Friday, March 20, 2009

Why I Will Remain Childless

She’s five years old.

I know because she likes to tell people. As if they cared.

Her mom is a slime-bag and the mere sight of her makes my stomach churn. She will bitch about anything she can think of, no matter how ridiculous, and while she’s busy telling everyone else how they are a failure at their calling in life, her daughter is gleefully vandalizing walls and climbing furniture.

And she’s one of THOSE moms who will rip you a new one if you so much as whisper to her daughter that she shouldn’t eat the plants.

A responsible adult will look at this difficult child and not hate the child, but blame the parent for neglecting doing any parenting.

I must not be a responsible adult because I hate this kid. And here’s why.

She walks up to my desk and watches me cautiously and challengingly as she rips a poster taped to my desk. There is no indication on her face that she’s startled by this or that it was an accident. Nope, quite the opposite. Her eyes get bigger and she leans in closer, watching me watching her, as I hear the poster tearing in her hands.

On another occasion, she walks over to the paperback spinners and begins spinning them so fast and so hard that I’m waiting for the sonic boom. Normal children will stop and look embarrassed if I look at them with that stern look that says “stop!” without actually uttering it. Not so for this child. Prepare to be engaged in a stare down as she violently hurls the spinner faster and faster. Books fling off, shooting in all directions, and it seems the only person unaware of the behavior is the mother, two mere feet away. The girl looks at me with intensity as she continues whirling the books, harder and harder. I know better than to discipline the child because that will bring about a whole plethora of insanity from the mother. Instead I shake my head in disgust and look away. She stops when it isn’t a battle between us anymore.

Each visit goes this way. She either follows her mother up and down the aisles, pulling a book off of every shelf and flinging it behind her on the floor, or she deviously seeks to break or maim things.

Yes, I hate the mother. Yes, I wish she’d move somewhere far away, and take with her every family member or friend she’s ever had so that there are no ties left in our area and she has no reason to return, even for a brief visit. I hate her that much.

But I have come to hate her daughter more. If I believed in Satan, I would check her head for some numbers. Maybe not 666, but probably 664 or 665. She may not be The One, but she’s not off by much.

Any kid who looks at me as she does something bad, knowing her mother won’t allow anyone to stop her, is aware of right and wrong, is using it to infuriate others, and prefers negative attention to positive. A better person than I might attempt to engage the child and entertain her for the time her mother is schlepping up and down the aisles, looking for the next trashy novel to befoul with her cigarette smoke and filth, but I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a better person. I settle for my mediocre self and grit my teeth until they leave. What if I’m busy one day and can’t entertain the imp? Would she somehow have gleaned a respect for the library because I spent her last two visits trying to talk to her and getting her to focus her destructive energy on something creative? Remember, we’re dealing with a child who is only one number off of being Satan’s spawn. If my back is turned and she thinks she has gained my trust, who knows what kind of havoc she would wreak? No, mutual dislike and distrust are key to maintaining this plateau of manageable devastation in her wake. If she ups the ante because she thinks she can, I could end up needing to call the fire department or something equally frightening.

Of course I’m aware that if I had a child, I would not allow her to act like 665 does. However, I can’t help but wonder if it’s genetic. You know? Did she inherit her mother’s absolute irreverence for other humans inhabiting the planet and a passion for picking fights where they don’t even exist? I think babies are born with certain proclivities, among them, evil. Maybe I don’t think of myself as evil, so perhaps I wouldn’t have an evil child, but 665 has reminded me that all my flaws concentrated into a tiny human would be too much for me to handle, and I don’t think I could unleash that on the world.

Maybe 665’s mother should have thought about that, too.

Until then, I will have to invest in a mouth-guard to protect my teeth from obliteration during their weekly visits.

And I’ll spend all my energy fighting off would-be fertilizers from coming anywhere near my single remaining ovary. A fight to the death, if need be. She will be my inspiration to remain childless. I will bellow with all my air, “SIX-SIX-FIIIIIIIIVE!” from the darkened bedroom on snuggly nights, or the steamy bathroom after a hot shower, or curiously-lit kitchen while stealing down for a midnight snack, or wherever the mood happens to strike.

Six. Six. Five. May I be forever barren.


Cat. said...

Karma is wonderful--stumbled across this site this morning via Twitter.

Sven said...

Perhaps... maybe ... can you have a squirtgun at work? I mean, if you shot her with a squirtgun, who's gonna believe her?

Nah, she'd probably think you were playing around.

Anonymous said...

Evil, wormy apples do not fall far from their evil, wormy, parental, trees. I have met kids that made my skin creep--than I met their breeders--and my skin crawled.
Soon your little Satan-Girl will be in school and, when she's diagnosed as demon-spawn by the school, doctors can give her enough drugs for her mental state to slow her down so that she can easily be drenched with a handy squirt gun.
We can only live and hope...

GeekChic said...

Let me just say that at my previous place of work (when I worked with the public) - no parent would have gotten away with "not allowing" me to discipline their child, especially if said child was damaging library property.

Quite a few parents found themselves being escorted from library property when they copped an attitude with me or my staff over the destructive behaviour of their child. Your brat - you control them, or don't bring them.

Kate P said...

You know, if sensible people like you don't reproduce, then the jerks win.

That nasty kid must come to the bookstore where I work, too! I'm lobbying for an "all unattended children will be SOLD" sign in the kids' department.

Leelu said...

Yeah, this is the point where you go to the mother, calmly address her, and explain that if she can't control the destructive behavior of her child then you'll have to ask them both to leave. You'll feel the blood rising as you struggle not to kill one or the both of them, but when mom goes apeshit, you call the cops.

Rachel said...

Yeah, there's no way we'd be allowed to let that child and her parent stay ^.^
but we work in a high school, so we have to be hardnosed or the teens'll destroy the place!

Anonymous said...

You should have security who take care of that. If they can't and the mom and chiild continue to be disruptive, they should be talked to by the director, and their cards revoked for a month or three. Their behavior is disruptive to other patrons and to the staff. It should not be tolerated.