Mother and Daughter

I've seen a couple of bad parenting examples while waiting for the subway lately. Both involving mothers and daughters. Last night, I heard a mom admonishing her daughter (who was around 8 or so) in this low, hateful voice. I couldn't hear everything she was saying, just a few sentences here and there like "you just wait until we get home...You can make that decision when you have a job of your own, but I am the boss now..Sick of your whining...Don't you dare speak to me..." It wasn't so much what she was saying, but the voice she used, this furious quiet voice. I had to walk to the other side of the platform to get away from it. Then there's this mother daughter team I see some mornings at my stop--the little girl is also about 8 and she's really thin and pale and has long blond hair with bangs. She looks kind of sickly, but she's lively. Today, she was wearing a man's tie, Annie Hall style. The mom isn't mean or nasty at all. She listens and she's pretty loving, but they were walking behind me to the station and then got on my same subway car, so I heard a lot of what she was saying to the kid and all of it was admonishment of some kind, telling her what not to do. Like: "Don't walk on the ice like that. You'll slip. It' s not funny! If you drop that bag of Froot Loops one more time, I'm going to take them from you. When you get on the subway, don't suddenly stop, because people are behind you..." The little girl then softly sang a Beatles song with the "oblahdee, oblahdah, life goes on" chorus and the mom didn't tell her not to. I guess there must be days as a parent when everything is exasperating.


heather said…
great blog--love this kind of observational writing. the scanned card is a nice touch, too.

i sometimes miss working in the city and taking the trains for this very reason. these sort of glimpses, sometimes cheering, sometimes decidedly not... it's just good to witness things.