Dear Those Without Children,

If you find yourself walking down the street one day and happen to see a mother pushing a screaming child in a stroller, before turning to your hipster girlfriend to comment about the situation, make sure you do one of two things: use your inside voice so said mother can’t hear you or say something even remotely funny. Because “Wow! Somebody sure is upset!” makes the mother want to hurt your face and pull your stupid haircut.

Furthermore, if then you and your hipster girlfriend crack up like it’s the funniest statement you’ve ever heard like OMG ROTFL! !!!!!!! HA HA! know this: the mother listening wants nothing more than to kick you in your testicles.

But, if you simply must say something, how about, “Honey, let’s only do anal from now on.” because adding a little ass to something automatically makes it funnier—just ask your girlfriend.


A Professional Mother


  1. Dude, if you ever do decide to kick ‘em in the testicles, I will totally testify in your defense. And I will get my bro, a hotshot criminal attorney, to take your case.

    Speaking of the bro: his suggestion for dealing with one such unsympathetic character in our own building was to wait till Luca had one of those late-night fits that leave us pulling out our hair and beating each other’s heads against the wall. When he starts to wail, strap him in the bouncy seat and park him in the hall right outside this guy’s door. (Supervised, of course—you don’t want to miss the reaction. Or the chance to say, “Wow! Somebody sure is upset!”)


  2. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now that made my day.


  3. Oh man, I am sooo sorry!! Whenever I see a mom and a screaming child I try to just smile at her, because one day that will be me.

    It was nice bumping into you on Graham! Sorry I didn’t say more at the Empty Cages event but I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation and I had to get home with my eight million bags of food. Your son is GORGEOUS in person though!!


  4. OK- I’ve been lurking around here for over a year since I stumbled onto “you” while doing a search for some random pregnancy thing when I was pregnant. I read faithfully and know just what you are talking about with all of this wonderful and crazy motherhood stuff, and enjoy everything else too (Murray rocks!).

    And just now I laughed so hard that I momentarily woke my little guy up from his nap. Soooo worth it.

    Just had to tell you I needed this laugh and it’s a good one. Some people are just such dumbasses it amazes me.


  5. This post reminded me of one of my favorite posts that I have ever read on any blog. I liked it so much because it seems to start out with a commonly used blog writing style – addessing someone the writer encountered in real life.

    There’s nothing that turns me off more quickly than a blog post where a writer complains about how someone else inconvenienced them, or complains that other people are different and the writer can’t understand why/thinks other people should be shot for being different.

    So this post was refreshing to me. But also I wanted to let you know that as many people who are jerks, there are other folks out here who don’t have kids but who believe children and families are wonderful to be around, screaming and all.

    I would link to the post, but the author, “Granny”, took down her blog a year or two (?) ago during her fight with cancer. I hope she’s still out there, because we need more energy like hers in the world.

    From the now defunct blog, “Granny Gets a New Vibrator” (

    An Open letter To My Seatmate
    To the woman who was traveling alone with two small children on the SFO-DFW leg of my redeye flight last night, the one who sat in the aisle seat of my row with her 18-month-old daughter on her lap, while her three-year-old son and his books and toys and snacks and blankets and miscellaneous detritus sprawled across the center seat between us:

    Hello. I am that very tired-looking older woman in the window seat, the one who listened to your daughter screaming for 45 minutes in the middle of the night while your son thrashed around and kicked me nonstop until they both finally, FINALLY gave up and fell asleep. At which point there was no hope of me asking you all to move so I could use the lavatory, not without causing some kind of violent uprising among the other passengers.

    There’s something I need to explain to you. Perhaps you noticed that, as your son fussed and moaned and his feet rhythmically banged up against my tray table, I was quietly crying as well. And judging from the expression on your face, you probably thought I was weeping because you and your offspring had made my journey so intolerably miserable. You probably thought I hated you, and that I was mentally composing letters to my people in congress demanding new laws forbidding anyone under the age of 30 to ever board an airplane again while simultaneously calculating a way to shove the three of you out of the emergency exit without attracting the attention of the flight attendants.

    If that’s what you thought, I’m so sorry. You couldn’t have been more wrong. The reason I couldn’t fight back the tears was not because I hated sitting next to you. It was because of the way your little boy’s feet nuzzled together in my lap like a couple of soft warm pink and brown puppies when he finally dozed off. Those small feet reminded me that I was leaving my own little boys so far behind, not just in miles but in years. Perfect little toes like that are gone from me forever, and as I stroked and patted your son to soothe his anxiety and discomfort while you busied yourself with his sister’s distress, the grief of missing my own children grew so enormous, my heart finally broke into a million pieces and hence the unseemly transcontinental sobs.

    I really wish I could have done more to help you. I wish I could have shielded you from the glares and the guilt you seemed to be feeling. My boys are two years apart, and I remember all too well what it was like to take long flights alone with them at that age. So, no doubt, do the several hundred other passengers and crew members who had to endure our presence on those flights. I really meant it when I told you their crying and kicking didn’t bother me at all, except that I felt painful empathy for their and your discomfort. It was not a big deal that I helped you carry your bags off the plane in Dallas, though you thanked me profusely. I was just selfishly trying to do my little part to make the world the sort of place I want to live in.

    You were strong and brave and gracious and dignified throughout the ordeal, and I admired you immensely. Your children are beautiful, and I could tell they would have been strong and brave and gracious and dignified too, like you, if they hadn’t been so young and under so much stress. They will be in time.

    I hope you made your connection and arrived safely in Chicago with your faculties intact. I hope there was someone there to help you. I wish we lived in a world where EVERYONE was there to help you. Maybe some day. Meanwhile, treasure them while they’re small. I know it’s hard to believe, but really: it doesn’t last very long at all.

    – The Old Lady in Seat 24F


  6. Ugh, there were so many days I didn’t leave the house because I hated being the mom with “that child”. sigh…

    And Sheryl, that is such a beautiful letter. My son is 2 and I know already how much I will miss having him be my little guy. That brought tears to my eyes.


  7. Thanks for posting that letter, Sheryl. My little girl is sleeping soundly in the next room, and now I think I need to go in and see just how perfect and wonderful she is.


  8. Tee hee. Down with loudmouths!

    Hey, what happened to your Winterizing post? I was feeling the same way… :-(


  9. I don’t know why you care so much about what other people think about your mothering abilities. Normally I laugh at your posts and agree with everything you write, this time, my first thought was, why do you get so angry when you think someone is judging you? So what? You’re a good mom and you know it, and so who the hell cares what idiots think of your screaming baby? Get over it.



  10. I don’t know why you care so much about what other people think about your mothering abilities. Normally I laugh at your posts and agree with everything you write, this time, my first thought was, why do you get so angry when you think someone is judging you? So what? You’re a good mom and you know it, and so who the hell cares what idiots think of your screaming baby? Get over it.



  11. I’m on the other side on this issue. Unfortunately, I have sensitive aural sense to the extreme. I react to squalling babies and barking dogs and emergency vehicles the same way. I don’t make smart-ass comments, but I do look to see where the sounds are coming from and try to avoid the source if at all possible. There’s definitely no intention to offend you, but I hope that you try and understand that I’m not at all judging your mothering skills if I turn and walk away or sorta plug my ears if I’m somewhere like a cafe.


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