A few days ago, I was working at The Big Box Store, cashiering. A family came thru my lane - it was slow and they were the only ones there. I could hear the woman berating her children before they got near the registers. Her tone was mean and dismissive and I cringed because I can't stand people like that.
When she got to the register, she had 5 or 6 kids with her, all around the same age. She continued to harangue her kids, who were not misbehaving by any stretch of the imagination. I attempted to tune it out, not very successfully. I could see that the children were not phased by this, acting like it was something they heard often.
Then she turned to two of them and said "If you two don't shape up, I'm going to send you to foster care." I felt my stomach churn and surreptitiously looked at the two kids she'd said that to. They both had bleak looks on their faces and dropped their heads a bit at her words.
As she finished up her order, she told me she'd adopted 10 kids. I murmured something in response and she turned to one little boy and said "But this one is the worst of the bunch. I don't know why I put up with him. I should send him back." The boy just slumped against the wall, looking totally defeated. I was in shock.
She bought about $350 worth of stuff, mostly food and clothing, but also a boxed set of DVDs, which, she informed me, was a treat for herself because she deserved it. As she walked away, I thought "Lady, you deserve something, but it sure as shit isn't a boxed set of Little House on the Prairie DVDs."
Once they were gone, I cried. I felt so bad for those kids. As nuts as my girls sometimes make me, I can't imagine saying such awful things to them. I can't imagine my children getting used to hearing such vile words. And I can't fathom why someone would adopt children when they obviously didn't like them. It breaks my heart.