You listen to me, Juhzanthepuss. If you ever, ever in your life...and I realise as I'm doing this; it's not OK that I'm doing this.
Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre
One of the things I find most stressful and awkward about parenting is other people's kids. Other people's piece of shit, obnoxious kids.
Even as I'm hating a kid, I know it's not their fault and some of the hate spreads to their parents, who are probably tapping away at their fucking phones and ignoring each other and their kid. Come to soft play so they can get a break and finally nail a streak on Candy Crush or just inflict their string of bad choices and poor judgements on other people for a while. A problem shared, as it goes.
Yesterday was a step too far, though. We took a trip to a soft play place and Tabitha is playing quite happily, as she does. Zipping around in every direction; a ball of energy and impulse. It's exhausting but joyful to be involved in (like Louis CK, we play with our kid at these things. It's fun).
Then these little shits show up. If you've been to a park, you know the sort. Using their numbers to commandeer the equipment like they're Napoleon. Little tyrants. They're sitting on the bottom of the slide so you can't go down it, like people who put their bags on the seat on the train; banking on people avoiding confrontation so they get to do what they want.
They're hogging some other bit of equipment and Tabitha's trying to climb to the top of it and one of them shouts "get off, you scummy girl!" at Tabitha a cold heat washes over me, and there's static in my ears like a flashbang just went off. I don't remember the last time I was this angry. I'm still furious as I write this. Luckily I regained focus and Charlotte was talking and I wasn't screaming.
The absolute worst thing about it all is Tabitha doesn't have a sense of tone of voice (which might be why she continues to draw on the TV, even in spite of my asking her not to about 1,000 times) so she didn't even get any of it. That may not seem like the worst, but she seemed to take it that these girls were talking to her so she kept trying to play with them and they were freezing her out and still being rude.
It was so heartbreaking remembering all the bullshit I went through as a kid, and thinking how glad I was to have that all behind me but now here it is, right back in front of me again. And I have this huge urge to protect her from it all, but there's absolutely no way I can, and even if I could I shouldn't.
Can she just stay two forever please?