The statement came as such a shock that I actually stood there and tried to justify why I wasn't going to smack him. To a complete stranger.
Is this what we have to do now? Defend ourselves in the street when our parenting style is frowned upon by others?
When I stated that I didn't believe in smacking as a form of punishment (that was me justifying my actions, or should I say lack of them, right there) the man asked me why.
"Because I don't believe in teaching children that physical aggression is ok"
I was then accused of being a tree hugging, vegan hippy, whose son would grow up to be a delinquent.
At that moment I was wondering if actually now would be the time to show Oliver that sometimes physical aggression is ok and punch the man standing in front of me square in the face.
Instead I explained that I hadn't hugged any trees recently and quite enjoy a nice bacon and egg sandwich, but thanks for the stereotyping and judgment.
"My father used to hit me when I did something wrong and it did me good!"
I beg to differ my friend. You see, you are now stood before a complete stranger encouraging them to hit a four year old, berating and quite frankly verbally abusing their mother and in all honesty it appears to me that all those beatings have turned you in to nothing but a pain in the arse.
I was going to blog an open letter to this piece of shit but everything I felt needed to be said I did say before ordering him to get away from us immediately.
But for the rest of the day I was left feeling angry. Angry to the point that I've felt the need to write about it.
So I'm going to turn that anger on its head right now and say thank you to the awful little pea brain instead. Thank you for showing me that no matter what people say to me, they can never change my morals and values when it comes to the way I raise my child. Thank you for reiterating the exact reason why I DON'T smack my child. So he will grow up to respect other human beings and hopefully not randomly approach people in the street and make rude remarks. Thank you for allowing me to illustrate to my son that your behaviour yesterday was unacceptable and for enabling me to show him that people like you can be dealt with by a smart mouth and a willingness to stand by your own opinions.
I don't care if people want to smack their kids. If that works for them, that's great. I don't want to smack mine. And I especially don't want to be instructed in the street to do so by a complete stranger. We all have different morals and values. This was just an undiluted version of typical judgment that mums have to go through every day.
In the past I've been judged for co-sleeping, breastfeeding, working full time, not having a clean enough house, having a child who won't eat veg, having a child who knows what zombies are, letting my child speak to strangers, and allowing my child to chase pigeons in the street. I can take it. I can take it all. I know I'm a great mum. I'm not up to some people's standards, but I don't care. I don't strive to meet anyone's standards except my sons, and my own. I know that hitting is just a total deal breaker for us.
So seriously people!
GIVE US A BREAK!!!
Because this tree hugging, hippy vegan with a delinquent son has had quite enough!