This morning I walked into Target just as a mom and her 8/9 year old son were walking out, fighting. As we reached for the same door, I overheard the mother say, "well, that's why you're not getting a toy, because you're a GODDAMN ASSHOLE." Looking back on it now, I almost wish I had said something to her. Of course, she probably would have decked me.
The saddest part was that the son didn't look at all hurt or surprised. I'm sure he hears far worse at home. When I told my mother, who was a social worker for twenty years, she said I probably should have reported her to the police for verbal abuse. How terrible for this poor boy to be publicly shamed by the very person who should be providing unconditional love. I can't imagine that will bode well in his future. My new parenting goal is to never call my son an asshole. At least not to his face.