Let’s hope she learns anger management from her father.
March 14, 2011

With the puppy being the approximate size of raptor food, and there being exactly TWO enormous nests that provide birds of prey with front-row seats to our yard, Charlotte and I spent more time than usual at the home-front for awhile.  But now that Millie has officially outgrown her status as HAWKBAIT, Charlotte and I have been getting out more frequently.  Yesterday, I walked Charlotte to the park and when we got there I set her down and she ran wild.

WILD is a bit of an understatement, and before I tell you what happened next, I should probably be completely upfront about that.  Charlotte ran around like a rabid animal, THAT is the sort of wild I am talking about.  She ran and screamed and ran and threw her arms in the air and ran and jumped in a mud puddle and ran some more.  After a few (LOUD!) sprinting spurts through the trees, she made her way to the jungle gym where the other kids were and dove in.  She climbed up and screeched excitedly when she saw the slides and generally acted like this was the coolest damned thing IN THE WORLD, like we should have just given the hawks a tasty afternoon Millie treat instead of missing all this park awesomeness.

And you know what?  It’s a park!  I am the sort of mother who allows screaming and running and even ball-throwing IN MY HOUSE, so I certainly don’t care if she wants to release a little steam OUTSIDE.

So anyway, my kid is screaming and playing and having a good time.  She isn’t pushing or biting or stealing toys or cutting in line at the slide, she’s just yelling and running and sliding with a big smile plastered on her face.  The other kids are laughing with her, playing with her, hugging her, showing her the slide, and nobody is crying or complaining.  But for some reason, another mother took it upon herself to pluck my kid off the ground, take the three steps over to me with my child in her arms, and say IS SHE YOURS, THIS ONE, RIGHT HERE?

Yes, I said, as I snatched her back.  And as I’m standing there looking for the most civil way to ask her not to touch my kid again, please, because she’s a human being and she deserves a little more respect than, say, a butt-licking monkey, ARE YOU READY FOR THIS ONE, INTERNETS?, because this is almost as infuriating: she followed that up with SHE’S TOO LOUD; YOU REALLY NEED TO SETTLE HER DOWN.

She’s too loud; you really NEED to settle her down.

In retrospect, the appropriate answer might have been to approach that asshat of a woman with the assumption that she was simply a moron who couldn’t help herself, but I’m not perfect.  A stranger touches my kid?  Treats her like a piece of filth and then has the nerve to tell me how to parent?  All bets were off.  I was piss and vinegar.

It might not be the most mature thing to do and it might not be the behavior that I should model to my daughter, but I’m not ashamed to say that I went a little Momma-bear on her ass, a little GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF MY CHILD, YOU FUCKTARD and a little I’LL DECIDE WHEN SHE “NEEDS” TO SETTLE DOWN and a little WE’RE AT A PARK FOR CRYING OUT LOUD and a little FUCK YOU FUCKING FUCKER BITCH.  And then when her three-ish-(four-ish?)-year-old started chanting FUCKERBITCH FUCKERBITCH FUCKERBITCH on repeat and giggling, I stood there voice shaking, toddler on my hip, pretending to be so much more together than I was, and I said “you really NEED to watch his mouth.”

Go ahead and send me hate-mail, Internet.  I slept like a baby last night.

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  1. By on March 14, 2011

    Wow. It would be one thing if she just came over to talk to you about this, but to grab your kid??? I’m willing to bet that she would have not liked it if you had grabbed her kid. It’s an unspoken “rule” that you just don’t touch someone else’s kid (unless they’re in danger). I certainly don’t blame you for going “Momma Bear”-style. The language might not have been the best choice, but quick, hot anger will do that to you. It’s too bad that Charlotte’s fun was interrupted by such a rude, interfering mom.

  2. By on March 14, 2011

    THAT my dear, was amazing. So proud.

  3. By Christy on March 14, 2011

    YES! I was SO hoping you were going to tell us you went off on that asshat. She was WAY out of line. I would have done the same thing. Good job!

  4. By Efka on March 14, 2011

    Ohh, I must say that this is just unbelievable. I mean the other mother - I would understand , is she would have just told you, that in her opinion Charlotte was too loud, but to pick her up and bring to you. Cant believe it. :(

  5. By WaltzInExile on March 14, 2011

    I benefited (probably too often) from that type of fierce mama love….but I think that’s the important lesson here. Then again, my mom made my guidance counselor cry, so…grain of salt :)

  6. By lceel on March 14, 2011

    You made me laugh out loud.  And yes ... she needs to watch his mouth.

  7. By Cynthia Krajcarski on March 14, 2011

    Oh my gosh… PLEASE tell me that her son really did start to chant “Fuckerbitch”.

    I would have done the same thing, probably with less creativity on the swearing, so you get extra points for that. Go Mama Bear!

  8. By carolina on March 14, 2011

    so so so so so so awesome :o)

  9. By Jill on March 14, 2011

    I have been so afraid that I am going to have a “conversation” very similar to this some day… I am so glad that somebody I respect so much as you blazed the trail for me.  You are awesome.

  10. By Momiss on March 14, 2011

    I have a big smile plastered to my face right now because I am so proud of you I want to SCREAM, but I’m at work and I don’t want to be told that I NEED to settle down!. LOL
    Isn’t motherhood just the most empowering thing on earth?
    You go, girl.  And let me know if this woman grabs her child and hustles off in the future when she sees you coming.  LOL

  11. By on March 14, 2011

    Atta girl!

    When you said she picked Charlotte up, my immediate thought was “Why the hell is she touching Charlotte?“ I’d have boxed her ears, too. She had no right to put her hands on your child.

    Parks are for children to play in. Children are loud. If she wanted quiet, she should have went to the library.

    There’s probably a book there to help her teach her kid not to repeat the things that grown-ups say, too.

  12. By Alicia S. on March 14, 2011


    You know, the other day at the library, my 3-yr-old son was sitting on a stool in front of some shelf the another mother’s kid was trying to reach, so the mother thoughtlessly picked him up and moved him out of the way like he wasn’t worth the courtesy it would have taken to ask. I was busy nursing my daughter a few feet away, and my son didn’t object, so there really wasn’t an oppurtunity for me to let her know how much it bothered me—but it has ever since.

    Way to go Momma Bear

  13. By Mary @ Parenthood on March 14, 2011

    Um. Other mom was way out of line but assuming that what you wrote is actually what you said, I’m slightly horrified by your response.

    The punch line WAS funny, but I just don’t see what your response accomplished that was positive. 

    I don’t know you personally, but I do know that you have it in you to keep your temper (I’m remembering a recent mess all over your kitchen).

    To be honest, I think you owe that woman an apology the next time you see her.

  14. By on March 14, 2011

    I love it!  If she would have touched my boy she probably would have got a smack across the face. I admire your restraint.

  15. By Brigid Keely on March 14, 2011

    Ugh, how awful. I’m sorry you encountered that woman! Her behavior was really out of line.

  16. By on March 14, 2011

    Brilliant!! I am so mama-bear high-fiving you right now! And I love that you are proud of yourself. Too often we apologize for the way we stand up for ourselves or our kids. Bra-fucking-vo sister!

  17. By on March 14, 2011

    Really, ladies? Applause?

    I’m shocked at what that mother did, and would be fuming, too. She had no right to do what she did.

    But I’m also horrified that you chose to speak to her that way. I don’t think you had the right to do what you did.

    I’m a little scared of you….

  18. By on March 14, 2011

    Awesome! You did what any other momma would have done. congrats to you, you should be very proud! and it sounds like she deserves to have her child saying that, maybe it’ll teach her a lesson

  19. By Megan on March 14, 2011

    You are my hero!!!!!

  20. By Monica @ Mom in Training on March 14, 2011

    Oh my gosh, you are so funny, I would have done the same thing.  Harper totally throws the ball allllll day long inside our house too.

  21. By on March 14, 2011

    I’m with Mary and Carla.  To me, this doesn’t make you seem cool and protective, it makes you seem immature.  The cursing doesn’t even bother me, but the word “fucktard” does.  I can’t believe an adult would say something so hurtful.  I’m done with this blog.

  22. By on March 14, 2011

    This endears you to me. Sometimes, you seem a bit too perfect and it makes me feel a bit inferior. But you have a temper, and you use it well. Sure there are better ways to handle things, but so what?

  23. By on March 14, 2011

    I just about peed my pants laughing at this. 
    A park is meant to be enjoyed; for kids to run free and have fun and make noise. 
    The other mother did not have right to put her hands on Charlotte and I agree with your instinct to protect her. 
    I think you might have to find a way to be a bit more creative with your insults because soon enough it will be Charlotte repeating fuckerbitch.  (I’m not judging you just a bit of advice from another Mama bear with a temper and a kid who has repeated the cursing)

  24. By on March 14, 2011

    i’m just happy to know i’m not the only one with the mouth of a sailor. i’m trying to watch what i say around the toddler, but sometimes it’s hard to keep it in. and i agree with the title…i often hope my son learns how to deal with anger from his cool and collected father.

  25. By on March 14, 2011

    I don’t normally comment, much less twice in one day or in response to something someone else has posted but…

    @ Mary and Carla

    Are you horrified because of the “innappropriate” language or because she yelled?

    If it’s about the words she used, get over it. They’re just words.

    If it’s because she yelled, get over it. She was taking up for her child, who will learn to grow up and take up for herself.

    Scared? In the words of my five year old, “puh-lease” It’d be more scary if Sarah let strangers tell her how to raise her child… or if she let people tell her she was wrong for taking up for her child when someone is treating her child with disrespect.

  26. By on March 14, 2011

    And the word “fucktard” isn’t a shortened form of retard. True fucktards are 100% responsible for their situation or stupidity.

  27. By erin on March 14, 2011

    AHAHAHA!  Fuckerbitch!  I love it. :)

    There is a reason it’s called an “outdoor voice.“  BITCH.  The only sad part of this story is that you didn’t get her name or a picture so you could have outed her publicly.  Because I’m a fuckerbitch like that. ;)

  28. By on March 14, 2011

    I would do the exact same thing. Awesome!

  29. By on March 14, 2011

    That was Awesome beyond words! You are at the fucking Park! Its where you take kids to run, scream, and be wild. Oh how I wish I could have seen that, I applaud you!

  30. By erin on March 14, 2011

    PS, other people are maybe right when they say there was possibly a more mature response to the situation.  But - this is one of the best things about you: even when you make a mistake, you share it, because we are not all perfect parents.  (I am thinking specifically of when Charlotte rolled off the bed, which cracked me up, or when you talked about discipline and said What do I know, she’s only one.)  So yeah, maybe there could have been a more mature response.  On the other hand, I think you’re allowed to lose your cool sometimes (I certainly would if some other random person had touched my kid).  So still, bravo, and hopefully others who disagree with your response can see this as a learning experience for them. :)

  31. By Amber on March 14, 2011

    To those claiming Sarah doesn’t have the “right” to speak to another person as she did—its called free speech.

    She can say whatever she wants. So could the other woman. That isn’t what this is about.

  32. By Kim on March 14, 2011

    Good for you.

    As a Mother of 3 VERY loud and spirited children, I would have come UNGLUED at someone telling me that.

    I am proud of you.  Stand up for your daughter, no one else will.

  33. By on March 14, 2011

    It seems to me your reaction arose more out of your indignity at having another mother judge your parenting decisions.  Charlotte wasn’t actually harmed when the other mother, albeit rudely, picked her up and returned her to you.  You took it personally so it’s not surprising that you went off the rails like that.  At least you recognize that the behavior is not something you want your daughter to emulate.

  34. By on March 14, 2011

    LOL. To all those who thought you acted irresponsibly: we don’t all respond the ‘right’ way 100% of the time.

    If some random person picked my kid up I’d be PISSED. If someone told me my kid was acting out of line (when I thought my child was being perfectly fine) and that I NEEDED to correct his/her behavior I’d be PISSED. I applaud you for saying what’s on your mind (ok - sure, maybe there was a better way to put it - but who really cares?) instead of cowarding, strapping her on your back and like a little puppy walking home fuming over what you SHOULD have said or done and what you will say or do the next time you see this woman.

    None of us are perfect examples to our children… if you’re going to fuck up on something it might as well be in irrationally protecting them.

  35. By on March 14, 2011

    I’m not a parent, but boy howdy, I can see myself doing this someday. I don’t ever WANT to lose my temper like that (as satisfying as it is, it’s indicative of my own lack of self control, and I’m vain enough to always want to be the *better person*) but I’m pretty sure it’ll happen some day. I have a stereotypical redhead temper that (or so I’ve been told) as scared people in the past.

    Oh well. Live and learn. We’re all human.

  36. By Ashley on March 14, 2011

    I love this. How dare that woman pick up your child without permission! Oh my goodness, that in itself would have sent me into a tailspin, even without her ridiculous “complaints” about Charlotte’s behavior. GOOD FOR YOU for sticking up for your child and your parenting skills, which by the way, are AWESOME.

  37. By missjoules on March 14, 2011

    Internet high-fives from me too. No, it’s not a perfect response, but it;s better than doing nothing. I think it is great that you will stand up for Charlotte like this.

  38. By mandy on March 14, 2011

    i’d throw my bra on your stage right now if i were wearing one. while i could never say those things in front of Harper because she’d be the one saying fuckerbitch for the next 4 weeks, i commend you for telling the other mom off. . i’d rage if someone picked my kid up.

  39. By on March 14, 2011

    Bravo, Sarah.

    What isn’t being discussed is the fact that a STRANGER PUT THEIR HANDS ON CHARLOTTE.

    Stop and think about that.

    Do you think at a minimum, that could have been bewildering for Charlotte? Worst case, it could have been downright terrifying.

    This has nothing to do with proper park etiquette, or quite frankly, Sarah’s choice in how she handled it.


    Before any one of us passes judgement on Sarah, I think you’d better ask yourself… what would you do, if a stranger put their hands on your child?

  40. By Natalie on March 14, 2011

    I have to say, that i think it’s greta that you shared this, even if you could have handled it differently. We all do things we are a littles less than proud of once the dust settles.

    I have had the mama bear come out in myself only once to that extent. If someone had touched my child, i would have lost it as well. Sometimes, when you are a mother, your emotions take control. It is a necessary evil, to have such a strong response when it comes to protecting our children.

    I have to say, in my opinion, any one who would not have had such a strong response, would be a bit of a doormat.

    It is one thing to pick a strangers child up, if something dangerous was about to happen, to protect them. It is QUITE another to pick up someones child in an angry way. I don’t care what the woman’s intentions were.

  41. By Sarah on March 14, 2011

    For real, my husband is a cop and if some freak touched my kid, I would have called him ASAP and had her arrested for assault. It is a public park, you may speak however you want. It does not matter whether or not I agree with your choice of words. And it being a public park , also makes it your childs right to run screaming like a banshee. What no one has a right to do, however is TOUCH YOUR KID

  42. By kbreints on March 14, 2011

    Good for you. There are times with the F word is appropriate…

  43. By on March 14, 2011

    So proud, you did what I wish I could do in that situation,  I think I would have said “oh” or something to that affect and left the park.  Then fumed at myself for the rest of the day at how I didn’t tear the woman a new one.  Bravo!

  44. By on March 14, 2011

    I agree with Carrie F, sometimes I feel inferior as a mother reading your posts and I love that you shared this less than perfect mothering situation.  I would’ve been pissed and said something too, just not using so many F-bombs.  Or any. I prefer some stern, slow, “it would behoove you to…[keep your f’ing hands off my baby]“...  If you speak really slow, it tends to scare people more.  :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  45. By on March 14, 2011

    (This is a different Natalie, btw)

    If the woman had picked up your child in a manner which to chastise you and her, then she was clearly in the wrong. A park is a place where your child CAN and SHOULD be allowed to run around, scream, and let off steam. For her to tell you to calm her down makes no sense at all. And I would have had the same response. I would have been very vocal. Not sure if I would havee cussed quite as much, but I’m sure it would hae been in there somewhere.
    if Charlotte had bitten her hild, or kicked, or pushed, or hit, etc, then it would make sense to say something to you. I have very almly told a child to ‘please not hit’, when he punched my todler shoulder. I don’t feel wrong for that, BUT I didn’t touch the child, and I didnlt holler at him. I think it takes a village… But there are boundaries. She should have never touched your child in reproach. That is why you were upset. I’m sure if she just said somthing to you, it wouldn’t have been nearly as upsetting. I recall that you very greatfull when a stranger kept Charlotte from getting run over. So it was why and the manner she handled the situation.

    And, I’m going to stick fuckerbitch in my back pocket in case I ever run into this situation ;)

  46. By Stephanie on March 14, 2011

    I don’t know what I think about your reaction exactly (fuckerbitch? Holy shit, that’s a good one), but I can totally get it. Seeing as how my child reacts negatively when certain members of our FAMILY tries to pick him up, I can only imagine what he would do if a stranger picked him up, especially when he was in the middle of having an incredibly awesome time. I’m more than a little sad for the children of the woman.

    Could you have said something a little more put together? Most definitely, you are a brilliant woman. Can anyone fault you for your reaction? Hell no, because none of us were there or in the situation. We can never predict how we will react to something like this until it happens to us.

    My general about contact with strangers and Jasper right now is that if Jasper starts it, all bets are off. An example of what I mean: on our flight the other day, Jasper kept touching the arm of the woman next to us. She didn’t mind, and she started touching his arm in response. It totally caught him off guard, but I think he learned that if you touch someone without asking, they might touch you back, and it surprised him. He’s used to living in a world in which most adults he comes in contact with (our family and friends) except him to touch, hug, or touch them in some way. The situation you’re writing about is entirely different…I still can’t believe she thought it was suitable to pick Charlotte up at all, for something as simple as having an awesome time at the park.

  47. By Cambria on March 14, 2011

    AWESOME! I wish I had balls like yours! That woman was a total asshat and if she has a problem with noise she should just go to the library. Good for you!

  48. By on March 14, 2011

    Wow. I think, I have met a true soul friend. This was absolutely amazing… a friend linked me because, you use quite a few choice words that probably would’ve slipped my mouth in your situation. I look forward to more blog posts! :D

  49. By Courtney L @ Bundle of Wonder on March 14, 2011

    Even though I know this wouldn’t be what I would say (only because when a bad situation presents itself to me I never know what to say and then come up with the perfect response long after it’s happened), I know exactly where you’re coming from.  The fact of the matter, whether everyone agrees with you or not, is that she is YOUR child and a complete stranger thought it was okay to put her hands on YOUR child.  That is not okay (unless, like above, she was in some kind of danger).  We all say things in a heated moment that are probably not the best or most eloquent reaction.  So what?  You’re human.  This is especially true when someone is man-handling your child and telling you how she should be behaving.  Not cool.
    I’m sure she’ll think twice about putting her hands on someone else’s child next time.

  50. By Laura Bishop on March 14, 2011

    I LOVE you!
    Wish we lived closer, I’d totally want to be your friend!

  51. By on March 14, 2011

    OK, she should have never put a hand on Charlotte. But.  Delivering an obscenity laced rant in the earshot of every child who was there to enjoy the park isn’t nearly momma bear enough.  I mean, she questioned your parenting skills. Tear her heart out with a rusty butter knife and eat it while it is still beating. That is momma bear my dear.  And when you are sated, you might take a moment and ask yourself why the opinion of a stranger on the playground warrented your reaction.

  52. By Sarah Christensen on March 14, 2011

    OKAY, so after reviewing these comments and the e-mails I’ve received, I would like to address a few questions and statements.  Before I do, though, I want to explain something about me: I am nowhere near perfect.  I am certainly not perfectly consistent.  This website always has been and always will be a mix of personal stories.  If I only discussed the parts wherein I did things well, it would be a bundle of crap.  When you read blog posts, please keep in mind that I try to strike a representative balance.  One day when my daughter reads these words, I want her to understand that I always went into the day hoping to do better than I did the day before…but sometimes I just wasn’t able to.  Last but not least, before you go applauding, please remember that this is only my side of the story.  If you take my side of the story plus her side of the story, somewhere in the middle is the perfect truth, right?

    1.  Yes, I have the ability to hold my temper sometimes.  Not always.  Sometimes I bite my tongue when I should speak up and sometimes I lose my cool when I should not.  If you never irrationally fly off the handle, then I applaud you.  You are a better person than I am.

    2.  Now that I’ve slept on the incident, do I regret it?  Yes.  I know that I have it within myself to do better, to be a better person.  I could have stood up for my child and myself without some of the harsher words and I could have done it without involving her child or insulting her parenting, absolutely.  Furthermore, me losing my temper scared the shit out of Charlotte which doesn’t seem quite right to me.  But am I ashamed?  No.  I regret that I did not handle the situation as well as I could have, that I did not live up to my own standards, but I refuse to feel ashamed for standing up for my child or myself.

    3.  I do not feel that I owe her an apology, HOWEVER, if I see her at the park in the future, I will probably apologize to broker a peace.  More specifically, I will probably explain that I am sorry that I reacted so angrily but that I was quite upset and I will say that I hope we can find alternative ways for both of us to handle situations we find unsavory so that we never come to screaming again.  I hope this doesn’t make me a doormat; I think it makes me a person who recognizes that there are no easy answers to dealing with difficult people.  To the other woman, I probably seem just as impossible as she does to me.

    4.  Donald and I both swear.  Our families swear.  Our friends swear.  It is what it is.  We try to watch our language and are moderately successful, but in a fit of rage, when words are flying out of my mouth without a whole lot of thought?  I swear tenfold.

    5.  The word “fucktard” is not a commentary on how I feel about people with disabilities.  I’m not a super PC person anyway, but I can promise you that I’m not an insensitive uncompassionate prick.  At least - not most of the time.  I was not trying to slight anybody, but let’s be honest: there isn’t a curse word out there that isn’t degrading in some way.  It didn’t matter what word I picked at that moment, they were all going to be furious and insulting.

    6.  Yes, I have learned from this.  Mostly, I’ve learned that I could not have predicted my own response (I always thought I’d be much cooler under pressure) (even said OUT LOUD to people that I didn’t think I would mind if a stranger ever touched my kid) (wrong on both counts) - and that if I ever come across this same situation in the future then I will handle it differently.

    7.  No, I do not always mind when strangers touch my kid and I do not always go crazy when they do.  If they are trying to protect my child or their own, if they are showing affection when my kid is in my arms, if they are helping my daughter or helping their kid by forcing my kid to wait their turn, etc etc etc, I don’t mind.  I did mind this time.

    8.  Because it happens so infrequently, people usually are scared when I am angry.  Don’t worry.  I cool down quickly, I don’t bite, and I rarely hold a grudge.

  53. By on March 14, 2011

    I would most likely have done the same thing, Sarah.

    I think you definitely got the point across. :P

    It is interesting isn’t it, how little girls aren’t “supposed” to be screaming and loud and noisy. I wonder if that mother would have been so offended if it had been a little boy behaving in the same manner?

    I love that your little girl is so free to be who she is without having to fall into the “appropriate” gender roles. Most people I talk to think that little girls just naturally play nice and are quieter, etc, etc. My foot! We just tell little to be that way and they conform. Keep up the good work and keep encouraging your daughter to be who she really is!

  54. By Mary @ Parenthood on March 14, 2011

    Feel that I should clarify that when I commented that I know you are capable of holding your temper, the point I was trying to make wasn’t that you should therefore always be able to.  Just the combination of your self congratulatory tone and the “applause” of basically everyone else meant that I felt like someone should say that even if you fail, making the effort is still important.

    I just don’t think it is ever okay to be verbally abusive.

    PS I’m glad you think you’ll apologize, I hope by the time you get the opportunity you’ll understand why you should for reasons other than keeping the peace.  And that your apology doesn’t mean that the other woman doesn’t owe you and Charlotte one too!

  55. By on March 14, 2011

    This is going on my list of favorite blog posts I have ever read! Literally laughed so hard, I nearly peed my pants! Thanks for sharing!

  56. By on March 14, 2011

    That.Is.Awesome.  You go, Momma!!!

  57. By on March 14, 2011

    i can totally relate to your response. most of what i read from you, in fact, i can relate to. at the same time, i was really and truly horrified NOT that you swore (i fuckin’ LOVE to swear) but that you used a word like ‘fucktard.‘ it seems so completely inconsistent with who you seem to be - or at least who you present to us on this blog. i think it was especially upsetting to me because you are a writer, and also a lover of books. you know how powerful words can be. and you are intelligent, and also know how hurtful slurs can be…but instead of apologizing for using this word, you tried to excuse it by saying that you are generally thoughtful, and aren’t all swear words degrading to someone in the world…so yeah, i’m disappointed a bit. i’ve lost some respect for you for not stepping up and owning that using a derivative of ‘retard’ is not okay. and hey, i’m not going to stop reading, not even going to flatter myself that you give a shit that i left this comment, but i just wanted to let you know that one ‘little’ word you used, and then defended using, has made this mama really, really sad.

  58. By Sarah Christensen on March 14, 2011

    Mama K - When I say that I could have handled the situation better, I include the part where I used inappropriate language.  My only defense is that in a highly emotional time I did not exercise forethought, I simply let words fly.  I never claimed to be entirely consistent and I never claimed that this blog is representative of every aspect of my personality.  I do claim that this blog is representative of my parenthood overall, my failures and my successes, and that in this time I behaved immaturely.

    I have apologized to several individuals already about this, so let me clarify this right here and right now.  I am very sorry about my choice of words.  I am not ashamed that I reacted strongly and negatively, although I hope that I do a little better if I’m ever confronted with this again.  That said, I can guarantee that the word ‘fucktard’ was not intended to be a hate term or a hurtful slur.  It was something that just flew out.  There are people in my life with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and Down’s syndrome, and I cannot imagine viewing or treating any of them with less respect simply because of how other people define ability and disability.  I would also like to clarify that I had no idea until a couple of hours ago that some people use the word “fucktard” as a contraction for “fucking retard.“  Had I known that before I ran into this woman at the park, chances are very good that I would never have used that word.  And looking at it, I suppose that I should have known, but I did not.  I have long stood by the belief that the use of the word “retard” is inappropriate and I would never have used the word “fucktard” if I thought it were at all related.

    At the same time, it seems just as awful to me to edit what I said and make myself look better on a blog as it was that I used those words in the first place.  It is true - any term I used at that moment was going to be demeaning and hurtful.  And that I used any term with the intent of being royally bitchy was wrong.  For both parts of that I am sorry.

  59. By Sarah Christensen on March 14, 2011

    P.S.  Mama K - You can flatter yourself.  I read every comment and I do care about the community that reads and comments here and what they have to say.  Without people like you and Mary (and a million others in the past) who point out where I have failed and when I have been disappointing, etc, I would be a different mother.  I am the mother I am in large part because this community has encouraged me to be a better parent.  But I still fuck up from time to time.

  60. By Dana on March 14, 2011

    GOOD FOR YOU!!! That was an awesome story!

  61. By on March 14, 2011

    asshat - a new word for me - I love it.  I like Fuckdammit better, though - my 20 yr old coined that one.  I’m just a follower I guess. 
    Hey, let’s teach Charlotte some new words - it’ll be CUTE, you’ll see.

  62. By on March 14, 2011

    Sarah, I think you said it all in #58. So truthful, so open and honest. Using the “f-bombs” sure has to stop around little children. It’s a habit, I’m guessing. And habits can be changed….so not-to-worry really. Having said that, I am amazed that a woman would TOUCH YOUR CHILD!!!! In this day and age? Really? Amazingly stupid on her part. And aside from your choice of terms…you reacted EXACTLY like any Mother Bear SHOULD act! Good for you! The thing about using the f-word is that it is such a poor choice of words that it over-shadows the actual message. I’m guessing the woman didn’t “get your message” at all—she was so focused on your terminology. But I’m betting that next time you’ll do it differently….and really, that’s what life is all about….learning by doing. So don’t be hard on yourself. I laughed, tho, at how many responses you’ve gotten with this one post…..:-)  You are a wonderful mother….f-words and all.

  63. By Cynthia A on March 14, 2011

    OH Sarah, Sarah… What can I say… I just get you.  I understand.  Was some of it a mistake, yeah maybe, but hey…we are all humans.  Remembering she is human also, is just part of it…

    The use of FuckerBitch….oh my oh my…that is fucktastic… <3 ya Sarah!  Give Charlotte loves from Bailey and I

  64. By on March 15, 2011

    fuck yeah !

    people always know better, have something to say to you, have to stick their nose in the way you raise your kid, live your life, drive your car, water your lawn.. ALWAYS.

    it drives me nuts.

  65. By WebSavvyMom on March 15, 2011

    —>I can honestly say that if I could close my mouth from shock I would have said something very smart to this mother too.
    People in glass houses….I hope you run into her again at the public park and her kid is acting WILD too.

  66. By on March 15, 2011

    I did not take offense to anything that i read in your post.and thanks for the laugh :)  you did what i would’ve wished i had done - i probably would’ve been so shocked that i’d be rendered speechless and then i would’ve stayed up all night recreating the scene with my awesome withering comebacks, regretting that i had not been more quick witted.
    i think charlotte has a right to know A.that her mother is not perfect and B. the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.  the first time my son put his finger in (near?) an electrical outlet, i flipped out and scared the shit out him (meaning i screamed no! dangerous! don’t touch! in a voice he had never ever heard). has he ever touched one again? no. is it terrible that charlotte saw you lose control? no. i’m sure it won’t be the last time she hears you yell and i believe it a healthy lesson that not all yelling leads to the end of the world (or the end of a marriage or the end of a friendship or the end of love or like or respect etc).
    as far as the “language”, my god, they are only words. not that i encourage my children to regularly use the word fuck in their daily interactions, but i have learned that there are far more hurtful ways to use “appropriate language”.  the word bitch doesn’t hurt me as much as an intelligent person creatively telling me how much i suck using only socially acceptable words.. .that being said, my parents never EVER swore in front of me ( still rarely do) and the first time i heard my father say the word “bullshit”, i was DEVASTATED.  i’m talking crying, wounded, trust-fracturing devastated - and i was 14 years old. did their language restraint make me a better person? i can confidently say absolutely NOT. but after that incident, it did take awhile to come to terms with the fact that my father was not perfect. in fact, i wish i had learned that fact from much earlier on because it would’ve taken a lot of pressure off of me to be a perfect moral beacon for the world. i wish i had learned earlier that swear words are just sounds that have picked up bad reputations but in the end are really just strung together letters.
    you are a wonderful mother sarah !! thanks for sharing your stories with the world and opening yourself up to so much commentary on your life. you take it so gracefully and I admire you for it!

  67. By on March 15, 2011

    she NEEDED a good scolding, that was awful.

    HOWEVER.  please.  no F-words, especially not in front of the baby.

    still love you.  ;-)

  68. By on March 15, 2011

    As a person who has known you in person, and continues to love who you are in blog, let me say that I think you are an outstanding mother, woman and human.

  69. By on March 16, 2011

    Oh…my…god!!!  If we lived closer, we would be BEST friends.  I admire the creativity with such words.  The only time someone should touch your kid is to save them from being pummeled by a falling meteor or passing bus.

  70. By jill on March 16, 2011

    this post just made my day, and making my day is not an easy task :)

  71. By on March 16, 2011

    GIIIIIIRL let some strange woman grab my daughter let alone tell me to calm her down when she is playing and harming no one….you reacted better than I would have….I would have probably hit her just for touching my kid! So kudos to you on that. Never ever ever ever ever regret standing up for yourself and your child, I think you handled it prrfectly… I once went off on someone for rubbing the head of a child I was just a nanny for, in a mall.. He was eating ice cream on a bench looking adorable some strange woman comes over says nothing to me and rubs his head and goes on about how sweet looking he is…. She was elderly, she was maybe late 30s early 40s and in the middle of the mall I freaked my freak. So you telling at woma where to go, perfect… Because like I said I more than likely would have decked her….

  72. By Megan R. on March 16, 2011

    well done.  really, well done.  I wish I had your little “speech” in my head when reacting to the old women at JC Penny today when they told me I should “really think about putting her on a leash”.  My child was within 2 feet of me trying on sunglasses and admiring herself in the mirror at the store.  no noise.  no disrupting behavior…just pure delight in looking silly and hanging with mommy.  A leash???  I would love to meet their grown children to find out how affected they are by the stupidasses who raised them.  People are dumb.  seriously dumb!

  73. By on March 17, 2011

    You’re a little scary and foul mouthed but honestly, you made me laugh out loud, and honestly, I probably would have gone all Momma-Bear in a similar fashion.  I look forward to you joining our meet-ups.

  74. By Michelle on March 17, 2011

    She should have minded her own business. And you’re right…you’re at the park..anyone can do anything and there’s nothing you can do. A great applause to you Sarah! LOL!

  75. By on March 17, 2011

    Thanks, Nathalie.  I’m looking forward to it too.  Sorry I missed the last one =(

  76. By tracey on March 19, 2011

    This was your first true Mama Bear incident, wasn’t it? Yeah… someone judging your child and your parenting abilities AND manhandling your baby all at the same time is a definite recipe for disaster. It’s always a shock when my Mama Bear claws come out. Even 12 years into this gig and I STILL strike out when someone truly attacks my children or my ability to raise them “properly”.

  77. By Christy on March 23, 2011

    Hi! You commented on my blog (my lil girl was reading twilight) so I thought I’d come check yours out. I hope that’s ok. Your little girl is pretty dang cute!
    I’m not one to use language and I don’t really like it when others use language around my kids but man… that made me laugh! If someone had picked my kid up and said that to me… I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t have reacted pretty much the same way. Awesome!  :)

  78. By on April 16, 2013

    New to the blog- trying to catch up and couldn’t resist commenting on this one. GOOD THE FUCK FOR YOU! I would have done EXACTLY the same.





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