because the greatest lesson a child will ever learn is the value of just shutting the hell up sometimes…

Before I tell this story about this thing I did, only this morning; a thing some of you will surely hate me for, let me begin with the most basic of revelations: I love kids.


 I do.

 My views on marriage and cohabitation change with the wind, these days, but on one, lone domestic thing am I steadfast—I love kids. I want children of my own one day.

 Thing is, I hate bad kids.


 And really, bless those of you who are of the belief that there are no bad children. Honestly. Your reward is in Heaven.

 But, I happen to know there are some rotten little sonsofbitches out there.

 Anyhow,  I digress.

 You should know that I own a condo in a highrise, where I’ve lived almost five years. The composite of tenants in the building is the most diverse I’ve ever personally experienced, but certainly nothing special in terms of the Greater DC Metropolitan Area.

 The vast majority of the owners are older people (who come with a very unique set of melodramas, I might add). There is, however, a significant younger contingent of persons and families who rent out units. Subsequently, there are a hundred thousand million point six children in residence.

 But not a problem, right? Cause I love kids.

 Now, behind my building, there is an older neighborhood that has seen some wear and tear over the years. Its inhabitants are slightly more hood in makeup, and it is also overrun with children.

 Still not a problem, right? Why? Cause I love kids.

 Now, the children of the not so hot neighborhood, and the kids in my building all go to the same school. And while a separate bus comes for the children in the not so hot neighborhood,  it arrives earlier than the one that comes directly to my building.

 That earlier arrival time, combined with the ass of kids already living in my building are enough to make the kids from the not so hot neighborhood forego their own bus, morning after morning, opting, instead, to sleep in, and play with their friends in my building, while catching the later bus.

 With me so far?


 I was up with the sun, this morning, determined to get as much as possible done before my 9:30 docket.

 So, I was more than pleased when I managed to shower, and get fully dressed and ready to go before 7.

I gathered my dogs for their morning walk, and was absently playing with my phone, standing on my building’s main sidewalk, as I waited for Topher and Cooper to fertilize the Earth.

 Out of nowhere, a boy and a girl, both about age 11, came running and screaming around the corner, laughing loudly and not watching where they were going, nearly tripping over both of my dogs.

 Topher, almost trampled, and taken completely unaware, growled at the kids, with Cooper quickly following suit.

 Startled, and not wanting the kids to be frightened of the dogs, I quickly squatted to grab at their harnesses, assuring the dogs it was okay.

 “Your dogs are mean,” said the little girl¸ jumping in front of Topher, and then jumping back, in quick, repeated steps, taunting her.

 I was still struggling to calm the dogs when Topher growled again, in response to the little girl’s hand that had jutted in her face, and then jutted back.

 The little girl let out an ear piercing scream, but continued to taunt the dogs.

 “Sweetheart, don’t yell at them,” I said, softly. “And don’t put your hand in front of her face like that. She’s scared. She doesn’t bite, but you’re scaring her. That’s why she’s growling.”

 It was only then, when speaking to her, that I actually had an opportunity to assess her. She was taller and darker than her counterpart, and round all over. Her hair was braided into a series of cornrows on either side of her head, that all came together to form one French braid virtually glued to her scalp.

 I could tell she hadn’t expected me to say anything to her by the way she began to size me up in equal measure.

 She ran toward my building with the little boy, and I released the harnesses and began to make my way up the sidewalk in the same direction, when I heard her say, “She can’t tell me how to use my voice! It’s my voice. I do what I want to do with it. Who is she?! Who is she?! I do what I want!”

 Now, I’m a grown woman, so I pride myself on my ability to be honest with myself and my limited spectrum of emotions.

 And I was hot.

 Like, HEATED.

 I couldn’t believe she was trying to break bad to her little friend.

 Like, seriously, what a little shit.

 I was just trying to look out for her monkey ass.

 “Let it go, girl. She’s a child,” I said, to myself. “Who cares? She’s a fuckin kid.”

 I held tighter to the dogs’ leashes, and determined to just go about my business…

 But not a minute later, her friends—the ones who let her in my locked building—came outside, and she repeated the refrain to them, “It’s my voice! Who is she?!!? I do what I wanna do with my voice! I do what I want with it! I do what I want!”

 The children were now very near the entryway, outside in the parking lot, playing and kicking around something or other. I could see her in my periphery pointing and indicating in my direction, and I could certainly hear her loud, sassy mouth.

 And, juvenile as it sounds, I just became angrier and angrier.

 She just kept saying it, seemingly louder and louder each time. “I do what I want! I do what I want!”

 And something about her—she was entirely reminiscent of the hoodrat, pushy girls of my youth. The ones who’d chastised me for my proper speech and “goody goody”ness.

 And all at once, I was back in the same conflicted position as I’d been in as a child. Offended, incensed, and unable to do anything about it. I would spend my whole life, it seemed, confronted with these arrogant, mouthy, hoodrat children–only to be suspended in a constant state of inaction.

 I let out a pathetic, resigned sigh, confident in my inability to snatch her up by her meaty forearm and give her a piece of my mind, and proceeded up the stairs.

 By this time, the little girl’s friends had assembled in the lobby. She had initially been inside with them, but appeared to have forgotten or lost something in the parking lot where she’d been playing.

 I was just inside of the glass door with the dogs when I saw that she had found what she was looking for, or abandoned it as a lost cause, and was headed up the stairs in my direction.

 And, God forgive me, I waited.

 I had been willing to let it go, but her virtual CAMPAIGN of shit talking had set something off inside of me.

 Because damnit, I’m not the person I was in sixth grade.

 I am a grown woman. I have a profession. I make an income. I pay a fucking mortgage. I deserve respect.

 So, I waited.

 I waited behind that locked, glass door.

 Her eyes got big when she saw me, too.

 She knocked softly, politely even. I was close enough to hear her “Can you let me in?” through the glass.

 I looked at her, then; square in her almond-shaped eyes.

 Shaking my head from left to right, I said, slowly, annunciating each word, “It’s.My.Building. IIIIIIII.Do.What.IIIIIII.Want.”

 I could see panic set in and she started to shout, frantically, “I’ma miss my bus! I’ma miss my bus!”

 I turned to see the crowd of children in the lobby progressing out the front doors, toward the curb, and then returned my unwavering gaze to her.

 “Then you’d better hurry, and run around then, huh?”

 Picking up Topher and planting a kiss on her forehead, I turned my back to the little girl, and proceeded through the second set of glass doors to the elevator.

 As I continued to walk Cooper, still holding Topher, I leaned down, my lips just brushing her ear, and murmured, “Who am I? I’m the bitch with a ride.”


12 Responses to “because the greatest lesson a child will ever learn is the value of just shutting the hell up sometimes…”

  1. 1 isha
    October 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    LOVED IT! My mouth is still open but I love it! Learn a lesson with your sassy-know-nothing-little-girl-ass! Have respect for others and yourself and you’ll go further, stupid. Thanks Fooler, you did a service today. I commend you. I ain’t mad.

  2. 2 ~Y
    October 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I hate bad kids too. Like, seriously.

  3. 3 Synman Fredo
    October 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    *Stands up and gives the loudest applause a single person can possibly give*
    BRAVO!!!!! WELL PLAYED, GOOD MADAME!!! That had to have felt sooooooo good. I hope she learned a lesson…no, on second thought, who cares if she learned anything, the litte brat got OWNED. Fuck it. Excellent post, as usual.

  4. October 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Loved it. so glad you put her in her place. I cannot STAND bad kids either. If you had said that you snatched her behind up, I wouldn’t have been upset at that either–even though I know its wrong, I DO understand.

    well played.

  5. 5 Misterr Carterr
    October 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    LMAO… wow…. Some things never change.. or people.. only circumstances.. LOL

  6. 6 danielle b
    October 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    well said. beautiful even. i’m glad to see not just us teachers tell the children about themselves. thank you. again, beautiful.

  7. 7 Chris H
    October 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Oh how I do enjoy reading your posts! Through you, I feel avenged for the time i did nothing but sit seething in my seat at the movies as some 11-13 y.o. girl who THREW popcorn down into my row imitated me for 5 minutes after I spoke to her about it.

  8. November 8, 2010 at 1:32 am

    I call them strays. I don’t like stray anythings. Strays always act up when they are unsupervised. Good work, Fooler. Good work.

  9. 9 Chris
    November 12, 2010 at 6:30 am


  10. November 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Hi-lar-i-ous. I commend you lol.

  11. 11 shantafabulous
    August 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Yassssssssssss! I’m not even mad.

  12. 12 Naija
    August 27, 2012 at 4:32 am

    lmao, So this is the infamous story. I hate bad ass kids as well. I don’t blame you; not one single bit.

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a history of my meanderings….


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