Friday, September 04, 2009

Cranky Old Man Slaps A Two Year Old In A Store


We have all been there. We have been in a store when a child starts crying or begging or whining. Hell, it doesn't have to be a child. Even to this day when I go to the grocery store with my mom, I can throw a pretty good tantrum if she decides to try and buy something green and leafy.

Normally though I think are thoughts are not so much as why can't that parent get the kid to be quiet, but more sympathy, because there are so few options a parent has to deal with a crying child. We don't know why they are crying. It might not be because they couldn't have the candy or toy or latest Jonas Brothers trading cards. It could be because they are sick or just had shots or really tired.

You just never know. I do know though that I wouldn't deal with it by walking up to the kid and slapping them. Apparently though Roger Stephens doesn't live in the same world you and I do, because he was in a Georgia Wal-Mart when a two year girl wouldn't stop crying. Stephens who is 61 and looks like the crankiest a-hole ever walked up to the kid and said to the mother of the child that if she wouldn't stop the child from crying he would make her stop. Well, she kept crying and he slapped the girl four or five times and then said, "See, I told you I would get her to shut up."

He was then arrested and charged with first degree cruelty to children.

59 comments:

RocketQueen said...

Yeah, I read this yesterday. Obviously what he did was off-side - I think this is the mother's fault, not the child's. I can't STAND it when a parent just lets a kid scream in public. In your own house, fine, but NOT in public. Have some consideration.

Lisa (original) said...

I do think "why the hell can't that parent get the kid to be quiet?" Hey, they have no sympathy for my ears or the ears of other shoppers. They're kid is their problem, not mine. TAKE IT HOME and to nap time or whatever. We didn't throw tantrums in public when we were kids because we knew the rules of what was expected of our behavior in public or when visiting other's homes. Park it and shut it. If you need something: ask.

That said, I wouldn't hit someone else's child, not even my niece.

whole_lotto _luv said...

Personally, I think it's a mistake for people to take their kids shopping, unless they are going for clothes for the kid. I hate it when I see a couple with small kids in the grocery and the kids are squalling the entire time. Why can't one of them stay home with the kids?

But to slap a kid? I'd be more likely to slap an adult. I've found it's easiest to just avoid getting upset over it - put the ipod on and tune everyone else out.

Jingle Belle said...

It's easy enough to say "go shopping without the kids" but that isn't always an option. Single parents don't usually have much of a choice. Even when I was married I usually had to take my younger children with me because my ex was in the army and overseas and we were posted a long way from our families.

Having said that, I do get annoyed when kids are whining or shrieking in stores and the parents are oblivious.

There is never an excuse to strike someone else's child but I wish parents would grow a backbone and take the kid out of the store. More often than not the parent gives in to the kid just to shut off the noise and that encourages the kid to do it again next time.

evergrey said...

I understand the previous comments, yes, a parent should intervene when a child is throwing a tantrum in public, and by child I mean a 3 to 4 year old or up. A 2 year old does not have the capacity to understand rules about tantrums - there isn't a way to bargin with them. They are still very much a baby. They can not be responsible for their behavior, unlike this sad piece of c**p who hits random toddlers. freak.

Miranda said...

Obviously this is horrible, yes. People shouldn't dare lay a hand on other peoples' children. But parents should learn to control their children! If your kid is throwing a fit in a store, take them outside. Don't indulge the temper tantrum.

Sigh. Parents sometimes. I used to work in a department clothing store and there were signs everywhere saying that you could put your child in the shopping cart as long as they were sitting down. One day this little boy was jumping around in the cart so I said very politely, "Oh, careful, you need to be sitting down so you don't get hurt!"

His mother turned to me as if I had slapped him and screeched, "DON'T TALK TO MY CHILD!" So I said, "Okay, tell him to sit down yourself". Which she did not. Whatever, lady. He cracks his head open, your fucking fault.

Christine said...

Wow, rocketqueen and Lisa. Obviously you do not have children. Or, apparently, like children. So it's the mother's fault that this man beat her child? She deserved it? Just. . . wow.

Yes, I do have a child. He's 3. Before I had kids, I didn't relish tantrums in stores or on planes and I hated that they happened. But I never blamed the parents. Jeesh. Believe me, there is no way to control a kid who is exhausted or sick or into full on tantrum mode. And sometimes, you need to go to the store to buy diapers and, you know, food.

This guy? He's an asshole. He won't spend a day in jail. But he's still an asshole.

121007 said...

I dont care who you are, anyone, ever touching my child like that would be getting a tyre iron across the face in return.
Not wishing to enflame a debate either but sometimes the best way to make a child understand that crying and whining wont get them anywhere is to ignore them when they do it, whether in public or private.
Having said that I understand how annoying and frustrating it is when you are just trying to enjoy your own free time, but trust me when I say however bad it is for you, its even worse for the parent !

Pandora said...

I understand some of the comments, but I respectfully disagree. Slapping a child - any child - under any circumstances just isn't acceptable in my Universe.

Bastage would be walking around with an ice pack on his groin for weeks if he so much as looked at my child sideways.

Isn't it interesting that he felt compelled to attack a helpless child, but that a grown bystander managed to hold him until security arrived?

Makes one wonder what sorts of abuse his own kids & maybe grandkids suffered.

I would have no regret at all in retaliating against this POS.

HautieTx said...

I notice no one is rushing to defend the Mother who let her child scream to the point to provoke this man.

I find that interesting... I guess she has made a habit of letting this child scream and no one feels like defending her. Damn that is karma coming back around...

121007 said...

Hautie, you think its karma that an innocent two year old gets slapped in the face five times because her mother couldnt calm her down?

I hope that some karma comes back around for you.

AnonMom said...

You know, sometimes you cannot go shopping by yourself, and yes, I am a single mother who sometimes HAS to take my child with me, a child who occasionally throws tantrums. Two year olds are like that - they throw tantrums, it happens. I do my best to distract him, but you know what, he's freaking two years old!

In any event, that man had absolutely no right to hit that child, no matter what anyone will say about controlling children's behavior. As a friend of mine said, he deserves nothing less than a swift kick in the balls.

Syd said...

I understand the guy *wanting* to slap the kid. I think we've all been there. But actually *doing* it?

I don't have kids, but if a man slapped my nephew in my presence, he'd have an assload of dyke on him, in no time flat.

mikey said...

My kids are way older now, but there was a time when they were around two, that they could be perfect angels upon entering the store and then turned into the child from hell because I, while parenting my child, said no to something. If you ignore the tantrum it will end and the child will be less likely to do it again because it still didn't get them what they wanted. It's a crappy phase, but if handled by the parent as best they can, it will end.

Had that been my child that was hit by a stanger, this little momma bear would have left him hurting.

RocketQueen said...

Er, no Christine. I suggest you read more carefully. I did not say it was ok - ever - to hit a child.
I said parents should take greater responsibility of their screaming children in public.

jax said...

Christine, did you actually read everything that Roquet Queen and Lisa wrote? no one is condoning the behavior of the cranky old fuck. it is wrong. BUT it is time for parents to parent their damn children an dstop turning a blind eye so everyone else has to suffer the disturbance.

hey, we were all kids once and i can tell you if i threw a tantrum,out the door we went home.
that's called tough shit,you're a parent. leave the kid at home or come when they aren't being a little shit.
IMO parents have gotten so damn lazy, with an excuse for everything. having a child is hard work, do it.

Lisa (original) said...

Hey Christine: If you read our comments, rocketqueen and I NEVER wrote that we hated kids, or didn't have any. I have BEEN a child. I have RAISED a child. I have a beloved 2 year old in my family at the moment.

What rocketqueen and I were discussing was people who don't PARENT THIER CHILD. I don't know, perhaps that struck a chord. I disagree, with your opinion, therefore, that children can't be taught to behave in public. I was taught, my sister was taught, and my niece is being taught. Someone else commented earlier and I agree, you discuss with the child what is EXPECTED and when they digress, you leave! I think however, that oftentimes PARENTS forget HOW to be courteous to other's in public.

Moosefan said...

I had a lady on a flight once tell me that I needed to "get the damn kid to hush or she was going to do it for me".-plane was taking off, ears popping and daughter was just a touch over 1. I calmly looked at her, as the other passengers around me had a WTF look on their face and said-If anyone needs to hush it is you and if you make a move toward me or my child one of us will be bloody and the other will be going to jail and guess what? I happen to like orange jumpsuits". There were other children that cried the whole flight and daughter was quiet after a few minutes. ps-I had 3 different people buy me champange and the people sitting around me were awesome and cool about the whole thing.
Kids will be kids-no matter what age or what the situation. And for those of you who want to get all up the Mom's ass-SHAME ON YOU. I can guarantee that if this SOB went and touched one of your family members or friends your tone would change.

Lisa (original) said...

OH, 1 more thing. I was not defending the POS who hit a defensless little 2 year old. He's heinous, and it's was totally out of line.

Moosefan said...

And yes-there are some "do not give a F!@# parents" out there who let their children run, knock over displays, eat stuff right out of the box at the grocery and do not pay for it, etc etc. There is no excuse for that type of behavior-and yes, I have been in toys r us and left a shopping cart full of stuff in the aisle and walked my screaming kids out and went home.
Even now, when my older kids start bickering with each other, I will give them the one warning-knock it off or we can leave. But this situation, UN-FU!@ING CALLED FOR.

allisonshine72 said...

I have a kid. He's almost two and he was crying on the bus on the way home from daycare. I was totally embarrassed. I did my very best to calm him down, but guess what? He's two. He was tired. He was cranky. He's getting teeth, and well, why the hell am I making excuses? He's two. We can all agree that it's no one's right to touch our kids, but it's also no one's right to assume that this kid was crying because Mommy wasn't doing anything. You think it's hard listening to a kid cry in a store? Guess what. You have the option to walk out. That crying kid is with Mommy all day. Give her a break.

Mooshki said...

I agree with 121007, at a certain age, taking the child out of the store just reinforces their behavior. Ignoring them is the best thing to do. But even if that wasn't the case here, I'd rather have under-parenting than what I usually see - moms screaming at their children or smacking them. And if the mother was neglectful, the guy needed to address her, not hit the kid!!!

jbdean_79 said...
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Ror said...

Thank you, for shutting that little brat up Mr. Stephens. You beat me to the punch...so to speak.

And no, I don't hate kids.

Just yours

Pandora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pandora said...

Y'all sound like fine parents to me. :) You know who you are.

jbdean_79 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Dan said...

jbdean_79-

Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Lisa (original) said...

Thank you Jax :-)

Moosefan had a completely understandable situation on that flight. The ear pressure/popping stuff hurts like nothing else. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. I wouldn't blame any child for losing it during a flight (ears pop continuously). I actually had air force it's way out (I heard it whistle!) and it was all I could do gripping onto the handrest trying not to scream from the pain. So that's understandable.

MoodyBlueEyes said...

I think jdbean_79 summarized everything I was going to say!

My daughter is going to be 8 soon, and I am thankful that she was an awesome infant/toddler in public places. I HAD to take her almost everywhere I went, and perhaps that's why - she became accustomed to it?

That being said - I have left a store with a cartful of groceries and a restaurant in the middle of a meal when she was acting a terror. I personally can't deal with listening to a screaming, out of control kid, and it's doubly mortifying when it's your own. Even now, if she gets really out hand, I'll give the side eye and start walking towards the exit - she knows I mean business.

HOWEVER, if anyone threatened to 'shut her up' or laid a hand on my child - they wouldn't be standing. For sure. This guy is as effed up as they get. And how did the mother let it happen?

Lisa (not original) said...

There wouldn't have been enough of this mfer left to arrest if he had slapped my baby.

Drcocks said...

OK, how about we remove the fact it was a child and just say this guy didn't like a song you were humming or the way you dressed, so he comes over and smacks you five times. Would we debate as to whether she did something to deserve it. No, he fucking attacked a human being and this cannot be allowed no matter how good or bad you are at parenting. Word

jw12 said...

So you're at store with a cartload of groceries, and you're checking out. Your 1 year old starts acting like a total ass and you're by yourself. You mean to tell me you're going to leave that line and take the kid outside? That's just ridiculous. Life happens and sometimes people just need to deal with it. Even if it's an older kid. There are some times you just can't do anything about it.

Wil said...

OH MY GOD!!!! My Mother does shit like this - okay .. no hitting but ALWAYS with the loud comments! Ugh!! She is always ragging on about other peoples kid and how ill behaved they are.

Yes .. people suck as parents .. not a damn thing you can do about it. Get over it .. move the hell on .. not your problem .. move it along .. nothing to see. Jeez .. my neck is getting tense and stiff just thinking about being out in public with her!

This redneck old fart asshole MF needs a few months behind bars .. maybe a few more months picking up trash by the highway and then probation for life with a restriction about yardage away from children IMHO.

Sonia said...

Single parent-who-never-has-a-babysitter here. And yes, I take my child everywhere with me - but all in all she's a pretty good kid. Even as an infant she was so good in stores. But she once threw herself down in the middle of Lowe's on the concrete and started a tantrum. I picked her up, took her outside, and when I passed some snooty older folks who were giving me these disapproving looks, I said "yep, should have bought some duct tape!" What I was thinking was "Oh, grow up idiots - like a child has never cried before? Get over yourself!" Yeah, I do the politically correct thing and take my child outside when she's causing a disruption, but good grief - why get your panties in a wad over it? There's a hell of a lot of things that offend me much worse than a crying child.

Sad thing is that most people forget they were once kids too - do they really think they went through toddlerhood without throwing a few fits themselves? It's called kids... and life. We've all done it - just like we all put our pants on the same way.

That being said, whether the mom was right or wrong - no one has the right to touch her child. Personally the son of a bitch wouldn't have gotten near my child after making his original statement - let alone get close enough to slap the baby. And if he had touched my child there would have been two people in jail right now, because he would not have had any balls or teeth left by the time I got through with him.

Bastard.

Harriet Hellfire said...

This is horrible. Violence against children is NEVER OK.


But I have to admit that I giggled a little when I first read this story. Because I have fantasized about slapping brats in the gorcery store many times. The difference is, I never have, and never will. I hope this kid is alright.

Harriet Hellfire said...

Yes. The "gorcery store".

Christine said...

Rocketqueen and Lisa, you accuse me of not reading your comments, but you clearly didn't read mine. I never wrote that you thought it was okay to hit a child.

RQ wrote: "I think this is the mother's fault, not the child's. I can't STAND it when a parent just lets a kid scream in public." Lisa wrote: "they have no sympathy for my ears or the ears of other shoppers. They're kid is their problem, not mine. TAKE IT HOME and to nap time or whatever...Park it and shut it."

I wrote in response: "So it's the mother's fault that this man beat her child? . . . Believe me, there is no way to control a kid who is exhausted or sick or into full on tantrum mode."

I was addressing the blame the victim theme here. And as a few of us have pointed out, children under a certain age don't understand why they can't have a tantrum and neither reasoning with nor punishing them has any effect.

Also, it's just not nice to refer to a person as an "it."

mygeorgie said...

jeez we have become an intolerant society. Dick at Walmart, posters here :/ Sometimes kids scream, teenagers swear, someone cuts you off, butts in line. Big woop. If you are really the 'better person', you'd carry on and not give it another thought.

Don't get me started on Costco shoppers though ;)

Pandora said...

Ok. You made me haul this one out:

http://peopleofwalmart.com/

Hope it makes you smile, Lisa(Orig) ;->

Harriet Hellfire said...

Oh god, I love that people of Walmart site! *L*

Lisa (not original) said...

If a child is left at home all the time, how on earth are they expected to learn how to act in public?

When my daughter decided to throw herself down in the middle of the store and start screaming, I didn't acknowledge the behavior and kept on walking. Took her about 5 steps to realize she wasn't going to get any attention for that behavior. Shut her 2 year old ass right up. She got up and apologized to everyone around. First and only tantrum she ever threw in a store. If she had received any attention for that episode, she would have repeated the behavior.

It's only annoying when parents cave and give the kid what they are screaming for. Those are the parents I really want to slap. Instead I empathize and try to start a conversation with the frazzled mom, so she won't be tempted to give in to a toddler terrorist.

If anyone had walked up and slapped my daughter while I was teaching her a valuable lesson, that a-hole would have had to be picked up with a sponge.

Lisa (not original) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tenley said...

I used to be annoyed at the parents -- until all my brothers and sisters had babies. And the truth is most parents are mortified when their child throws a tantrum in the store or on the street. Most are not chronic but every parent has been there. And depending on the age of the child -- and come on, two years old is still extremely young and when this is most likely to happen -- there is not much to do but pick them up and take them out of the store and begin to teach them proper outside-the-home behavior. I mean truly. Two years old is way young and new to the world.

RagDoll said...

I mean, yeah, you know , in a perfect world parents would keep their kids from screaming in public, or they'd be able to leave the kid at home with someone if he/she can't control hi/her little self in public quite yet. Ideally. In a perfect world.

Back here in the REAL world, Grumpy Old Man went to WAL fuckin MART and expected, what? An atmosphere like The Russian Tea Room? Get with the program gramps.

braverwoman said...

I agree with 121007. My son would go off like clock-work every Sunday afternoon when he was two. Probably too much weekend, off his schedule etc. Since he was my first-born, I coddled him. After a few weeks of 45-minute temper tantrums, I was DONE. Started ignoring him. Temper tantrums immediately went down to 20 minutes and eventually disappeared. Boy, he had me trained.

Lioness70 said...

OK, just waded through all the comments.

Not parenting your child in a store and you kid having a bad day and being a shithead in the store is two entirely different things. I've been through the latter, more than once.

I have three kids. They're school age now, but when they were younger, there was a couple of times that they pitched fits when I wouldn't buy them a toy or some other crap. Were they taught better? Of course. Were they being kids? Yup.

I've gotten dirty looks, commenting, and once, a woman calling me out in Target, because I told my brats to stop being brats. What can parents do? Can't win for trying to discipline them, can't win for not disciplining them. Strangers in stores know your kids better than you do.

This guy wouldn't be a guy any more after I got done with him.

sunnyside1213 said...

When you are in a store with a screaming child half the people there are thinking omg, what a brat, and the other half are thinking omg, what an awful Mother.

ardleigh said...

Woah Wait! He hit the child 4or 5X's?????

Where the hell was mama? He hit any child of mine (if I had them) once I'd fry his ass over the bunsen burner they cook the free handouts with.

My nephew always hated how I punished him VS how his mom (my sister)did. I never hit. I took away priviledges or made him sit by himself quietly for an amount of time. No playstation vs spanked? He wanted spanked.

Eli said...

I must confess, when i was a child, i'd slap any child who was crying in a store...yup...i was a bully like that. even then that ish got on my nerves...but i was a kid and so was whoever i was slapping...i wouldn't do it now but i'd grunt and talk smack abt the crying child.

fairylights said...

Exactly Lioness. I also have three kids who are now teenagers, one of whom was a tantrum queen at the age of two, and three, and four....she took a lot of convincing about what was appropriate behavior. I lost count of the number of places I hauled her out of kicking and screaming under my arm. (Stores, libraries, birthday parties)

That said, why the heck did the mother let his idiot get anywhere near her child after what he said? Someone said something like that to me and my baby we'd have been up at the front pointing his a** out to management.

Lisa (not original) said...

ardleigh, that's what I've always done. Time out was always a battle royale, so instead we would "shun" the offender. "No one wants to play with a mean person. Until you choose to play nice, you are shunned from polite society!" Trust, they would rather be beaten than left out, so their behavior changed in a hurry. It taught them early on that they choose how to behave and must accept the consequences for being a brat.

As a parent, I don't feel it is my job to "control" my children. It is my job to make sure they are ready to be turned loose on society when they are old enough. I do that through education. It has a more lasting impact than control, which only leads to rebellion.

gay tallywacker said...

You would think that a two year old who is crying would cry harder and louder after getting slapped four or five times no? And if she was shocked into silence then perhaps it wasn't teething, sickness, or tiredness maybe? Just playing devil's advocate here. But I don't think hitting anyone is ever a good solution.

Jerry said...

Looks like the kind of guy you'd expect to see on the other side of glory hole.

Lioness70 said...

My two girls, who you think would know better, embarrassed me something awful in church yesterday. One kept going into the back and ran around. When I "scolded" her, she wailed loudly, when communion prep was going on. The other one cried after I told her I wasn't picking her up.

They know how to behave in church, they just felt like being obnoxious.

A few of the older parishioners were giving me dirty looks, but the parents were sympathetic. They'd BTDT, many times.

Wonder if this idiot would have done what he did in a church?!?

Lioness70 said...

Oh, and the only reason I had to bring them was because Hubs decided he wanted to take his '70 Challenger connvertible for a drive. I'm madder at him than at them, actually.

These kids didn't want to go to church. I was stuck with them because he wasn't going to be home to watch them, and their older brother is an altar server. I moved them to the back the instant I sensed trouble. And when they got home, they lost their Nintendo DSes for a week.

You can postpone your little drive for an hour, stupid ass.

amanda rae said...

mygeorgie-

Yeah, we sure are intolerant for trying to maintain some basic standard of behavior to adhere to while in public! Oh, the NERVE! Everyone should just act however they damn well please, no matter who finds it distasteful, inappropriate, or rude. No wonder society is in the crapper, if this is how people think nowadays. But hey, if you think that way, then don't ever complain about anyone's unacceptable behavior, because there shouldn't BE any standards, right? Be careful what you wish for....

And I am not trying to attack you or be a bitch, but I just cannot comprehend that mindset AT ALL. Please, explain it to me because I would like to understand.

mygeorgie said...

amanda rae- I think you have missinterpreted my message.

I did NOT say there should be a free pass on bad manners, but rather the suggestion to have some stamina to not 'jump down people's throats' because something is amiss.

People should save the "Burn the bastard at the stake!" energy for shit thats *really* important. ;)

Diane said...

Lioness: You are a terrible parent. I'm going to call you out on that. Usually at church there are special place set aside where noisy children, usually babies, can sit with their parents until they're at an age, usually around 2, where they can start behaving, which is when they join the regular congregation. The rest of the congregation is trying to quietly and politely worship. They don't mind if you show up in clothing that looks like it comes from Goodwill or if your kids look like they're dressed for romper room fun, just that you and your kids show the proper amount of respect during a freakin' worship service. You're right, you should have never had your kids inside a church, nor should you ever be in church, because it's clearly apparent that neither you nor your kids know that proper behavior is of the utmost importance in a worship service. Wal-Mart is one thing; inside a HOLY HOUSE OF WORSHIP is another entirely different thing.