Open Letter To The Buttinskies

Those of you with toddlers will know exactly what I am talking about.

Dear Buttinski:

I’ve had it up to my spit up stained shirt and food matted hair. Would it be entirely impossible for you to refrain from making seemingly harmless and awkwardly cute comments to me when my toddler is acting up in public? What you consider to be helpful I consider to be seven more meaningless words that my brain now has to process and come back with a polite and equally awkwardly cute response that belies the daggers I am throwing you with my eyes.

I mean really, you are, how should I say this..up there in age. You think it’s “cute” when you see a little kid foaming at the mouth, throwing things out of the cart and shreaking at the top of her lungs. You think she’s “tired” when you finally put the face to the whining and moaning you heard three aisles over. You think “I could use a break” when you see the dejected, haggard look on my face and tears forming in my eyes.

You think it is going to actually help by actually speaking to the child. I will inform you right now, it does not. What you are actually doing is one of several things. You’re either fanning the flames that make them want to hurl things faster and harder, or you’re interrupting the discipline that Mommy is trying to give junior in public, or you’re just being a big boob inserting yourself into a situation that only needed two participants to begin with.

Mothers who are living this know all of this and yet don’t feel the need to try to reassure either the mother or the demon spawn child. They understand that Mommy wants to remain as invisible as possible and just get the flippin groceries and get out before an eye is put out. They understand that said child is inconsolable at this moment anyway and would rather throw things at you than have to try to comprehend what you are saying to them.

Please, take my advice and just buttoutski. Turn your head if you just feel the urge to speak and the words are forming on your lips before your brain even knows what’s happening. Say a prayer, look at your wife, even give me an understanding look, but for the love of all that is peaceful and nonhomicidal, do not say one word to me or my kid.


Published by NotSoSAHM

I'm a photographer and homeschooler Dream = travel blogger. We move around every couple of years. That's fine, I love seeing different parts of our great country and the world. Great things: Jesus, traveling, photography, eating, sewing, scrapbooking, reading, shopping...not necessarily in that order.

7 thoughts on “Open Letter To The Buttinskies

  1. I do know this all too well. Our middle child is the whinner and cryer. I am often finding myself removing her from the store while hubby keeps shopping. She often screams and cries until we get to the car.
    I know the whole people talking to your kid trying to distract them and I also hate that. But most of all I hate the dirty looks. I don’t like when people do not understand and judge your child or parenting skills whatever it may be.
    While shopping for some flowers for outside the new house, it was late in season obviously and no one was in the garden centre or so I thought. Abigail decided to through a tantrum about not getting to pull her own flower cart. I remained calm (thankfully) while she continued to scream and cry when a very nice gentelman glanced quickly at me and smiled. No contact to the child and the glance was quick so she wouldn’t notice. It made me smile back. He was understanding and didn’t judge and I liked that 🙂


    I admit to loudly talking to my child about how very good they were being right in front of one of those moms who was trying to coax her little diva into picking out her new brats doll…kid having nuclear-sized meltdown-mom trying to get her to pick a baby prossie toy instead of dealing with the behaviour…and people wonder why I am anti-social!

  3. I feel your pain! My youngest is still quite “active” in public, and we often get grocery store “help” from the Buttinskis.

    If they dare speak to my child mid-tantrum, I have no problem asking people not to speak; I just smile at Mr/Mrs Buttinski and say “I know you’re trying to help, but it’s best that you let me handle this.”

    I used to feel like an ogre when I spoke up, but it’s really best all around (and several people have apologized for butting in)

  4. Can I sign my name to this one??

    I HATE it when people try to offer help/advice/whatever in the midst of a tantrum.

    As if they know my crazy child as well as I do!?

    I know they mean well, but they seriously need to think before they act.

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