An Open Letter To That Woman At The Park

Dear Madam with the Pursed Lips,

Thank you for your concern regarding my three year old and her coat yesterday. Yes indeed, I do know that it’s October. I have a working knowledge of time, as well as basic understanding of our calendar system. While it may be only a few short weeks shy of the anniversary of last year’s first snow, yesterday it was 60 degrees. In fact, if you’d noticed her red cheeks and heavy breathing, you’d see she had been running, jumping, and climbing long enough to elevate her body temperature; and I was confident that her 3/4 sleeves, tights, skirt, and fuzzy boots would keep her sufficiently protected from the elements (sunshine and breeze). Why yes, I DO let her tell me if she’s hot and wants to take off her jacket. She has a brain, and she uses it on occasion.

I thought it was sweet of you to compliment that other mom on her adorable toddler. “What’s her name?” you asked. “Matteo,” was the response. It was hasty and rude of you to strongly advise an immediate haircut for that mom’s son, but it gave me a perfect opportunity to jump in and say that I loved Matteo’s over the ear locks, and offer my support for doing what she wanted (which we all knew was ignoring your cranky, busybody advice). You can go ahead and parent your kids how you like, but back off the rest of us. Oh, I’m sorry, are those your kids or grandkids? I honestly couldn’t tell. You seem sort of ageless, and not in the good way.

I was pretty thankful you brought a book to stick your upturned nose into when you were done sticking it in everyone else’s business. More than that, I was thankful I brought my journal to start this letter. I’m sure I would have remembered the details of this experience long enough to type it up, but I truly enjoyed printing this title largely and boldly, and letting the page fall open, right in your line of sight.

I should take a moment to thank you. You have inspired me. Whenever I’m not sure how to handle a particular parenting situation, I’ll imagine what you would do. And do the opposite.


P.S. Your skinny ass took up that whole bench. Next time, shove over.

19 thoughts on “An Open Letter To That Woman At The Park

  1. Ugh! In my experience older women who criticize young moms have major regrets about their own years with young kids and are just trying to make themselves feel better. Or, they could just be douche bags. Either way.XOXO,Jen

  2. I can't stop laughing!!! You killed me with "I'll imagine what you would do. And do the opposite." That seems like a completely sound plan!!What is WRONG with people? Why would a person ever say these things to another mom/caregiver? –Lisa

  3. My littlest, who is only one, has long curly hair. Women are constantly asking me what HER name is, and then I tell them what HIS name is. I haven't yet had anyone but Hubby tell me to cut his hair, but I'm sure if I let it grow any longer I will. I hate busybodies, especially the older ones who don't remember what it was like to have littles. And I love that you started writing this right next to her!

    1. My boy had amazing curls, and after his first haircut (at 2 yrs old) they never really grew back. It takes a special kind of person to tell a stranger what to do with their kid's hair. I hope you don't encounter that!

  4. Bwahaha! There's one at every park, isn't there? I have one that lives on the corner of my street, and she has "helpful" advice for me E-V-E-R-Y day when I push the stroller by her house. No, I don't think my daughter needs a hat when it's 65 degrees, and you might want to check a medical journal, because I'm pretty sure air blowing in the ear isn't how babies get ear infections.

  5. Hi Amy, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from Finding the Funny.We have all met our share of "Skinny Ass", haven't we? My personal fave was the one who told me – at my sister's wedding – that we shouldn't have adopted our child from Kazakhstan b/c every one of them is messed up and they can never be fixed. Priceless.Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you! Hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  6. Ooooh, that Matteo haircut comment really irks me. I have two beautiful boys with gorgeous, long curls. We get tons of compliments all the time about their hair, and also lots of "Your daughters are so beautiful" comments. I don't mind a bit because we know that long hair on boys isn't the norm. We just say something like "Oh, they're boys, but thank you. We agree, they are beautiful! " No harm done. But I don't like how some people won't let it go. "Oh, boys? You're kidding. They look just like girls. I thought for sure they were girls, I was 100% sure. You should cut their hair!!" Sheesh.

  7. Wait, she took her eyes off her own children for a moment and read a book? She stuck her nose in a book??? I can't believe she'd have time, what with the criticing of everyone else and all that child watching she was supposed to do. Those children might have had a good time and she wouldn't have even known! Irresponsible bitch. It just makes me continue to ask: what is WRONG with people?????

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