Dear Store Clerks, Nice Old Ladies, Scary Old Men, and Random People that Pass Me By on a Daily Basis,
We don’t know each other at all, so it is perfectly understandable that you know nothing about me and (thankfully) my child.
In general, I’d most definitely like to keep it that way.
However, for the sake of this letter, let me fill you in on one fact about my child. You see, Ali is a VERY ridiculously cautious sort. She never bleeds and rarely bruises, because she has her Father’s double-whammy gene of complete non-clumsiness along with unbelievably thorough anal-retentive carefulness.
Because my child is more cautious than Warren Buffett would be upon receipt of an email requesting him to send funds to Nigeria for a great investment opportunity, I allow her some freedoms and privileges that I would not offer a less careful child.
Hence, why she is allowed to play “Gymnastics Buggy“, “Garbage Man” (riding on the end of a grocery cart), and to walk on whatever pretend “Balance Beam” strikes her fancy (almost always while holding my hand, thanks to her cautiousness), and other sorts of things that you apparently think are “irresponsible”, but I would tend to simply call “being a kid”.
(And, I’m sure my own a-little-bit-less-cautious outlook may play into these decisions as well.)
However, regardless of her or my level of caution, if I am standing within five inches of my daughter, the following directions to my child are not at all necessary when coming from you, a complete stranger:
“Get down from there, you’ll fall!!”
“Watch out little girl, you’ll hurt yourself!!”
“You need to be careful!!”
“That’s not how you’re supposed to ride on that!!”
Also, when she helps me push all of the buttons on the credit card machine, (which she knows how to do and sadly may even know my pin number by heart), Ms. Cashier, please understand that she can probably pay quicker than I could, so it is not necessary to intervene and say any of the following:
“Don’t push those buttons!!”
“Children aren’t allowed to play on those!!”
“Don’t do that – you’ll break it!!!”
I sincerely promise all of you that I am, in fact, a suitable parent and will, in fact, protect my child from harm or from harming you or your stores. If she does get hurt, at that point, you have my permission to say “I knew that would happen.”
If you will refrain from saying these things to Ali (while apparently pretending that I am completely invisible), then I promise to never say to YOU the following:
“When you can make correct change without the help of a cash register, I’ll quit letting my daughter run my credit card for me.”
“If we weren’t in Target right now, I’d totally be taking your picture and submitting it to PeopleOfWalmart.com.”
“Just because you still have your 10 year old on a leash doesn’t mean that my two year old is enough of a flight risk to deserve one.”
“You know, running that cash register would be a lot easier if you didn’t have 12 inch long Fritos posing as fingernails on the ends of your fingers.”
Thank you in advance for your kindness and for the removal of those 12 inch Frito Nails from prying into my parenting skills,