It’s Not All Mary Poppins

People are weird

We generally create a stir when we go places. Four toddlers in a stroller, with a puppy alongside. It’s some damned cute.

Most people smile. Many laugh outright. Children point. People do double-takes, nudge their friends, roll down the window of their car…

I don’t necessarily enjoy all this. I’m a pretty private person, and an introvert to boot. I’m not shy, mind you. There are times and places where I can thoroughly enjoy being the centre of attention. I don’t crave the spotlight all the time, though. The feeling that just by walking down the street I’m making a spectacle of myself? Not one I enjoy.

Most days I can enjoy the stir, because people are getting such pleasure out of us. We’re provoking smiles and laughter, after all. Smiles and laughter are a good thing. The other days, the days I really would rather pass unnoticed, I endure it. (With a smile, of course. People are being nice, I can at least smile. It might be a weary smile, but it’s a smile.) But escape it? Not really possible.

Now, a small percentage of people don’t notice us at all. One might wonder how four toddlers in a super-long stroller with a puppy alongside could pass unnoticed, but it happens, every day. One might condemn those people for their lack of observational skills, if not their lack of heart… one might, unless one were me. I know I’ve been that preoccupied. You could have passed the entire Mulberry Street parade under my nose at certain points in my life, and I’d not have noticed.

I had my reasons. These people probably do, too.

The people who truly confound me, the people I find it hard to forgive or even excuse? Are the people who see four toddlers and a puppy…

and scowl.

Really. That happens, not every day, but probably most of them. Passing down a city street, there will be one person every day or two who scowls. Not because we’ve crowded them, not because their passage has been halted to make room for four toddlers and a puppy, but just because…

I don’t know.

If they looked sad, I’d think maybe they’re missing their child who is at his/her daycare somewhere, or maybe that their family pet died recently.

But a scowl?

What’s with that?


June 13, 2011 - Posted by | our adoring public


  1. Remeber when we were kids our mothers would tell us stop scowling or your face might freeze like that? Well some people just didn’t listen.

    Bill, this comment has had me chuckling on and off for five minutes now. Didn’t listen to their mothers and look where it got them! Perma-scowl, and serves them right!

    Comment by billarends | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  2. Ooops that should have read “remember”! Not sure if “remeber” is a word, but I’m sure the day care kids would say it was.

    I’m sure they would. It often comes out “be-member”, too, which I find totally adorable. 🙂

    Comment by billarends | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  3. Yeah, I don’t get it. Even before I had children, when I was one of those “don’t think I get the kid thing or why I would want to have them” sort of people. (Wow did hormones and marriage change me!) I still found toddlers and puppies cute. Especially well behaved toddlers in a cool stroller.

    Of course, I also am in charge of a two year old that only has two expressions, contagious glee and an I am dangerous scowl. Seriously the child has expressions I thought you had to develop over time. I didn’t get the mom glare until I was, well a mom. She was born with it.

    Sounds like your daughter is going to be either a seriously effective mother and/or a seriously effective boss. She’s got the carrot and the stick nailed, and she’s only two!

    Comment by Dani | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  4. I get the same thing. Most people smile, many (in their cars) slow down and wave at the kids. The odd person, however, zooms by without giving way for my little brood. Scowling.

    The kids notice, too. “Why is that lady so MAD?” the four year old asked one day after one particularly pissy looking woman nearly mowed us all down on a blind corner. It was a good opportunity to have a discussion about feelings and how sometimes everyone just has a bad day. Of course, when the same lady did the same thing later in the week, I had nothing. 😉

    Now, I would have taken that one step further: Explained that everyone has bad moods and bad days… but then continued that having a bad day does not mean you get to be mean to other people. And if every time we met someone he/she was grumpy? I might answer the question with, “I don’t know, honey. Some people are just like that.”

    Comment by hodgepodge | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  5. when I was nannying I had a double buggy with a buggy board, I got sneered at and refered to as a ‘breeder’ more than once…

    Really? People said that to your face? Eesh. Never mind that they’re stupid enough to think it, but also rude enough to say it? Methinks the ‘breeding’ they so disapprove of might best have stopped with their parents…

    Comment by jenny | June 13, 2011 | Reply

    • “The scowling person was probably sneering ‘Breeder!'” was what I was thinking, too. I’ve never met anyone who has voiced out that thought but I got acquainted with people who have thoughts like that after reading the comments on news article where children are mentioned.

      Oh, for heaven’s sakes. And reproducing is bad, because…? If none of us opted to have children, the human race would be gone in less than a hundred years. Without an upcoming generation, who’d pay for hospitals, retirement homes, who’d run the grocery store, who’d pump the gas for our cars? We’d find it a cold, hard world in pretty short order. I’ve heard the term, but suspect they’re a veeeery small minority of vocal people, made much of by the media precisely because they’re odd. And silly.

      Comment by Judy | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  6. Huh. Is an appropriate response for a sneer-y, negative, “Breeder!” the calm reply (with optional shrug), “Yeah, well, so was your mom.”? 😉

    If you ever encounter such a person, I think that’s about the only appropriate thing you could say. But really? I think they’re one in a million, maybe, and more fiction than reality.

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | June 14, 2011 | Reply

    • are you saying my comment was ‘fiction’? hoping I’ve misinterpreted what you said

      Oh, no, I believe that actually happened to you. By ‘fiction’, I mean that the media has given a very small and obnoxious group far more attention than they deserve (because they’re so unusual/sensational), and we end up with the impression they’re more common than they are. You happened upon the one-in-a-million asshole, poor you.

      Comment by jenny | June 15, 2011 | Reply

  7. lol ok, sorry have had day from hell and am maybe a little over sensitive…! xxx

    Comment by jenny | June 15, 2011 | Reply

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