yikes! i was 'yelled at' today in the laundromat! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all. i need some of your input on this matter....do you offer your parenting criticisms to strangers? here's what happened to me today.... i am still a little upset ok, i was doing my laundry at a laundromat with my just turned 5 year old son and soon to be 2 year old daughter...they are both beautiful, bright,friendly,outgoing,vivacious, but some times a little mischeivious(sp.?)...anyhow, the place isnt that big, but it does have an 'island' where the washers and folding tables are...creating a place where my kids can go around and around....i was on one side getting my stuff out of the dryer...they were on the other....my son had a laundry cart and whatever he was doing with it caused the worker lady to say please stop what he was doing...she said it loudly....i shouted to him to 'knock it off and come by me' because we were going to go...he did and i said 'go get your coats' which were on top of a washer...i was getting my stuff ready to go and was going over to help him get his coat...when a man and lady...my age....start saying to me....'GET A CLUE!' i was like,excuse me?...they proceded...'go take care of your kids! they are a distraction! cant you hear the lady yelling at them to stop!this one is trying to stand on a chair! we have 3 kids and our kids would never behave this way!' i am not sure what i even said back because i was so shocked....i think i was like...'a distraction? we are at a laudromat,not a library'...my kids werent behaving horribly! i knew where they were and was just gathering my stuff to go when the cart thing happened.....so as i am telling my kids....come on, get your coats on..lets go.....i think i may have said to the couple 'why dont you mind your own business....she said back 'oh just shut up!' and i then lost it....saying f.u...(which i know i shouldnt have said) and she responds with ' oh that's nice,now i know why your kids act the way they do!'i was so upset....my kids were upset! i got home, told my hubby, crying...my son was crying....i then explained to my son..that those people shouldnt have yelled at me....that i shouldnt have spoken that way back..and that if he was doing something he wasnt supposed to do and if the worker yells at him he should apologize and come tell me what happened. i just need to vent about this...my hub wanted to go back to the laundromat.but that wouldnt have been a pretty site.... am i in the wrong here?is that couple with 3 calm, well behaved children (who werent there)in the right? if i were them..id keep my mouth shut....think how lucky i was to have well behaved children...and if i saw a young child climbing on a chair..id say' oh,sweetheart, don't do that, you can get hurt..." and then tell his/her parents.....i wouldnt criticize/yell/embarrass the parents! please, can you comment on this situation to try to help me figure out if i did you anything wrong? besides the cursing part! oops! thanks! p.s. sorry this is soo long!
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#2 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 12:46 AM
 
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oh b.s.! Their kids did stuff just like yours did - either that or they were raising potatoes not kids.

I'm sorry they were so rude to you - and I don't blame you at all for cursing - it's not like you had time or mental energy to formulate an intelligent response when you're trying to get your 2 kids and laundry out the door! What absolute jerks. I can understand why you're smarting ... creeps!!!!
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#3 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 01:30 AM
 
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Oh wow! First of all, big hugs to you!

I am such a wimp when it comes to confrontational situations like that. I was reading your post thinking I would probably do the same thing. Tell them to mind their own business. I don't blame you at all for slipping up and saying the "F" word. I'm sure you don't usually use language like that around your kids, and those mean people just used it as ammunition. God, I would have been bawling before I even left the laundromat!!!

They were just being nosy, judgmental, butt-insky's. I know that doesn't take away how upset they made you, but don't doubt yourself for a minute. They were just mean, nasty, people with nothing better to do than criticize other people.

Given time to think about it, I probably would have replied to their claims of having "perfectly behaved children" with: "Oh yeah? So where's your perfect parenting award?"

Sheesh! I"m so sorry you had to be the victim of their own insecurity!

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#4 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 02:48 AM
 
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Omgawd what an awful laundry day!!!
s - I would have told them FU myself!! That was beyond rude!
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#5 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 03:03 AM
 
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I have BTDT
Apparantly some people think that children in laundromats should sit quietly and stare at the walls for three hours while their parents do the wash.
Don't take what they said to you to heart- you are a kind and loving mom doing a heck of a job!
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#6 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 07:56 AM
 
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Oh how horrible!
I probably would have used the "f" word... and more!
I don't understand why some people are so horrible.. to talk to you like that right in front of your kids.. awful.
So sorry that happened to you!
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#7 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 10:06 AM
 
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At least I am not the only one who has lost it when someone critisized!! The problem with those people, is that they probably beat their kids so bad, that they were afraid to be KIDS!!
With everything going on in the world today, what is their problem with kids just being kids? Don't feel bad. I would have lost it too!
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#8 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 10:13 AM
 
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If they really thought that kids being a "distraction" in a laundromat was such a big deal, then they should have offered to help you, to entertain the children or help you gather your stuff. I would have sworn at them too (and then gone home to dream up wittier comebacks).
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#9 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 10:27 AM
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I would have been crying too!

There is so much nastiness out there! I have to say it - I can't help it - the developing world is so much kidner! Here kids are kids! Whenever I worry that Iris is getting too loud or something, someone always makes me understand (I don't know the language) that she's just a kid! In fact, it's almost like, "Hey! You western woman! Let the kid be a kid for chrissake!"

I'm sorry you had to experience that. I wish they could see this thread and realize how much they hurt you, cause I doubt they have a clue!
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#10 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 10:31 AM
 
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Sorry you had this experience. I felt like it was happening to me reading your post. I agree with everyone else here, these people had nothing better to do than to stick their noses in your business (not that there was any business going on, just you doing your laundry!).
And I wanted to add that I certainly would have used the f word too, exactly like you did, and don't beat yourself up about it. Some morons deserve the f word thrown their way!
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#11 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 11:16 AM
 
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I take my kids to the laundromat with me, too, and they do the same thing with the carts that they have, and the running up and down...

Think about the environment... Obviously those carts weren't put there for childrens entertainment, but does a child understand that?? It's a big thing on wheels that you can hold things in!!! Let's have some FUN!!! And there is so much open space for them to run!!!

AND IT'S A LAUNDROMAT!!! As long as the children aren't pulling other peoples clean clothes off the folding tables or out of the washers and dryers, then there is no harm being done to them.

I would do what you would do if I saw another child "misbehaving" (though it's not misbehavior, in my opinion, if they are just acting their age!!) Show that I care for the childs best interest (after all, it takes a village!) and if the mom doesn't respond, I'd make sure that *I* was watching that child... maybe distract him/her from whatever "wrong" behavior and try to get him/her to join in with something I'm doing, or that my children are doing...

NOBODY has a right to tell you that you aren't taking good care of your CHILDREN!! And the laundromat is a pretty safe place for your children to just do whatever with you not totally focusing your energy on them...

Love,
Emily

(my laundromat people don't like it when my kids play with the carts, either... I don't understand it, but I make sure that when they comment on it, that's when I ask my kids to stop... it's harmless fun, though!!!)

(I totally burnt my toast writing this!!! ARG!!! )

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#12 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 11:17 AM
 
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It was a laundrymat. So the kids were playing. Big deal. Those people had some nerve. They had no idea what your day was like or what was going on.

They should have minded their own business.

I probably would have said f.u. as well. I always start out polite and calm, but if the other person turns into an a#$ at some point, I give up.

You didn't do anythiing wrong.
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#13 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 11:56 AM
 
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T Heck, I almost got into a fistfight with a rude woman in Walmart, because she and a friend were taking up 2 aisles on either side of this big display, so I couldn't get through and she flipped when I said "excuse me." You did much better than I would have...although I probably would have balled right on the spot! When my son is there, I would rather not fight, but there have been times....Let's just say, he knows WAY too many naughty words..:ignore
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#14 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 12:15 PM
 
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that children didn't exist. Times like this one make me wish that these grownup people hadn't grown up!

I've gotten crap too, even when DD was behaving well within bounds of normal toddler behavior, i.e. not misbehaving or causing much commotion. It is THEIR problem, not yours.

Just try to put some space between you. I would've lost it, too. Leaving is hard enough with kids!!!

My DH is much better than me at shooting a look to A**H*LES that says: "You are out of your mind". Try cultivating it, quickly - he also is good about reacting like: "You couldn't possibly be talking about me", another good one. Beats dirty language, if you can keep it together.
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#15 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 12:44 PM
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I don't blame you one bit! Something like this happened to me at the playground a couple years ago. I was holding my dd who was about 6 months and sitting on a bench talking to a nice grandmother while ds, then 4, was playing just a few feet away. All of a sudden I see this pregnant woman having a long talk with my son. After she walked away, I went over and talked to my son and then went over to the woman. She said my son had hit her son. I asked her why didn't she just come over and talk to me, that I hadn't seen him do anything like that. I personally don't think a complete stranger should sit down and start lecturing my child. She said "well, I just want people to take responsibility for their own children". Well, I lost it, pregnant or not, I let her have it, although I didn't swear at her. I ended by saying "Maybe you will lighten up when you have your next child". That was so unlike me, I would never upset a pregnant woman or have a big confrontation with anyone, but she was sooo out of line, not to mention really arrogant. Hitting was not something my son usually did, and even if he had, just tell ME or say something quickly to him and then me. I was upset about it for days, and guess what, we have never had any problems at the park since then. Can you tell your post struck a nerve? :
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#16 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 01:00 PM
 
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I usually end up telling the child it was wrong, rather than confronting the parent. Often times if you confront a parent, they do nothing to stop the behavior, or get really rude and nasty.
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#17 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 01:19 PM
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Yes, I agree, but it was the way she handled it. She sat down, had my son sit down and was lecturing him. If she just said something to him, short and sweet, that would have been fine. She was a complete stranger to him.
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#18 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 01:22 PM
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BTW, I am not a rude and nasty person and I go out of my way to correct my children when they are misbehaving in public.
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#19 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 02:58 PM
 
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My story may make ya feel a bit better hon. When DD was a boit over a year we were taking the Greyhound bus from Manhatten to Mt. Laurel, NJ to visit the Grandparents. We did this often but usually at night when DD could sleep on the ride. Anyway, this time we took it a bit early, so it was mostly commuters in their suits, on theri cell phones, etc. Afew tourists mixed in. Being earlier, teh ride took close to 2 hours (traffic). DD slept a bit and when she awoke Iwas SHOCKED at how quiet and well behaved she was. We had our own 2 seats. The bus stayed somewhat quiet at this time ewxcept for annoying peopel on cell phoens occasionally. So DD starts babbling, pretty low. MUCH Lower than the cell phone people. Suddenly, an old suit stands up and YELLS "If you can't control your kid, you shouldn't leave your home!" Ijust about attacked him! lol Another mom (of teens though) held me back. I went off. Needless to say he ran off the bus. That was not like me but I was so insulted and he was so out of hand. Then again, this was greyhound...lol

Then another weekend Greyhound ride back to NYC. Daytime but DD slept (I timed trips well back then!!). bus is failry empty, all families. One man has a child a little over a year old, she was in tha tslapping, Iwanna run a round stage. HE handled her hitting him so well, I was impressed. She got loud-so what. I wanted to offer a hand but didn't want to embarrass him, THEN the bius drive has the nerve to YELL "Shut tha tkid up or you'll have to get off!" WHAT?!?! YEah, on the middle of the NJ Turnpike. So I walk over with some snacks and tell the guy to ignore the driver, he is doing a wonderful job and his kid is normal, we've all been there. Then someone else chimed in and offered assistance. We told the bus driver he was wrong and it went in one ear and out the other. But I think teh Father felt much better once we spoke with him. Some people are just a$$es!
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#20 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 04:25 PM
 
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First of all, one of my favorite childhood memories was getting to "ride" the shopping cart each week when my mom took us grocery shopping. One of us would ride on the front, the other on the back. I was not a mischievious hellion by any stretch - I was pretty shy and quiet, and even I loved to race through the grocery on the cart. It's no wonder grocery stores are starting to have carts that look like cars for little kids to push around - kids can't resist playing with carts.

Beyond that, I know no one wants to lose their cool in front of their kids, but I think it's great that you stood up for yourself.


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#21 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i feel_better now....i just hope i dont run into that couple again...especially with my kids! i really like the 'show me your perfect parenting award' reply. i should have calmly replied....'oh, how lucky you are to have such perfect children!' and then just ignored their comments. thanks for all of your uplifting stories......i just love these mothering boards!! its like having a best friend to talk to 24/7!!!!!!
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#22 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 05:41 PM
 
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What a crappy experience.

I tend to act as if the person hasn't even addressed me & really focus in on my children. Here is an example:

We were checking out at Target & ds was telling the cashier a million things about dinosaurs, what we purchased & why. I felt so proud of him b/c we had finally moved passed his "I hate you" anti-social stage. The older man behind us in line pipes up "Son, do you know what you are?" Ds, sort of confused "what?" Man, "You are someone who is going to drive your mother nuts!" My adrenilin started rushing, I wanted to smack the guy!! I took a deep breath, bent down so I was face to face with ds and said, loud enough for anyone to hear "That is not so, Thomas J. I love you & I love listening to your polite conversation. You are behaving wonderfully." And we left. I was pissed & steaming, but I tried to focus only on how ds felt.

Strangers can really send your day for a loop, sometimes a good one & other times
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#23 of 33 Old 02-28-2003, 05:44 PM
 
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If you see them again may I suggest turning it into a learning experience for your children? Take the high road, walk right up to them & apologize for your rude comment. You could also make it clear that thier unsolicited advice is not appreciated. Just a thought.
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#24 of 33 Old 03-01-2003, 11:51 PM
 
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...even though I'm in for a flaming here, I know, for daring to say something not entirely gentle and supportive, I cannot agree with you, Patty. After having reread your description of the events, my conclusion is that your children were being disruptive to others and were acting inappropriately for the setting. This is based not only on the rude couple's remarks, but also on the remark of the employee who was telling your son to stop playing with the cart.

My sympathies go out to you because having one child, I can only imagine that it must be at least twice as hard to have two. I think the couple approached you in a manner calculated to make you angry and defensive, and that their approach certainly could have been much more effective had they been polite. However, the obvious fact is this: a laundromat is not a playground; carts are for laundry, not playing in (however "fun" they may be or appear); and worst of all -- and most important of all -- is that your children might get hurt by playing with the cart or climbing on chairs when you were too busy to watch them.

That said, here is one suggestion: to keep them more under control and safe, could you have them help you sort laundry, put it into the washer, measure out soap -- in other words, involved, busy, active, and helping? Hope this helps and hope it didn't hurt your feelings.
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#25 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 04:10 AM
 
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That is an interesting perspective, Baudelaire, but my background (which is probably very related to my cultural background and upbringing) leads me to see things very differently for you.

In any case, I wanted to say I relate to all of you who struggle with judgemental comments. Our main issue right now is that we have an extremely developmentally delayed 15 year old, so needless to say that when people see our 15 year old behaving like a five year old, they often flip. So we have these types of experiences to the extreme! It is difficult, but I too recommend ignoring people's comments and just focusing on your child and his or her needs in that moment. Let them say what they want, but our son is incredibly brilliant to be where he is given the things that have happened to him in his life, things about which the strangers know nothing. I'm sure your kids are all incredible little beings as well! When people say things, I don't have much of a responsibility to anyone in the room except my son. I have said more than once to my 15 year old (who is very insightful despite his delays), "You're right, that was very rude" (usually my son will walk away from the situation and then turn to us in private and say, "How rude!").

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#26 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 04:38 AM
 
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wow. people are something. to the op, i would say, i totally see why you got so mad & i don't blame you one bit. if strangers see a child "in danger," they should either help out the mom or butt out.

sierra, my friend's dd has autism, she looks like a "normal" 6yo but can have terrible tantrums. my friend is so focused she never notices if anyone is glaring at her or not. i saw some shirts for sale on ebay: "i have autism, what's your excuse?" thought that was cool. sometimes you just don't know.

i have been making a point lately to compliment moms whose kids are being rowdy. telling them how adorable their kiddis are when they are expecting criticism. it makes them smile & hug their kids a little closer.
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#27 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 10:36 AM
 
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When I read things like this thread, I am glad that dh and I budgeted for a house and a washer and dryer before we had kids, b/c otherwise I would have been in the same boat.

I did cloth diapers, so I would have been there everyday too!

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#28 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 10:43 AM
 
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I did go to an exclusive restuarant for dinner on my 30th birthday w/ #1 and #2 w/ dh and my sister and BIL.

It was the Tam O'Shanter, the "2nd commissary" for the Disney Studios. After a very active day of shopping and an "open house" at my dh's work, my dear children were very well behaved there and I did receive compliments from other patrons.

I can not help but think that it was perhaps b/c of the very busy day we had had, and that they were just all tired out.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#29 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 01:26 PM
 
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I had a similar experience in a KMART. Dd (2)was crying b/c she wanted to ride the horse in the front of the store. I just wanted to run in and get one thing.... I walk by a woman and an employee, and I hear someone yell "SHUT UP!!" I was in no mood that day.....and saw someone trying to hide herself behind an employee.....so I went up and said "Did you say something?" she said "No" I said "Are you sure?" She said "yes" I turned to walk away with dd in the cart and she yells to my back "I was telling your kid to shut up! Why dont you teach your kid to shut up!!!" I turned around and said........"shes 2.......youre like, what, 60???" I turned around and kept going as she yelled at the top of her lungs at me, while other mothers with their kids are turning their carts around to avoid her and looking at me sympathetically..... I was fuming and shaking I was so mad!! I posted here about it that day and one person said that she most likely had a mental problem, and that made so much sense to me. Im sure she did.

BUt Ive had other experiences where it is obvious that some people do NOT like children. They give dd dirty looks when she is babbling, talking to people passing by in the store......Its a sad sad state and obviously alot of people have been mistreated as children and have alot of anger when faced with children who are loved and accepted. I will always speak up when someone has the nerve to say something negative like that to me or my child, but I hope I try to remember that people have thier own pasts they are grappling with (or not). Feel sorry for those people instead. They are to be pitied!
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#30 of 33 Old 03-02-2003, 01:52 PM
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I am so sorry you had such a terrible day. Good for you for sticking up for yourself!

I don't see where you did anything wrong, and saying FU isn't a bad thing. It's just 2 words that express they way you felt

I have actually been clipped by a child pushing a laundry cart and it hurt like heck. But you said it just happened, so I don't see what anyone's problem was. In my case, the mother had been on the phone, then readin a magazine, not once looking up to see if her kids were safe or where they were, when from behind me- BAM!

Anyway, just wanted to show support for you
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