Parenting Is A Vicious Merry-Go-Round

| Right | May 27, 2017

(My local museum has a refurbished antique carousel patrons can ride on, which is manned by volunteers. Before admitting any riders, the volunteer has a small speech they have to give — a short summary of the carousel’s history, followed by a warning that, because it’s an antique, there are several horses that no longer “jump,” and then moving on to the rules and whatnot. My friends and I are there and decide to take a ride, so we go to the carousel pavilion. The volunteer begins to speak, and it is obvious she is on the verge of losing her voice. My friends, and several other museum patrons, are trying to listen to her talking about the history of the carousel when a four-to-five-year-old boy runs over, grabs at the rope divider, and begins shaking it while loudly jabbering about the horse he is going to ride. I get his attention, put my finger to my lips, and point to the volunteer, who has started to explain the safety procedures as loud as she can, which, again, isn’t very loud at all. All of a sudden I feel a hand grab my arm. I turn and there is an irate woman glaring daggers at me.)

Mother: “Did you just tell my son to shut up? How dare you try to parent my child!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I just figured that letting this poor girl tell us the carousel rules, so that we can ride the carousel, was really important, and I didn’t want her to have to strain her voice doing it.”

(The operator thanked me afterward; I gave her a couple of throat lozenges and told her to hang in there.)


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