At Target today, I was a hypocrite. I didn't say something when I saw a child being verbally abused.
A woman near me slammed her cell phone shut then leaned down to the the young toddler sitting in the front of her cart and said, "Well we have to leave now pick up your fucking mother because she doesn't have enough gas in her car."
She spit an obscenity at a baby who looked less than one. She didn't hit the baby. She didn't tell the baby to fuck off. But she said "your fucking mother" in an angry voice. Is that child abuse?
I think yes, it's verbal abuse and I wish I had said something, but I wimped out. I bailed and walked away after hearing a lady talk to a baby in a mean, horrible way. I am mad at myself and I think I failed to live up to my own principles.
Earlier today I read a post from a blog on Babycenter reporting that Patti LaBelle is being accused of "baby-hating." Wait, I had that wrong. She's being accused of "vicious" baby-hating because she also shouted obscenities at a toddler. (No, the lady in my Target was not Patti LaBelle.)
Patti LaBelle is being sued for her verbal attack on a toddler who, according to some reports, was acting wild. But this baby in the cart at Target just sat there, silent, and took it.
I'm sorry little baby. I should've said something. I recently expressed my dissatisfaction with other people who witnessed people abusing children and didn't do enough. Yet just today, I picked my own comfort level and my reluctance to publicly call out a complete stranger for treating a child badly over what was right.