Skirmish On Lex

A word you see often in Civil War books, and a favorite of mine since I have so many.

A skirmish is an episode of irregular or unpremeditated fighting…a quarrel, tiff, spat or clash.

I clashed alright, with a mean mother over an upset kid.

I was coming out of Staples, elated, after buying 25 notebooks at .17 each.  Schooldays Special, it was called and luckily they didn’t ask for ID, when I notice a little girl in a heap on the floor in tears.

“What’s the matter?” I say, immediately rushing over.  She’s so distraught she can’t answer.  Turns out, she broke the top of her styrofoam cup spilling its contents all down her shirt and socks.

“Don’t cry,” somehow fixing it so it wouldn’t spill anymore. The poor thing is just beside herself, and I’m just guessing, with shame.

“Who are you with?” I then ask, knowing she couldn’t be alone since she was just a little more than a baby.  She slowly looks up and I see this tall, angry looking woman with a little boy observing, more like a truant officer than a mom.

“Does she belong to you? She’s very distressed.”

“She’s always distressed about something, the little shit.”

Where’s that ten foot baguette when you need it?

“Get up honey,” I say to the kid, still perched on the floor. “It’s only a little spilled drink, it’s okay?”

“It’s not okay. Look ad-der.  Like a little orphan with crap all over her.”

The tears start all over again and did she hit a nerve with me.  My mother, too, made fun of me whenever I cried, telling everybody what a little pain in the ass I was.  It’s a myth that kids have no feelings…they’re just crocodile tears.  I’m here to tell you, that isn’t so, our tears in lieu of words.

I have to muster every shred of control so not to knock this woman on her cruel, bitchy ass.

I pause taking a breath. I reach my hand to help the little girl up who hesitates, but then stands.  She’s so sweet, tears the size of gumdrops clinging to her long, dark lashes.

I then look at her mother and say, “I was never lucky enough to have a child, but I can tell you this, as her mom, and I’m not judging you (to hell I wasn’t), your job is to help her get through whatever it is, even some spilled milk.”

“Well thank you Dr. Spock.”

Okay…hold your temper Susannah because if you don’t, she may take it out on the kid.

“It was very nice to meet you both, and I hope the rest of your day goes better.”

Yes, I say that, fists clenched, a serene smile on my face phony as can be. It’s times like these I know I can act.

I wave to the little girl who just stares with her big watery eyes, while her mother pays for a huge roll of packing tape, I would so love to wrap over her mouth.

As for me, I cry too, for all the little kids who are mistakenly, misunderstood.

I was one.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Family, Home, kids, Love, New York City, parents, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Skirmish On Lex

  1. Rob says:

    I so wish you could be guardian angel to the children of the world. I just know you’d do a better job than whoever has the title now. Can you see a way to acquire some super powers and a sparkly outfit to don in a phone box?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I hope that little girl has many, many encounters with loving adults like you. It could make a difference in her future outlook. Hopefully a teacher, relative, or friend’s parent. However brief, your exchange will stay with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say, I’ve come a long way. There was a time I would have went nuts on that woman. I credit my years in Al-Anon that make me take pause. They taught me, any confrontation immediately steals your peace so it’s best to tread softly.


  3. Nothing gets under my skin more than when someone tries to make someone feel small in order to make themselves feel big. Having that come from a mother …. no.
    Hopefully that little girl will remember your kindness. Something tells me she might have enjoyed seeing you take her mom down with stale 10ft baguette !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It makes me wonder if the mother was treated like that by her mother. I have only seen a mother use vulgar language with a toddler once and I often wondered how that turned out. Hope the little girl finds a positive influence in her life.


  5. Ross de Marco says:

    Reminds me of an incident many years ago .I had taken my daughters to the playground ione afternoon as they played on the swings and seesaws ,Woman on the bench next to me was mercilessly berating her young son who was in tears , she was really going at it and the poor young fellow was crushed . Couldn’t help myself I turned and said to the boy in a loud voice don’t even listen to her , none of it is true you’re a wonderful young boy .oh boy she turned and railed on me , yelling and cursing . I calmly said to her you are making memories for that boy that he will carry in his heart forever ! She stopped she looked at me , then that I got the smell of alcohol and she started to cry she sat and talked and it was a profitable afternoon . Many times the problems lie with the parent .foolushness is bound in the heart of a child and one must always remember that when raising children . Sometimes they do foolish things -they’re kids!instruction with love never fails. . It is written a soft answer turneth away wrath . Good for you Susannah for standing up for that young one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elle Knowles says:

    That little girl will always remember you. So sad when a parent has no sense like her mother didn’t! ~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is such a good thing we are not close to each other, otherwise had I been with you that day, I would have said to you, “I’ll hold her, you hit her.” I was a middle child. Relatives forgot my name, I was overlooked often. It’s horrible. I just want to go find her and wipe away the tears. You, my dear friend, would have been a great mother…

    Liked by 1 person

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