Cruising through Costco today, I hit the brakes and did a double take when I saw the American Girl display. No big dolls, but they did have dogs, which was exciting enough. I had to walk carefully, as there was a toddler rolling around on the ground while his mom looked at books. He then held onto the bottom rack while the mom dragged him (and the cart) to her next stopping point, next to me. She picked up an American Girl set and clucked her disapproval. American Girl prices are high, but the Costco sets were reasonably priced.
“Idiots!” It was under her breath, but loud enough that she wanted me to hear, and said with an Eastern European accent that made it sound especially harsh. “Anyone who would buy this is an IDIOT!”
She whistled at her son to get up and follow as she walked off. I put the $23 American Girl dog into my cart.
A few minutes later, I saw the kid wandering by himself while mom was nowhere in sight. When she eventually walked over and tracked him down, he didn’t come when called or whistled to, he stared her down, then walked off in the other direction without saying a word. The surprise was that she shrugged and walked away as well, but away from the kid. I try not to judge other parenting styles, but I’ll admit that sometimes I feel better about my own parenting by watching others. I bought the toy dog, but I don’t feel like an idiot.