Disclaimer: While I do not want anyone to be offended by my use of this long word, “pickleciple” is my word to replace the swear words I will not allow myself to say in front of children. And should a certain individual find himself crossing my path again (okay there may be a second individual also) with no children present, he might get to discover just how many words this replaces. Also, I am apparently horrible with paragraph structuring!
Now that you all know my personal “swear word” I will get on with the story.
Today is the University homecoming game and this morning was the parade. The parade was scheduled to begin at 10:30 in the middle of town, and the parade route was probably no more than two miles long. We placed ourselves towards the end. My brother Ricky and his family live close to there, so he said we could park at his place and all walk together to the parade and get a spot. We found a spot next to a telephone pole about 10 till 10 and made sure we were not blocking anyone behind us since we had two strollers. We locked the tires and waited for the start. We were there over an hour before the starting cars arrived, and the kids were doing well. A few minutes, no more than 10, before the parade reached us, a few families arrived and crowded near. This would have been okay if there had been room, however, in the space where one adult and one child would fit (1 ½ -2 feet wide) if the kid was standing in front/sitting on the lap of the adult, they tried to cram in six adults and 5 kids. One woman, I will call her “Hedwiga” because it will be easier to give her a name to reference and it means “warfare”, tried to push and move my stroller over, and I made it clear that that was not going to happen, and she then proceeded to stand on the blanket of the people just on the other side of the “gap.” In hindsight, I probably should have not left any gap there, or I should have sat down next to the stroller, which was my original intention until she crowded her way in there…. Anydangways, it was her intent to force someone who came early to give up a good spot one way or another. And the blanket sitters (they will be known as the Blankets/Blanket family) had arrived even before we did, even more reason they should not have to move either! Well, I didn’t hear or see if the Blankets had said anything, but Hedwiga got off the blanket and proceeded to lean against my stroller again. So I reached and adjusted the handle on the stroller requiring her to stop leaning against it. She gave mee the stink-eye for that. Well, the lead cars came by and lots of kids appeared out of nowhere. Originally they were not right in front of us, until Hedwiga told her daughter to stand in front of us and then, the male henceforth known as “Wolfgang” and means “wolf quarrel”, sent his two daughters up to stand in front too. The girls put themselves right in front of the stroller where sat the not quite two-year-old. I said, “girls would you please not stand right in front of the little girl, she cannot see the parade.” I was ignored. Then a few minutes later the university band stops and performs there, and again/still the girls are right in front of the stroller. Fortunately there was a break where Munchkin could see a baton twirler dance, so she cheered and seemed okay, however the rest of the time we were there (we left early-I’ll get to that) because of the location of the only break in people in her way, all she could see was the backs of people in the parade as they walked by, or the butt of Hedwiga. I took a picture that shows her, yes the adult, standing in front of the stroller; I have decided not to post that picture on here. So, as the university band is trying to tell people to get out of the street so the band can march the parade, I again said, “please do not stand in front of the little kids, they cannot see the people in the parade.” No acknowledgement from those around us. There were a few floats that came by, Cute Monster didn’t get to see them, or get any candy from them…2 reasons 1-it is the end of the parade, so there is little to no candy left to toss (which is fine with mee because I don’t really want to take it home) 2-the bigger kids were blocking the way and took any candy that managed to make it to the end of the parade. I saw that the high school band was coming soon, and wanted Mar©ia to be able to see her dad since we actually knew where to tell him to look, so again I said, “girls she cannot see the parade, will you please not stand in front of her stroller?” This time the girls looked back to acknowledge they heard, but turned around and stayed put in front of us. So, I mentioned that that was the third time I had asked and I was really getting tired of people standing in front of people smaller than them. Hedwiga said that I should let her out of there so she can go up front, at this point the “front” is a third of the way into the street, clearly in the path of the parade floats and certainly in the way of bands or dancers or others walking in the parade. So, I did not bite my tongue and said, “maybe you should control your kids.” I perhaps could have bitten my tongue, but it really makes me mad when going to public events where kids are invited/encouraged to attend and there is a lack of common sense, especially when it is coming from adults. (Why on Earth would I want to let my almost two-year-old run loose at a parade? And what about not standing right in front of someone shorter than you when the event is a pick your own spot kind of a deal? And why would someone want to teach their kids to behave like that?) One of the women with Wolfgang, not sure if his wife or from the third couple, asked, “Did she just say that?” I turned around and said, “Yes, I did. We got her early and have waited a long time for the parade, and it really makes mee mad that people think it is okay to stand in front of little kids.” So, Wolfgang called his girls back and told them to sit on a blanket that he put down right behind our stroller, and that they had to sit there, where he promptly stood in front of them, with his son on his shoulders. I turned and told them all I was asking was that they not stand in front of the littler kids and they are just fine standing next to the stroller, just not in front of it. They wanted the girls to be martyrs and wouldn’t let them go down there. While I do indeed feel really bad for the girls having adults like that in their lives, I was glad that for the first time Munchkin got to see her dad in the parade! Sadly though, the camera was too slow and I didn’t see that it was not recording when I pushed the button. A few minutes after that Wolfgang taps mee on the shoulder and asked if my daughter could “see the parade now?”, I told him, “no, because people are standing in front of her again.” But he was not listening, he continued with “because I just want you to know that you have ruined this parade for them. Look!” I turned around to see one girl still sitting there with her face in her hands, which I admit made my heart ache, then when I noticed that he was standing in front of her still, I just became more angry. Who in the right mind tells their own child to sit where they cannot watch a parade? No one in their right mind would do that! It is one thing to try to bully an adult so you can get your way (not acceptable by any means) but the pickleciple head is a bully to his own child! So infuriating. At this point I am so mad that I can’t think of anything to say to the pickleciple that didn’t involve swearing in front of my child or any of the children nearby, so I stopped talking or responding to Wolfgang, who was not listening because he was more concerned with being “right.” That combined with the fact that Mar©ia can’t see any of the parade, I was fed up. I was done. So, I made sure she was buckled into the stroller, unlocked the tires and Turned around to tell him, “I’m leaving.” He responded, “Good, you don’t belong here anyway.” Again, I failed to bite my tongue and told him he was being a jerk. I guess I did bite my tongue because what I really wanted to call him was a pickleciple! I was so mad! And the pickleciple Wolfgang had better hope I never run into him without any children around, because he might just get to hear exactly what I would have liked to have said to him. And while I wanted to yell at him and tell him what a pickleciple he was being, what I did do was walk away crying. Because you know when you make a pregnant lady angry, those are the two options.
Rick and Ginny were there after we left, and as I walked away I just hoped that Wolfgang did not choose to then talk to them the way he was talking to mee. And I hoped that he would at least let his daughters get up and watch the parade. What a pickleciple bully!
On the other side of humanity there was a young man walking the same way we were headed and he said “Hi” to the Cute Monster and after she responded in kind, he told her how “gorgeous” she is. That restored a little bit of my hope for humanity.
Not all people are pickleciples, but it is experiences like today’s parade audience that remind mee why I avoid public places most of the time.