Monday, November 2, 2009

Lessons in Church

We went to church yesterday. Miss M was supposed to sing during the service for the first time as a member of the Calvin choir. They wear red robes in the Calvin choir. K sings with the Cherub choir for another year, then he'll be in the Calvin choir and M and K will sing together again.

I was excited to see M in the bigger kids' choir, but first there was the Sunday School hour. Craig took D to the nursery and I walked M and K to the sanctuary where the big kids gather together for music before splitting into grade levels for school. The early service was running a little long, so my big kids and I gathered at the door along with K's teacher. Before long the service ended and the kids went into the sanctuary. Moments later a woman that I've gotten to know a little bit at the church (we'll call her Y) appeared with another woman (we'll call her B). They stopped K's teacher and told her that they wanted B's daughter to move from the preschool class to the Kindergarten and first grade classroom because she is bored in the preschool class. The teacher was obviously not thrilled with the idea because there is quite a difference between almost 5 and first-graders. But Y and B pressed the teacher insisting that the girl is very bright and polite and would do better with the older kids. The teacher eventually gave in, saying she'd give the girl a shot. After the teacher went into the sanctuary to be with her class, the other two women began to chat about how rude they thought the teacher was for saying something like "well, I am a Kindergarten teacher and there is a big difference between 4 and being in Kindergarten." I didn't find this statement the least bit rude as there is a big difference. I agree.

However I said nothing that indicated I agreed and just listened, smiling B went on and on about how bright, how mature, how wonderful her daughter (who will be 5 in a couple of weeks she mentioned 4729 times) is and how she belonged with the older kids.

Then she turned to me and said She is certainly more mature than K. Oh yes she did.

I told her she was rude and walked away. I have never been so insulted or angry or upset that someone would essentially cut down my child wholly unprovoked. My son was never brought up at any point until she callously stated that her 4-year-old was more mature than my almost 5 1/2-year-old Kindergartner.

Who does something like that to another parent? Who judges another person's child's maturity level, especially only having minimal experience with that child? Why do people have to cut others down to make themselves feel superior?

I allowed this woman's words to cut me. They cut Y too. I cried and as I was crying Y was in another area of the church crying also for me. She's the mother of 4. She felt the insult too.

Later B tried to come to the nursery and apologize, but I told her I didn't want to talk to her. Even her attempt at apology felt contrived and false. She was smiling. I will never be able to smile at this woman again.

This whole incident makes me so sad. Why can't parents support one another instead of making things into a competition?

I'm also considering making this blog private. If I decide to go this route please send me an email at cool_zebras at hotmail dot com if you would like to be a reader. It looks like I would only be able to allow 100 readers if the blog was private.

21 people like me!:

♥Long Time Reader♥ said...

I'm sorry, but seriously, what a bitch. Does she feel so incompetent as a parent that she feels the need to tear down someone else's child?? And in church for crying out loud! If she's being that defensive, shes probably trying to over compensate for the fact, that deep down she knew the teacher was right. If anything, this lady sounds pretty damn immature for being so out of line. I HIGHLY doubt the apple fell that far from the tree...

There's no excuse for speaking so poorly about anyone's child. I'm sorry you had to deal with this, ::hugs:: ♥♥♥
If you do in fact put your blog on private, I'd love to still follow!♥

Anonymous said...

How rude & unnecessary! Why are there people like this?She is teaching her kids good lessons concerning relationships (?) -- she's not worthy of even being in church or ele where_!


for a different kind of girl said...

I feel speechless after reading this. I can't even fathom the heart of a person who would say such a thing, and can't imagine if her personality is like this, especially in a church, what she's like day to day. I completely understand your response.

(if you go private, I'd be like to still stick around!)

Anonymous said...

What that woman said was not the christianly thing to say. In my opinion I think K-man is a very creative, outgoing, and smart kid. Don't let it get to you Heather!

slouchy said...

wow, that is just awful.

of course i'd want to follow you if you went private.

Mayberry said...

I am so sorry. What an awful, awful thing to say. Good for you for responding because I would have stared at her with my mouth open, unable to speak, then been really mad at myself later.

Pls count me in if you go private!

Anonymous said...

No way - no blog!! JDH

chelle said...

ugh people like that make me so mad. She obviously has a HUGE inferiority complex and the only way she knows how to boost herself (and her kids) it to rip other people down.

Biatch ... seriously.

The woman has issues.

chelle said...

I so want to follow your blog if you decide to go private!!! I was so mad I forgot!

Pgoodness said...

People are mean and stupid....ignore her, she obviously has problems of her own.

Awesome Mom said...

What a very unchristian thing to say to a person. There is a massively huge difference between an almost five year old and a almost six year old, I don't care how bright your kid is. It sounds like B needs a bit of softening done to her heart and a little bit of humbleness in her life.

Jeff said...

You go girl! Way to smack that beyotch down. People like that have a seriously misguided view of their importance in the universe. The only way to keep the down is to do exactly what you did. Good job.

Rima said...

Ooo, stuff like that just makes my blood boil! You know you shouldn't let it bother you, but it's so hard to do. Still, try not to dwell on it too much - she is obviously a very self absorbed and insensitive person who isn't worth your time.

growingapair said...

It's the competimommies that make this all so much more difficult.

Hey-- if you go private? Hook me up?


Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I think you got the jist of it -- she wanted to cut someone else down to make her daughter look better. Probably because you were standing there, she just used K as an easy target. Such a shame. I'm so sorry that happened.

I hope I'll be one of the lucky hundred. :)

Amelia Sprout said...

I fail to understand how anyone calls this state "nice", because I see stuff like this happen far too often. I'm sorry it happened to you, and in church of all places. The last place people should resort to such behavior.

I likely would have been lucky to say what you did, but I would have liked to say a lot more.

louann said...

My right eyebrow is raised. But no words can seem to come out of my mouth right now. What the?! And she was in church. Tsk.

soccermom of 4 said...

I am a midwest mom of four, who is a long-time lurker and very rare commenter. I also read a lot of the blogs you read (I see your comments in their comment sections, which is probably how I started reading yours). I'd like to be able to keep coming if possible. Let me know if you need more info.

Lesa (

Madeline said...

How could she?!!! It irks me to no end when people pull stuff like this. Mom's need to just pull together and support each other. This job is tough enough without cruel words to top it off. Aargh!

CT Mom said...

How sad that she felt she had to build up her child by tearing down yours. I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Please include me if you do take your blog private. I so enjoy reading your posts!

Gunfighter said...

As you know, Heather, I teach Sunday School... my group are 3rd through 5th grade.

What I might have said to that stupid cow would have been that Sunday School isn't about being entertained. It's about learning. Additionally, I would have asked her if her kindergarten-aged child was attending the first grade in her regular school, if not, she stays in her age appropriate group.

As for her insulting your child, you did well not to give her a good slapping.... which she sort of deserved.

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