I have been anxiously awaiting the warm weather which has finally graced us with its presence. I am in a new home for this particular season and this new home has a pool. Granted, I have to share this pool with every other resident of the community but it is still mine and I am going to use it as much as possible, neighbors be damned.
I woke up on Saturday and ripped open the curtains to find gorgeous sunshine waiting to cancerize my skin cells. I was elated. I threw on a swimsuit, filled a cooler up with beer and made my way outside to my happy place. Only once I got closer did I realize that I would be sharing the pool with my nemesis, the redneck. Extra bonus for me! Redneck children accompanied her.
I claimed a chair on the other side of the pool, trying hard not to make eye contact. I poured a beer, plugged in the ipod and settled in for a day of baking. All was well for about fifteen minutes until I heard the yelling. I opened my eyes and removed one earbud just in time to see the redneck yanking her barely walking toddler out of a chair by one arm, screaming obscenities at him while I looked on in horror. She glanced at me quickly but I was able to look away just in time.
This cycle continued for about two hours. Child would play. Child would do something redneck wouldn’t like. Child would get ripped off the ground by a limb. Child would be scolded, sometimes spanked. Repeat.
I was most certainly uncomfortable but, even though I thought the child’s behavior may not have warranted her reaction, her reaction was also not harsh enough to warrant me standing up and saying something. That changed, however, the next time the child crawled up on the chair he wasn’t supposed to be on. The mother ran over, spanked the child hard on the butt and screamed ‘I’m gonna get my belt if you don’t stop this shit!’
I sat in absolute horror, unable to contain my disdain for this person who called herself a mother. I do not have a problem with spanking. I believe that is up to each parent. I was spanked and do not hate my parents for it. However, when you start bringing objects into the spanking and using the term ‘beat’ which this particular ‘mother’ used repeatedly, then I have an issue. The mother and children quickly left the pool after this particular incident. I believe she could feel the tension mounting as everyone at the pool was now staring at her with daggers in their murderous eyes, waiting for her to cross that line she had been so carefully toeing all afternoon.
I didn’t see her for the rest of the day, nor the next day. Do I believe she abuses her children? I honestly have no idea. However, considering what she deemed to be okay public behavior, it horrifies me to think about what she does behind closed doors.
When is it okay to say something to someone who may be crossing a line with their child?
Are you okay with spanking? Were you spanked as a child?
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