Last week we went on vacation. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the coast of North Carolina. We explored the area around Atlantic Beach and Beaufort. It is a less traveled place and we had a blast. We visited the North Carolina Aquarium and I would recommend it for everyone. The exhibits were great, and the bird show was fantastic. I did get to “pet” a ray as he swam past and pick up some different kinds of crabs. We swam in the ocean and collected shells every morning.
During the hottest part of the day we explored small towns around us. Beaufort is one of the oldest towns in North Carolina and has a lot of history including the distinction of saying that Blackbeard’s boat was just offshore and that he often came to Beaufort to stay. We went to the Maritime museum to see the Blackbeard exhibit and that is where we met the monster on vacation.
All was going well until the very end. The youngest and I popped up to the front of the museum to check out the bathrooms. We wandered over to the gift shop to see what we could see. I was talking to the museum women and he was looking at a book on shells when it happened. I heard a crash and a loud scream. “I want a watch!”
The small monster was wearing a pink, frilly tutu of some sort, sparkly pink tennis shoes, and a headband with pinkish feathers. With each stomp of her tiny foot, her headband would shake and shimmy. She quickly escalated in volume while her grandmother completed her purchase. The little girl looked at us and ran over to a table and shoved a stack of books off to the floor. My youngest gasped in horror and my eye began to twitch. Where were the parents?
“I want a watch!” she reiterated.
The museum visitors were gathering while the mom stood texting by the exit door. It was easy to spot her because she was wearing a small plastic backpack – bright pink, of course. Her head was down, and her thumbs were working overtime. Nothing was happening here. She had no clue, or she didn’t want to know.
By then our college daughter and her boyfriend were ambling up to the front to see what was happening. I motioned to them that we should leave. We all sat on a bench on the front porch and waited for dad to finish reading about life boats from the early 1800’s. The kids were laughing and saying that if that was them, their behind would be stinging or their arms might have been almost yanked off from being dragged to the bathroom for a little come to Jesus meeting in the museum.
In the middle of our laughter, the door opened, and the grandmother walked out followed by the mother and a young lad of about eighth grade. Finally, the pink monster stomped out, walked over to our bench and kicked it. The others proceeded to the car. No one spoke to the child or even looked at her. We just stared as she proceeded to kick the railings and scream.
College girl was holding me down and saying, “Please don’t say anything mom. Just let her scream.”
The young boy got out of the car and came to the pink dragon. “If you get in the car, we can get some ice cream.” He bent down to speak directly to her. She screamed right in his face much like the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. Her body shook, and spit shot from her mouth. “I want a Watch!”
What a little horror! We finished our trip and while the kids went back out to the ocean I ran to the grocery store for a few things. Wouldn’t you know it, right in the automatic doors was the same little child screaming about a shovel while all around her were ignoring or texting.
She did not ruin our vacation because she was easily forgotten, but I seriously think the grandmother was thinking about leaving early or sending the daughter and her children home.
All this to say: If you want to have a kid, have them. Have as many as you want. BUT TAKE CARE OF THEM and that means take the time to notice them and to discipline them and to set boundaries for them. How unfair to make the young pre-teen boy put up with her antics and take care of her. How unfair to make the grandmother listen to her demands. How unfair to make a five-year-old beg for attention.
Parents get off your phones and take care of your kids! Spank them, put them in time out, talk to them, grab them by the arm and haul them to the bathroom. Do something or your little pink monster will grow into a large, unhappy, dysfunctional monster who just wanted some attention and boundaries along the way.