Sunday Post 162: Face to Face with Cruella

We Just got back from Disney World – went there for DJ’s spring break. Of course you probably already know that.  Based on the crowds I’m assuming you were there too.
Not only do I get a kick out of all the attractions in the parks, I was also quite amused by watching all the other suckers spending $5 on an 8 oz soda.
One thing that really struck me on this trip was the lack of happiness I saw in some of the families I encountered. I’ve heard that this mouse mecca is the happiest place on earth.  Apparently that is not the case for all.
In the Orlando airport I saw one family with four boys.  They should have stopped with one. The mother went absolutely nuts on two of her kids as they were approaching the Disney Magical Express, the bus that transports you to this Orlandon Garden of Eden.
“Stop asking questions,” she snipped!  “I’ve had it with you all!”  Her tone was ferocious.
I glanced at her poor husband. He looked like she’d had him for lunch a couple of times too. I wanted to go take up for the fellas, pondering what I might say.
“Yo, yo cranky pants.  What do you think your kids are going to remember about this vacation?  That the Disney character their mother most resembles is Ursula from The Little Mermaid!”
I refrained.  I’m not sure why.
Another woman entered a different bus with her three-year oldish son.  They sat down a few rows behind me.
“Where’s your jacket?” she asked alarmed, her voice loud enough for us all to clearly hear.
There was silence, and then his tears began.
“I gave you the jacket at the hotel!”  Her voice was getting louder. “You left it!  You left it!”  He was sobbing by now and Cruella was fit to be tied.  Then, then it came out…
“You’re an idiot!  You can’t keep up with anything. I should leave you here!”
I was floored. The boy couldn’t have been four years old.  She had anounced to the boy and to about 50 strangers that he was stupid.  How humiliating.  I wish he could have realized that he was not the one we all thought was below average intelligence.
I fully understand getting frustrated with your kids. At Disney Michelle asked me 67,000 times what we were doing next.
“Well baby. I think we may eat a sandwich and then take a bathroom break. Will that work for you?”
I did get a bit tired of outlining our every move. But homegirl was excited!  She wanted to know the plan. And when I’d be ready to limit her questions to 25 per hour, I thought, one day you’re gonna miss these inquiries. Oh, and I also thought, I’m glad I’m not an elementary school teacher.
Yea, kids are frustrating – they can drive you nuts at times. But good grief, we brought them into this world. It’s our job to answer those questions, to help them learn how to keep up with their coat and to love the heck out of them even when they don’t.
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26 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I feel like I am the entertainment director for my children. I also feel like I need a vacation when I come home from vacation with my children.

    Reply
  2. Jenean

     /  March 30, 2014

    You need a boy. There is no comparison with girls.

    Reply
  3. We, as parents, all lose it to some degree at sometime, I think. Stress of the job of parenting, I guess, added to stress of life or stress of vacation or whatever. I wish I could go back and “un-do” some of those times when I may have been a bit more testy with my kids that a situation may have warranted. Some things that parents say, however, just plain should never be said.

    One day, my husband was in a store and overheard a little boy asking his dad for a toy. He said the little boy was all excited and happy. The dad turned to the little boy and said in a cruel manner, “No, you can’t have that toy. You’re not worth it.” My husband said the little boy looked like he had been absolutely crushed like a bug. He went over to the little boy, knelt down in front of him and said, “Yes, you are worth it. YOU ARE WORTH IT!” Thankfully, I think the man was too stunned to punch my husband out!

    As parents who have lost a child, both my husband and I really notice parents who lose it with their kids, are just plain mean to them, or ignore them like they don’t even exist. I don’t understand how parents can be so mean to their kids. Why did they have them in the first place? There are so many times when I’ve wanted to go up to a parent who is being mean to his or her child and say, “Don’t you realize the precious treasure you have right in front of you? How will your child remember these moments? If you, God forbid, ever lose that child, how may times will you look back on these moments of belittling your child and regret those venomous words coming out of your mouth? Take the time NOW to treat your child with respect and love. Stop and think about what you are saying!” If parents talked to other people (co-workers, friends, etc.) the way they talk to their kids, no one would want to be around them. The poor kid is stuck with them.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 30, 2014

      You are on target. I’m not talking about occasionally losing your cool, but you hit the nail on the head. When parents are just plain mean to their kids or say things that simply can’t be undone like “You’re an idiot” or “You’re not worth it.” Those words are harmful.

      Reply
  4. I am a teacher without children of my own. On more than one occasion I’ve realized that half the battle I fight with some of my students is, in fact, undoing the damage done to them by the very people who should love them most. And the other half is just not trying to add any more.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 30, 2014

      No doubt parenting is difficult. And I screw up. Sometimes I even apologize to my kids – if you can put more good than bad in, you’re probably coming out ahead.

      Reply
  5. Children can be provoking sometimes. But when we reach the ’empty-nest’ stage, how void is that!

    Reply
  6. Lisa

     /  March 30, 2014

    Can so relate. We did the
    Disney trip a couple of times when they were small. Just so you’ll know, it gets better. Now they’re older; 15, 19, and 23. We went for Thanksgiving last year and it was fantastic. We all had a great time together as a family. Who would have thought.
    I bet you’ll keep that magic with your girls and you’ll have a lot more princess moments together in the future.

    Reply
  7. Sometimes I think parents brought there children into this world not giving much thought into how they will raise them. They act as they are an inconvenience to have around as the parents are engulfed in their smartphones. I’ve given many years into my infertility treatments to have just one moment with a child. Yes. I’m sure I will get frustrated at some point in my journey of parenthood. But I will marvel at the blessing that I have been given the chance to do so. And never call my child a name.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 30, 2014

      It can be frustrating. But it is much more beautiful.

      Reply
  8. JB

     /  March 30, 2014

    Danny this post is wonderful and much needed after a couple of nights without sleep that causes ones patience level to be very low! Kids are a blessing and I love my two with all my heart!

    Reply
  9. Claire

     /  March 30, 2014

    As much as you hate to see those less than stellar moments of parenting playing out, especially in the happiest place on earth, maybe that’s part of the problem. Were these just examples of how the bars been raised just a bit too high? Were these just parents who feel they under pressure to stretch themselves to provide these out of this world/trip of a lifetime experiences to their kids. I am not bashing Disney (maybe a little,) you see this a lot, parents loosing their rags because they feel neither they nor their kids, despite how much money they’ve spent are experiencing life the way we think we should. I’m not for one second condoning this behavior but I’ve had some less than proud parenting moments myself, it’s tough. Kids are exasperating, speaking as a mother who has carried her 7 year old into Harris Teeter because she “forgot” shoes (I didn’t call her an idiot but we did have “words”) I can relate a little. My only hope is at the end of the day these parents sat back, relaxed, maybe even apologized and learnt that just being there and doing the best you can for your kids really is enough.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 30, 2014

      I think that’s a valid point. We do spend a ton of time trying to live this life that just isn’t possible. That’s not what it’s all about.

      Reply
  10. Aunt Susan

     /  March 30, 2014

    and this explains why your kids are so well adjusted. stop fretting and realize they will be okay and will be great parents like you and Lisa

    Reply
  11. Great post! I work very hard to limit my frustration with Mr. T, no it’s not easy, and no I don’t always succeed, but I will continue to try!

    Reply
  12. Amen brother! Preach it! I’m on the other side now. The boys are grown up and on their own. Oh how I wish I could do it all over again. Change the way I “handled” some things. I’m incredibly grateful to the Lord they still love me anyway. 😊

    Reply
  13. As the father of two sons, and a daughter, I applaud your conclusion. Enjoy the frustrations wh

    Reply
  14. Mom

     /  March 30, 2014

    Your Dad and I were talking today about how patient you are with your kids. We think that you can feel good about the way you deal with them. It IS hard to see kids getting a bum deal though. The hardest thing is to have to let it alone and walk away and leave the child.
    Hopefully they make it through ok.

    Reply
  15. Great post! My heart broke for the kids you mentioned. Many times, those parents were raised in the same way and are just repeating the patterns they grew up with. It takes a strong person to break the chain. Calling it out like you do in your post will hopefully bring some awareness to the subject that will do just that.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  April 3, 2014

      yea. i think we don’t have a ton of patience with adults, but i think you’re right. it is a cycle that has to be broken and that is a tough thing to do.

      Reply
  16. The story of that four year old made me cry. I know there were days in my past when my hormones got the better of me and my children were the casualties. I promise i never called them names though.

    Reply

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