Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I joined my neighbor this year in a carpool to save on gas and sanity. We take turns picking the kids up from school. In my head it was a brilliant idea. However, her kid sucks. Big time! I pulled over the car today and said, “I can’t operate this vehicle with that kind of behavior.” He obeyed the rules of my car, but my children said that when they drive in his family’s car, he continues with the bad behavior—even calling my daughter STUPID and my son FAT and my children LAME.
OMG, isn’t that mental abuse and why isn’t my neighbor (who plans on living across from me forever) saying anything to her son? I can not stand that my children are forced to be around such a negative situation three times a week. I need to approach her. What do I say?
Drowning in the Carpool
Dear Drowning in the Carpool,
First of all, I commend you for starting a rideshare program. Not only is it better for our environment, but it also greatly reduces the number of sleep-deprived, crabby women zooming around town at 7 a.m. wearing nothing but $10 Merona pajamas and dried-on pimple cream. And that, my friends, is a surefire way to Keep America Beautiful. (The other being putting a bag over Dog the Bounty Hunter’s head, but that’s a story for another day.)
Now, I understand your hesitance in not wanting to confront your Neighbor for Life. However, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s far more important to protect your kids from the Carpool Toadie than risk hurting this woman’s feelings. That’s why I strongly advise you to diplomatically, yet assertively, tell her she needs to muzzle her kid because he’s upsetting your babies. If it helps, say something a little over the top like, “Last week after your son called my son “fat,” he came home crying and spent the rest of the afternoon shame eating Oreos in his closet. And then my daughter asked if she could hitchhike a ride to school in an 18-wheeler instead of being held ’emotional hostage’ in your minivan. So I suggest you make things right, lady, or I’m reporting your ass to AAA.”
But if the honest approach doesn’t work, then might I suggest teaching your children a little coping mechanism that I like to call the “Five Finger Eye Stab”? This is where the tauntee takes the fingers of their right hand and gently pokes at the taunter’s eyes until he shuts up and needs a nurse. (Note: While TMH does not condone kid on kid violence, TMH also had phenomenal success with the FFES when they wanted Billy Washington to stop calling them, “The Grand Duchess of Used Kotex” in 1983.)
Basically, Drowning, it all boils down to being a straight shooter and telling your neighbor that you no longer want to carpool with Don Rickles, Jr. Hopefully she’ll get the message and try to change his behavior. And if she doesn’t, it’s no big deal to just drive your kids yourself every day.
At least then, the only bad words they hear will be coming out of your mouth.