A few days ago I took the girls to a place called Jump Zone that has bounce houses and bouncy slides to play on. They had a total blast and it was tons of fun. I love places where the kids can just go wild. But I guess there are always restrictions. At one point in the day Princess let out the loudest ear-piercing scream (of joy) that I have ever heard and left everyone staring at me in shock. All I could do was stare back with my mouth hanging open. I was so embarrassed that the other mothers were staring right at me. It wasn’t me who screamed. When Princess screamed again I told her to stop or she would go in time out. Luckily she stopped and the ladies stopped staring, though I had the feeling they were muttering to themselves about my lack of parenting skills.
I’ve gone to a different jumpy place a couple of times and the rule was that you had to wear your socks. Today Princess wanted to take off her socks (and so Preemie wanted to as well), and since I didn’t see a sign at this place saying that they couldn’t, I figured it was alright. Worst case scenario they tell me they have to wear their socks and we put them back on. No biggie. While the girls were playing in the bounce house the lady from the front desk came to me and asked, “There are 2 girls not wearing socks, are they yours?” I’m not sure how she knew they weren’t wearing socks because I personally couldn’t see their feet through the mesh, but I answered in the affirmative and she told me they needed to wear socks. I said OK and put their socks on. Again, no big deal, right? But I felt so ashamed like I had done something seriously wrong. I don’t know if it was her tone or my own insecurity that made me feel that way. Maybe both. Either way, I felt really bad.
At the time I remember thinking, hmmm, I guess it’s really important to them that kids wear socks if they actually go around checking for them. But we were there for a good 2 1/2 hours and I never saw her leave the front desk and go out on the floor any other time at all. I was starting to think that someone actually told on me and that she only came onto the floor for the express purpose of telling ME to put socks on MY kids. Maybe some vindictive mom had it out for me because of the screaming incident. I could just imagine the other moms sitting there going on and on about my faults as a parent, noticing the missing socks and deciding to report me. If someone had a problem with it, why didn’t they just come up to me and say,” Y’know, you’re kids are supposed to be wearing their socks”? Of course if they had I would have been terribly offended they weren’t minding their own business.
It could be that I’m too easily offended, insecure, and/or paranoid. But I hate taking my kids somewhere and getting the feeling that other people are judging me behind my back. But does it matter if they really are judging me? I’m doing the best I can. It’s so hard to ignore those embarrassed feelings, but I guess I have to if I’m ever going to take my kids out in public again.