughter doing this, filling out some kind of form. The clerk is clearly getting flustered with this.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am. Could you please get those gift cards off of the floor?”

Mother: *snippy* “I’ll do it when I’m done.”

Me: “You understand that if someone comes through that door they’re going to slip on the cards, right?”

Mother: “It’s not my fault if people are clumsy.”

Me: “No, but it is your fault that you’re ignoring your daughter tearing up the display.”

Mother: “Whatever.”

(The mother goes back to filling out her form. I get fed up at this point. I walk up to the daughter, ignoring the mother. I kneel down to talk to her.)

Me: “Sweetie, what’s your name?”

Girl: “[Girl].”

Me: “Okay, [Girl], I have a game for you. Can you match the pictures and numbers on these cards?”

Girl: “YES! I’m smart. I know all my ABCs and 123s!”

Mother: “[Girl]! Don’t talk to strangers! You, quit talking to my kid!”

Me: “Okay, sweetie, here’s the game. If we don’t get all these cards up and back in their proper place, the nice postman is going to get in trouble. So, if you can get these cards back in place in the next five minutes, I’ll buy you a tasty sucker from the counter. Can you do it? Show me how smart you are!”

Mother: “Don’t you be offering my child candy! I’ll call the cops.”

Girl: *excitedly* “I can do it! I can do it!”

(The girl starts picking up her mess and putting the gift cards back where they belong. She does a pretty good job of it, too. Meanwhile, the mother is trying to stop her.)

Mother: “[Girl], stop that! It’s not your job!”

Girl: “Mommy, I want the sucker! The man promised!”

(Sure enough, she gets them all up pretty quick, and mostly accurately. I buy her two suckers while shipping my package, and the postal clerk quietly thanks me. I walk over to the mother.)

Me: *to the mother* “Since I don’t know what you’re feeding her, here.” *I pitch the two suckers in her handbag, then I turn to the girl* “You did a very good job, sweetheart. I got you two suckers for being so quick. Next time, though, don’t pull down stuff like that, okay?”

Girl: “Okay! Thank you, mister!”

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