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The Christmas Lights Are On But No One’s Home

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2019

(I work in a science centre. We have a regular who comes in and is adamant that her kid is a genius, frequently telling us how her kid could attend the teenager-focused lectures and get more out of it than the teenagers, how she’s been teaching her friend’s kids maths, etc.; it’s just that she feels shy today and that’s why she isn’t speaking in the full sentences her mother says she can definitely do. This child is two, and while bright and attentive, she seems about on par with other two-year-olds. We’ve always wondered if the parent sincerely believes this and is a little delusional or if she’s lying for attention. We give her a wide berth as she gets upset if we treat her child like a normal two-year-old — offering her toys or colouring, speaking to her in a “patronising tone,” etc. But we overhear her talking to the other parents.)

Mother: “We came all the way here to look at the Christmas lights and they haven’t even got them on today? That’s ridiculous! Why even have them if you’re not going to switch them on?!”

Other Parent: “Well, they don’t run them during the day.”

Mother: “Well, that’s stupid. Some of us have small children. It’s not practical for us to come out at night. They should have them on during the day so we can enjoy them, too. [Child] was just devastated that the city doesn’t think she deserves to see the Christmas lights!”

([Child] is currently eating paper and chewing on texta lids and having a great time.)

Other Parent: “No, as in, they don’t have them on because you wouldn’t be able to see them during the day.”

Mother: *scoffs* “Of course we can’t see them; they’re not on.”

Other Parent: “No, because the lights wouldn’t be visible during the day. Even if they were on, you wouldn’t be able to see them, because the sun is so bright they would look like they’re off. There’s no effect during the day.”

Mother: “You’re being ridiculous; you can still turn lights on during the day. Electricity doesn’t just stop working when the sun is out.”

Other Parent: “Yes, I know that, but you wouldn’t be able to see… You know what? I think my son needs the bathroom. Excuse me.”

Mother: *to me* “God, can you even believe how stupid some people are?”

(New theory: her daughter is a genius because the bar is set very low.)