Sticks and stones

It's no secret that sitting in the waiting room of my OB's office has caused me some anxiety in the past. Recently, though, I thought we had really turned a corner in all of this and I could sit in peace while I waited to have a good visit with my doctor. I sat down and opened some well-worn magazine in the waiting room, hoping to pass the time. And then I heard this woman. She was the grandmother, as best as I can tell, tending to her grandson while her daughter was in the office for some checkup. I heard her before I saw her. The boy was crying the cry of an over-tired toddler who was probably late for his nap. Given the time of day, that in of itself was not unusual. But the woman was yelling at him to "shut up" as he cried.

"Shut up!" "You hear me, boy? Hush that noise!" "Go to sleep if you so tired. Just quit your cryin'." "Your momma gonna beat your ass when she come out." "I am so. sick. of. you."

The boy would stifle his cries and burrow into her arm but then start to cry again after a bit and the yelling would start up again.

Occasionally, I heard a light slapping sound as she smacked his leg to emphasize the "shut up" portion of her diatribe. Ironically, it seemed to work after about 10 minutes or so and he eventually fell asleep (or at least stopped crying) and clutched his bottle of water.

As I sat there with my back to them, I could feel my face getting hot. I waffled between wanting to rush over and pick that poor boy up to snuggle him to sleep and rolling up my well-worn magazine so I could smack the woman in the head with it why yelling that "I'd give her something to cry about."

In the end, I did neither. I could barely muster turning around to glare at her, fearing that glaring would lead to my leaving my seat and doing something that would end in a ride to the police station. And as I've said before I can't have this baby behind bars. So I just sat there, sick with anger and sadness.

I have never felt an urge so strong before to rush to the defense of someone. It was like a chemical surge with every hateful thing she said. Yet once the boy settled down, the pregnant woman next to them casually chatted with the grandmother as if nothing were wrong.

Nothing I wanted to do seemed right (or even remotely legal), so in the end, I did nothing. But those words "I am so. sick. of. you." still put knots in my stomach.