A little while ago our family decided to go to a nearby (within walking distance) Family Practice rather than driving 25 minutes to the pediatrician for every visit. The practice has a lovely young Doc specializing in ages 2-14 and then Jeremiah and I can see the regular not so fun adult Docs if need be.
Yesterday Rose and Olivia had their first appointment with the new Doc. This first visit works as a well-check up and a introduction to the staff and facility. I've mentioned before the office was friendly and very kind to Maxine, Elijah and myself during their first visit a couple weeks before.
The general public, however, is not so very friendly and/or kind.
On the walk to the office our supertroop spied a lady walking two large dogs down the sidewalk towards us. I instructed the kids to stop and step off of the sidewalk to let them pass. They did, eagerly anticipating seeing the passing dogs close up. The lady walked by us completely ignoring all the adorable questions the children were posing to her and the pups:
"Hi Puppies! Are they babies or big dogs that do tricks?"
"What kind of dogs are those? Are they some kind of great dane or dalmation? Those are the ones I like best....I think."
"Dahhhhhhg! Oh Oh Oh Oh Dahhhhhhhhhhhg! Hi."
"Mom. I think that's actually some kind of pointer. Olivia thinks that all dogs are dalmations. Or some kind of mixed dalmation hybrid."
The passing dog walker didn't pause, smile or politely laugh. She stuck her nose up in the air and breezed past us.
"She didn't hear me, I guess, Momma. I wouldn't have touched her dogs."
Max hung her head a little bit as we continued on our walk.
The office's parking lot has two exits, one onto the main road and one smaller side street that comes out into our neighborhood. I cautioned the children to walk in a single file line down this side street and picked up Elijah for the remaining distance. When a car came up the street I would say, "Kids! Car. Over as far as you can!" and then we would stop until the car passed. This happened twice and as the last car came towards us we were all still and far off the road.
The old man driving that car didn't see us until he was almost directly beside us. As he finally noticed us there he slammed on his brakes and beeped the horn, as if we were in front of him in the middle of the street. His face was bloated and red, his mouth gaping and angry as he rolled down his window and yelled at me,
"Use your head Lady! Keep your kids off of the street!"
In shock I mumbled to myself, "We were off of the street."
We finally entered the office and the children took their seats, much to the chagrin of a young couple who were already sitting when we arrived. Young Yuppy Couple (with enough money to look at least a little bit hipster, instead wearing matching polo shirts and khakis, what a waste) looked shocked when Elijah sat in the seat to the right of them and beamed up at them with his oh so adorable smile. He didn't touch them, spit at them or yell at them. He was clean, well dressed, polite and TWO YEARS OLD.
Young Yuppy Couple looked at each other, rolled their eyes, got up, crossed the room and sat down on the other side of the rather large space. It pained me to look at Elijah's face as he realized these people didn't want to sit by him. He sat back in the seat and was very quiet.
Rose came up to the receptionists window where I was dealing with insurance crap. I had planned on saying something to the couple when I finished at the window, like "Children are people too." or something along those lines when Rosey said, quite loud:
"Maybe they have something contagious."
Oh Rose, wise beyond your years.
Prompted by Rose's forced optimism I made up scenarios to make the day's offenders less offensive seeming.
The Dog Walker's dogs are highly jealous of any interaction she might have with other people. If she were to speak with us or even acknowledge us her dogs would have attacked us and showed no mercy.
The Angry Man in the Car just came from having a prostate exam.
The Young Yuppy Couple just found out they have six different venereal diseases between the two of them (fun trip to Cabo) and were waiting for their prescriptions.
The rest of the visit was fairly uneventful (Rose has to see a dermatologist AND an eye doctor, oh boy). We walked home in the beautiful sunshine and the assholes we encountered that day were forgotten and their thoughtless actions erased by a gentle breeze and a fresh outlook.
Later that night Olivia mentioned The Dog Walker, "When I have dogs someday I'll teach them to be really nice to everyone so they can stop on the street and play with people and make them happy and glad to be alive."
"That's wonderful Olivia...sounds like an awesome idea!"
Maxine Jane chimes in at this point, positively beaming from ear to ear, "YEAH! And when I have a car I'll let kids run in front of me all the time and never yell at them or their mommas!"
Seems we all learned important lessons today, eh?