This mum’s demanding text rampage takes the cake
We live in an age of entitlement and even with our avocado-taunting of Millennials, it comes as a shock when one of the rudest people I've heard of pre-Christmas is a mother.
More precisely, a "mom zombie", or "mombie" as they are known in the US, which is from where this story comes.
This particular mombie in the US went on a texting rampage against a woman who teaches kids to swim for free but, due to work and time constraints, refused to give the mombie's son private lessons.
How grateful would you be that free tuition was on offer in the first place?
And would your idea of thanks be to declare your selfless benefactor "such a selfish bitch"?
If you're currently hyperventilating in Only Four More Sleeps To Go-style festive disorganisation, then possibly the kindest thing another mum can say to you in the run up is: Can I give you a hand?
But life is becoming about control rather than personal responsibility. Manners are so often in the bin. Gratitude - what's that?
Competition and self-obsession are now the backbone of modern mothering.
"I teach swimming to kids for free even though I was offered money," said the swimming instructor who posted the screenshots on Reddit.
"Mombie demands that I have to teach her son exclusively. And to give her the money offered as I don't need it."
Sure, you could argue a chat room blow-up is not representative of the average kind, hormone-balanced mum purring her way around a shopping centre near you.
Sadly, I beg to differ. The conversation I am about to describe says everything about the poisoning of parenthood.
The mombie texted the potential swimming teacher at 10.08am about free lessons for her son.
"Yes sure", came the response two minutes later even though she was at work.
Mombie asked if the lessons are free and that she hopes they are because she "can't pay" as a "single mum".
A flurry of messages followed and when the teacher said she was busy at her day job and thus could not respond or host tuition that day, the abuse began.
The rapid denigration in subsequent time-stamped messages from the crusading "single mum" who can't pay and won't pay and "can you reply faster" is fascinating and shocking in equal measure.
But let's be clear: you're not unique or special if you are a mum. Or a dad, for the matter. Or a single parent.
But to blackmail or threaten in order to get your own way because you are mother, that is simply despicable.
When faced with No, the response was this: "That's no fair. I already told him that he can go swimming today.
One minute later: "Give me one good reason to tell him. Else, he is gonna cry."
The classes are all cancelled, the teacher advises.
A light bulb moment for Mombie: "That's even better. You can teach him alone. Those brats got free classes for a month. You need to make up for that with my son."
Rather reasonably, the teacher's response is "What?" but it the orders escalate: "So you start teaching him from tomorrow. Let him use your (goggles) until I buy one. Wow you are such a selfish bitch. He is just a kid. Don't you have any heart. I am a single mum. And I already told him."
The message tick in minute by minute.
"So … tomorrow at 1? I can see that you have seen my messages.
A minute later, it's the trump card:" "I will throw him in the pool tomorrow at 1. If something happens to him you are responsible.
Three minutes later: "Whatever. You are probably a lousy teacher. "
A quarter of an hour passes: "You are such a nasty horrible person. My son doesn't do this. I don't know what I did to deserve this. Why is everyone so selfish and unhelpful these days."
Then back onto the cash: "You have flexible timings. You work less hours than me. You earn more than me. Those bitches are rich enough that they can afford to get a swimming instructor but no. They want only free stuff that my son needs.
"You are ready to give money and you don't need money. Do you know how much I need that money? I am a single mum you should get the money from them and give it to me. Reply me. I can see that you read the message. Bitch."
Some who read this thread could not process the audacity on display here. Surely this is a joke?
But mombies have forgotten about the real world.
I have a friend who is a swimming teacher and she says she has seen the best and the worst of mothers on a pool deck.
The overarching theme, she says, is a culture of parents who are afraid to say no to their children, and who are convinced their child is more entitled than any other.
"Every single time I go to the supermarket I am accosted - and I mean accosted - by at least one parent who wants to dissect every minute of their child's most recent lesson," she told me.
"They offer lesson suggestions, complain that another child got more of my attention than theirs and express the view that their child is really in the wrong class. They are far more advanced than the class they are in.
"Not once do they stop to think that I might be on my way somewhere, or that it is inappropriate for me to discuss the progress of someone else's child because when it comes to their child they have tunnel vision."
There is always at least one mum who has to be better than the next one.
She is the one who has her child in speech therapy at the age of six months because she doesn't want him or her to fall behind.
She is the one who has a person in the wings to bolster every facet of raising her little Buddha.
Therapists, tutors, personal trainers - the list goes on.
And so does the sense of entitlement. And abrogation of responsibility.
By modelling motherly entitlement we are laying foundations for our children to have the same expectations.
Sometimes I just want to say to mombies: Open your eyes. Look at your child.
Actually look at them. They just want you to be present when you are with them.
And this Christmas make an effort to thank those who make your life as a mother so much easier.