"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute

A middle-aged woman came on the subway this morning with a small girl, maybe four or five years old. The girl sat a few seats away from me and the woman stood above her. I didn’t pay much attention to them but I caught the woman scolding the girl a few times. I read the paper and listened to my iPod. Then I heard the woman over the music.

“You are going to make me hurt you one of these days,” she told the child. She was smiling, playfully, without malice.

“Don’t believe me?” she said. “You don’t think grandma will hit you?”

Her words echoed in my head. The little girl sneezed.

“Bless you,” said her grandmother. “You need a tissue, sweetie?”


1 rbj   ~  Jan 25, 2011 12:14 pm

Chilling. How in hell do you threaten physical violence on a 5 year old girl.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 25, 2011 12:23 pm

And what really bugged me was the line, "YOU are going to make ME..." that's a mind bender, man.

3 The Hawk   ~  Jan 25, 2011 12:53 pm

And the fact that it's "grandma" ... I mean that aint what grandmas are for.

4 Raf   ~  Jan 25, 2011 1:54 pm

[1] Depends on how the little girl was acting.

5 Raf   ~  Jan 25, 2011 1:55 pm

[2] Grandma being middle aged is what bugged me :D

6 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 25, 2011 2:22 pm

It's not unheard of for a mother in her forties to have a child in her twenties with a child of her own. Some people start "reasonably" early.

And sorry, sometimes Grandma has to be Mom under circumstances which he can't jump to conclusions about. It may not be ideal, but it's reality and sometimes they're better off.

7 Ben   ~  Jan 25, 2011 2:43 pm

heard a good definition of a good parent the other day.

Someone who sets reasonable boundaries for a child and takes care of themselves in the presence of the child.

Everything else is sometimes understandable, sometimes excusable, but almost always confusing for kids.

8 The Hawk   ~  Jan 25, 2011 3:52 pm

[6] sometimes Grandma has to be Mom

I thought about that but it's a bit too much of an assumption I think. I mean if we're going to judge total strangers, damn it there's a right way and a wrong way!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver