Saturday, December 22, 2007

Culture shock

With regard to my recent post about the mean mommmy:

I have that terrific letter floating around in my head for a couple weeks now (which is great!) I went shopping to Costco the other night while the littles were at Awana and #1 was sewing with Grandma. I LOADED up with yummies for holiday week and some gifts for Handyman. I had promised to bring home Churros, those cinnamon twist dough things from Costco and so while I waited for them to make some more, I ate a slice of pizza at their little cafe area. There was an asian couple in the row in front of me with two little girls, one about three and one about six. The dad and the six yr-old had their backs to me and the mom was facing me with the little one kind of running around some. The older child was standing on the floor, eating pizza. Her dad's tone of voice caught my ear. He was speaking Japanese, but it sounded to harsh, I wondered if it was the nature of the language or the conversation's intent. I eavesdropped...absolutely unintelligible, but the intent was unmistakable. I've spoken like that. :(

He pushed her sleeves up and I thought, oh good, it was just about her manners or eating habits. It's over. Wrong. When Dad would stop, Mom started, with glaring eyes. For awhile the little girl seemed unaffected, so I kept thinking/hoping "that's just how Japanese sounds". They never spoke to the younger. They never turned their heads; they never spoke to one another. They continued the jackhammering. Finally she wiped the back of her little hand across her eyes and spoke something back. I had been giving the mom the evil eye, pointedly, but to no avail. At one point the little girl looked back over her should at me. I wondered if the mom was saying, "That nasty American lady is staring at you because you are so awful," or something.

I wanted to stop at their table and say, "For goodness sakes, she isn't old enough to be that bad. or I'll take her if you just can't put up with it any longer, Lady. or "For crying out loud People, it is CHRISTMAS time." All I could imagine is what will this little girl be like by jr. high???
They never did stop or change. I made eye contact with the mom more than once and she gave me not a moment's thought. They were still jackhammering away when I left. I stopped at Customer Service and told the gal there that these parents were berating their child without ceasing and she said that was too bad and there wasn't much she could do, but she would give them the evil eye.

I thought about calling 911, but did not. I thought of all the times that I have worried, as a homeschooler, about the dangers of people calling in false claims about homeschoolers, and all the troubles it causes. I wished I had one of those No Greater Joy cards with me that you can just give to people. But these folks didn't seem to have one weak spot about pummeling their child verbally.

My last thought...there but for the grace of Christ, go I.

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