They strike fear into the hearts of reasonable and well mannered parents everywhere.They are the dads that scream at you and your 5 year-old on the playgroundbecause your son’s kickball accidentally landed on his daughter. They are themothers who call your house to “inform you” that your 7 year-old would not holdher daughter’s hand on the class field trip. They are the people who would callthe police if you ever attempted to leave your sleeping toddler in the car(windows open of course) and race into the dry cleaner. They are the motherswho tell the teacher how to manage her classroom.They are the vigilantes, the KGB, the parenting police. They lurk, watching andwaiting to strike the moment you make a mistake. Racing over to "helpfully" point out justhow awful you/your children are before you can even process what’s happened. They are the people who, despite all evidence to the contrary, believe they know more and better about your children that you do.
When confronted with these officious individuals the best thing a well manneredmother can do is smile politely and say “I’m terribly sorry but I never involvemyself in my children’s disputes” or “I appreciate your concern, but I’ve gotthis. Thank you.” If an apology is in order do so pleasantly and quickly, “I amso sorry about that. Algernon is working on his hand-eye coordination. Look atthe time! We must run - he has fencing in 20 minutes. Goodbye.” Do not linger.Do not over-explain. They are waiting for an opening to exhibit theirsuperior knowledge and skill in all things parental.
The most frustrating part of such encounters aside from the total invasion of spaceand privacy is that these people are out there making hard working, wellmannered modern mothers doubt themselves and their children. Well cringe no more! Doubt no more! You are doing a fine job and you do not need to stand aroundlistening to the ill-mannered, know-it-all, playground pariahs.