Mama Don’t You Talk, I Mean Walk So Fast

On my way back from the pool this morning I saw the funniest thing. OK. Not exactly funny-funny — but definitely amusing.

Today is Labor Day. And many people have the day off. The mere fact that I was able to go for a swim, first thing in the morning with my kids at home, says holiday to me. (Dad was watching the kids. Yeah. Babysitting. Why in the world is it called “watching the kids” when dad’s doing it but when mom….oh wait. I digress. This topic is for another post. Where was I? Oh. Right. That amusing thing. Sorry!)

To get the full effect, I need to paint the scene. So. Close your eyes. Oh, wait. No. Don’t close your eyes. Then you won’t be able to read this. Hmmmm. OK. Sit back. Relax. Pretend you’re closing your eyes and picture this…..

A beautiful late summer day. The sun is shining. The sky is clear. The air smells fresh and clean. You’re driving through a picturesque subdivision with front porches (that people actually use) and sidewalks (that people actually use). Very Norman Rockwell, our neighborhood.

And in the distance you see a family. Walking. Mom is a few steps ahead, leading the way. Two little boys, about ages 5 and 8. The older boy is pushing the stroller and the dad is just behind them. You think, how sweet. A family walk. It’s so great that they’re all out exercising together. What a good example they’re providing their children. Ahhh, yes. The family that plays together, stays together.

Here. In case you’re imaginatively-impaired, I found a little visual aid.

Except, picture the big kid pushing the stroller. And remember, they’re in a neighborhood. With houses, not storefronts.  Mom first. Followed by the kids and stroller. Dad, a step behind. On a narrow sidewalk. And they’re wearing different clothes.  Oh, and it’s just some anonymous family because Dave Chappell and his brood? They don’t live near me.

But you get the idea.

As you get closer, you notice three things.

1. The boys have sour looks on their faces. (The baby in the stroller is perfectly content, however.)

2. Mom is talking on her cell phone.

3. Dad is texting.

Which leads you to #4.

4. No wonder the kids have sour looks on their faces.


Norman Rockwell would be rolling over in his grave.


Filed under family, funny, Observations

20 responses to “Mama Don’t You Talk, I Mean Walk So Fast

  1. Gee, Jane…this is really sad!

    Glad you had your swim without kids though!


  2. That’s a big pet peeve of mine. Enjoy the day, enjoy those kids. Put the phones away!

  3. There used to be a nanny in our neighborhood who used to walk with her little charge around the same time I walked with Miss M. She’d push that stroller and never talk to the child. I was like, “Whaaa?” How can you do that? How can you push a child in a stroller and not constantly chatter, “Hey, do you see the birdie in that tree? Oh, look at the pretty flowers on those bushes? Look! Squirrels!” You know, engage the kid?

    Sour old bat. You’re right, it’s sad.

  4. Maybe science will find out that intense texting becomes very dangerous to humans over the age of 12. It doesn’t actually have to be true; we just need to get enough scientists to say it is. Or, actually, it doesn’t have to be good science, so we can just bribe one pseudo-scientist; crap science sells perfectly well, as subscribers to Newsweek prove. Since about the only 12 year olds who have phones to text on are impossible spoiled already…

    …uh-oh, don’t tell me you subscribe to Newsweek.

  5. How sad. There isn’t enough time for family time as it is, so it should be treasured when it’s available. We usually figure this stuff out too late. Like after the kids have grown up and move away.

  6. Oh my gosh, so true! I see moms in our neighborhood walking the dog, pushing the baby in the stroller, and talking on her cellphone at the same time. I’m in sympathy and I know they’re trying to do the right thing, but I don’t think the sound of mommy’s voice yakking on the phone to someone else has the same effect as if she is talking to the child. No stops to point out a plane, smile at another baby… it’s all business.

    Just read Kitchen Witch’s comment. Yep–just like that. 🙂

    She’s also going to give herself a pass on picking up that dog poop too, telling herself it’s okay because she has no free hands.

  7. Saw a guy FISHING yesterday at the end of a pier on a beautiful evening, talking non-stop on his cell. Not as bad as talking while walking the kids..but still. What’s the point?

    If we can outlaw talking on the phone while driving because it’s unsafe maybe we can try to outlaw talking on the phone while hanging out with the kids, because it’s detrimental to their growing up sane.

  8. What a wasted opportunity. Not only to enjoy the beautiful day, but to engage the kids, rather than making them feel like also-rans. And then we wonder why they’re glued to their gadgets and devices?

  9. Going against the trend here…Being a mom who walked and still walks with her kids, I must defend the woman. Gosh, maybe something is going on…maybe this is unusual for her. Maybe she is talking to her friend and she spent all morning talking to baby. Boy, trying to do it all and manage it all as a mom is not easy.
    As to kids who text (and have cells) being spoiled. I beg to differ. Once my kids hit a certain age, they were given cells by us for our convenience and their potential needs. This day and age is not the same as when I grew up. Though technological age has been an adjustment for us parents, we have made it and teach our kids accordingly.
    As a SAHM and one who also has worked some too, my kids get lots of my attention. And I get lots of theirs too!

  10. Oh Lord. How sad. They say kids are loosing out to cell phones.

  11. Another sadly amusing sight — when you’re out to dinner as a family, and you see another family…texting/talking to anyone and everyone except the people at their own table.

  12. Oh my. I’ve been seeing way too much of that sort of thing. Another reason I don’t have a cell phone – I hate the thought I might unthinkingly do that one day!

  13. Oh my gosh, this is so true! It drives me crazy to see how basic common manners have been thrown out the window, where whatever email/text/call is so much more important than the people nearby. It appears that most people think it is acceptable to use a blackberry/cell phone anytime and anywhere. I had to ask my husband not to bring his out at dinner time. He’s pretty much gotten the message about dinner time, but he’ll still whip that dreaded device out at any other moment.

  14. There are definitely a growing prevalence of parents who watch their kids and not engage them, and you can tell from the kids’ demeanor and development, especially language-wise, just who those parents are. It does sadden me.

  15. Don’t you wish you could take a real picture and show them what they look like?

    • We are kindred spirits! I actually slowed down and thought about taking a picture with my phone but then suddenly (thank goodess) realized that would be rude. So I didn’t. But oh, how I wish I was missing that tact gene – just once.

  16. Some day they will regret their actions and wasting a perfect opportunity to spend time with their kids. After all, we only have 936 weekends to make memories with our kids from the time they are born until the time they are 18!

  17. Hi Jane:

    Here’s a post by another one of my friends on the same subject…she managed to get something positive from her experience…


  18. *sigh* Guilty as charged sometimes. Electronics: a blessing and a curse. As Confucius said, everything in moderation. (Ok. I just made that up. But someone somewhere sometime in China must have said something like that…)

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