He Watches When You’re Sleeping

, , , , , , | Related | December 25, 2017

(My daughter comes home from preschool in December with a stuffed animal that I know she doesn’t own. We do not celebrate Christmas so my daughter and I have no background knowledge in anything related that holiday.)

Me: “[Daughter], where did that giraffe come from?”

Daughter: “A man gave it to me.”

Me: “A man?”

Daughter: “Yeah, he came to the preschool and gave everyone toys!”

Me: “Did the teachers know this man?”

Daughter: “[Friend] says he’s always watching us. He was really nice.”

(At this point I’m about to call the preschool freaking out about a male stalking my little girl when my husband jumps in.)

Husband: “Watch this, honey… Did this man have a red suit on and a long white beard?”

Daughter: “Yeah! You know him too, Daddy?”

(And that is how I almost called the preschool freaking out because I thought Santa Claus was stalking my daughter.)

Never Too Young To Learn

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(A young woman, her daughter, and her mother come into the store. The two women stand at the courtesy desk and spend about ten minutes discussing lottery tickets. The little girl, who is about five, immediately runs around the store being a nuisance, knocking things over, and even hitting and kicking employees. Every time someone tries to get the women to pay attention to her, they just laugh about their “precious little [Little Girl].” Note that we’re in an area that is about 99% white.)

Young Woman: “We want games two through twenty.”

Manager: “Okay, that’ll be [price].”

Older Woman: “No, it won’t! That’s way too expensive!”

Little Girl: “Too expensive! Dirty n*****!”

(The whole storefront immediately falls silent. Another mother who is in my line covers her young son’s ears, looking at me, mouth agape in shock.)

Little Girl: “Dirty n*****! Dirty n*****!”

(My manager, who has been serving the two women, stares dumbstruck at them. They’re still looking at lottery games, discussing prices, completely oblivious to what the little girl is saying.)

Customer In My Line: *quietly* “Please, do something! This is horrible!”

(All the while, the little girl has been screaming even more racial slurs, getting progressively louder until she is shrieking. Finally the two women notice what she’s doing and her mother sprints over to her, smacking her across the face.)

Young Woman: “[Little Girl]! That is enough!”

Little Girl: *screaming at the top of her lungs* “YOU’RE A DIRTY N*****, TOO!”

(Her mother picks her up and runs out of the store. The older woman gives the lottery tickets one more look and then follows. The storefront is still frozen for another few moments.)

Manager: *loudly so people can hear her* “Excuse me, customers. I’d like to apologize for what just happened, and for our poor response. I hope no one was too offended or hurt, and if anyone would like to file a complaint, please follow me to the office.”

(One person follows her. She later told me the person was a neighbor of the women and didn’t complain, just empathized with my manager and explained that the whole family is incredibly racist and has a confederate flag in every window of their house. Thankfully, those people have never come back to the store.)

Didn’t Break The Santa Clause

, , , , , | Related | December 22, 2017

(Mom has decided that it’s about time to tell my younger brother, now seven, the truth about Santa Claus. So one day she sits him down and asks him a question to feel out how best to start this conversation.)

Mom: “[Brother]… you believe in Santa Claus, right?”

Brother: “Uh…”

Mom: “You can tell me the truth, okay?”

Brother: *sheepishly* “I’ve known you and Dad are really Santa for a couple years now, but I didn’t say anything so I could keep getting presents.”

(Smart kid. He’s 22 now but still gets presents.)

Don’t Baby-Talk Your Child

, , , | Learning | December 22, 2017

(I’m a Sunday School teacher for children who are aged six to eight. One Sunday, a seven-year-old girl comes into class.)

Girl: “I don’t ever want to have a baby.”

Me: “Oh? Why not?”

Girl: “My mommy says that you have to get a shot in your back that goes all the way to your bones!”

Me: *assuming she’s talking about epidurals* “Well, not all mommies get the shot. You can choose not to.”

Girl: “But Mommy says that if you don’t get the shot, it hurts really, really bad. She says it feels like you’re ripping in half. And sometimes, you do rip in half on your private parts!”

Me: “Someday, you might decide that you want a baby, anyway. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too.”

(She seemed satisfied with this, and I’m sure there was a context, but why was this mother discussing the gory details of pains of childbirth with her seven-year-old?)

Ice Cream Is Sweet Child Of Mine

, , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

(I go into a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, where they let you choose a cup size and then charge by weight. When I go in, there’s a small boy with a huge tub, filling it with every flavor and topping he can find. I get a small cup and finish up pretty quickly. The boy comes to stand next to me at the counter after I have already put my yogurt on the scale.)

Me: “This will be all.”

Cashier: “What about his?”

Me: “Um, he’s not mine.”

Cashier: *laughs*

Me: “I’m not joking. He was here when I came in, and has clearly been at it awhile to fill that giant tub. Did you not see him before?”

Cashier: “Listen, I know it will be pretty expensive, but you have to pay for your son.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t have any children. He isn’t mine.”

Cashier: “Well, whose else could he be? You’re the only other person in here!”

Me: *quietly* “Which means he has an irresponsible mother, but that mother is not me.”

Cashier: “I’m not letting you leave without paying.”

Me: *sighs, turns to little boy* “Please tell this lady where your mom is.”

Little Boy: *looking very confused* “She’s in the car outside.” *holding up a couple $20 bills* “She gave me this for ice cream!”

Me: “Great, thanks.”

Cashier: *looking absolutely disgusted* “Your total is $3.78. How was I supposed to know he wasn’t with you?”

(I just left. I get that it was a weird situation, but seriously, how did she not see the kid in the tiny shop for what must have been at least ten minutes before I walked in? And why on earth would I lie about not being a child’s mother? Parents of the world, please chaperone your kids. Don’t assume an employee is paying them any attention at all!)

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