It’s been hours, and I am still so angry about this that I could spit.
This afternoon, I went to the grocery store and brought Cate along with me. I’m going to start painting tomorrow, so I want to make sure that we have all of our essentials (diet coke, bread, etc.) so I don’t have to run to the store covered in primer.
So, grocery store, blah blah. We finish shopping and head out to the parking lot. There’s a white sedan with four teenage boys who are just hanging out. They see me with the baby, one of the boys jumps out of the car, and throws one of those firecrackers on the ground that explodes when it hits the pavement. He jumped back into the car, and they all laughed and watched me to see my reaction.
Are you freaking kidding me? These little punks throw a firecracker to see if they can scare my baby? For the record, Cate was sound asleep in her car seat and didn’t even flinch at the explosion, but that’s so not the point.
I glared at them and reigned in my initial impulse, which was to either give them the finger or shout some obscenity across the parking lot. (Good mommies don’t scream profanity in public, do they?) I gave them the hairy eyeball while I was loading the groceries into my car. Meanwhile they moved on to their next target. Some guy had a souped-up restored antique car (don’t ask me what it was, I don’t know; it was purple, does that help?), and as he was driving away, they shouted “faggot!” at him. Note that they yelled this as the guy was driving away. Yeah. Scaring babies and yelling slurs at people who can’t hear you. Clearly these are some big, bad-ass, brave characters we’re dealing with.
But you know, I was so pissed about the firecracker that that little bit of hate speech just sent me over the edge. I was about to put Cate back in the car, but then that happened, and I was all, “oh heeeell no!” I put Cate back in the cart and stomped back inside.
Now, the woman at the customer service desk… how do I explain this woman? I think she’s in her 40’s, but she could just as well be 70 and I would have no idea. She has dyed jet-black hair that is permed within an inch of its life, a big wall o’ crispy bangs, she wears about a pound of black eyeliner on each eye, and she’s got some severe smoker’s teeth. Every time I have ever been to our local sports bar, I have seen her there, and she is always drunk. Right on.
So, I tell her about the boys in the parking lot, and when I get to the part about the firecracker, she’s all, “They tried to scare the baby?!?! Where are they?!” And off she stomps out the door. I was glad it was her and not one of the nice customer service ladies, because this woman honestly would’ve scared the crap out of me if she’d gotten angry at me, so I can’t imagine what she’d do to a bunch of spineless teenage boys.
I guess the kids figured out when they saw me head back into the store that I was going to rat them out, so they were gone by the time Scary Lady got there. Oh well. I gave her a description of the car and she said she’d keep an (heavily lined) eye out for them.
I just can’t believe that anyone would intentionally try to frighten a baby. I know they’re just teenage boys, which automatically means that they’re stupid and inconsiderate. It’s just… wow. That’s a whole level of stupid that I was not expecting.
If this ever happens again, I am totally going to go over there and tell them to go home to their mamas. And I might throw in some profanity for good measure. I just hope I don’t haul off and smack them, because while good mommies might occasionally curse, they definitely do not get arrested.
They will probably be in therapy in 20 years, racked with guilt about that one time they threw firecrackers at a baby. If that makes you feel any better.
Good control, really. I think I would have arranged for a shopping cart to “accedently” ram into thier mom’s car. That would’ve been fun for them.
Are you freaking kidding me? You have a lot more restraint than I. At the very least, I would have threatened to call parents. Someone would have id’d them. What crap!
I gotta say, you’re in a particularly crappy position with something like that because on the one hand, you want to run over there and pull them from the car by their ears and show them the pavement with a shoe planted in the back of their necks. On the other hand, you can’t leave your post as baby-cart-pusher. And they’re minors. Tear gas? That might do it. In that particular situation, it would have been totally justifiable as self-defense.
Seriously, you did the right thing. Nice to know that in the face of a crisis you responded appropriately.
They wouldn’t have understood even if someone did scold them. Teenage boys only understand what they’re told if they’re removed from the pack-of-dogs scenario.