Hey Kath in Tomball, TX – Enjoy Your 15 Minutes, Girl.

Dear Kathleen Smith from Tomball, Texas,

I watched your video. You know, the one where you suggest a mother beat her screaming child in a grocery store? The one where you wanted to attack a stranger’s kid with a wooden spoon? The one where your parental advice was to “kill it?” Yeah, that video. I watched it, but it didn’t make me angry or particularly upset. I didn’t make a rude meme of your face or leave a hateful comment on your Facebook wall. Honestly, Kath? My blood pressure hardly even rose. Because I know that your motivation isn’t child abuse, but rather this tiny sliver of internet celebrity you’ve found.

You have refused to apologize for saying that the solution to this tantruming child was death or abandonment. That is nothing short of absurd. Your effort to “tell it like it is” is borderline comical, an egomaniac’s farce. You know it and I know it. All you had to do was say, “I was trying to be funny. I failed. I’m sorry.” But nope, not you, Kathy. You don’t back down, do ya? You won’t apologize. Bullies never do.

You continue to defend those statements you made, and I won’t lie, I love it. Because you have backed yourself into a corner and painted yourself the fool – all so you can cling desperately to your new, but quickly fading, small town fame. I stand by my words, y’all! (Hey, make sure you get a picture of me standing next to these here wooden spoons, k?)

Amiga, consider this. This ignorant, backwoods, attention-seeking sound bite is your 15 minutes of fame. Bullying a child is now your legacy, the writing on your gravestone. “Kathleen of Tomball? I remember her. She used to video herself verbally assaulting children she met in grocery stores, and then post her rants to the interwebs for attention. A little off, if you ask me.”

You’ve created your own punishment, and it’s better than anything I could have dreamed up. You don’t upset me. You’ll fade away soon enough – hell, I’ll have forgotten you by Saturday. Because Kath, you are nothing if not forgettable.

Dear Mother to the Screaming Child in a Texas Grocery Store,

(Well, looks like you picked the wrong day to go grocery shopping. Says me, the master of stating the obvious.)

Hi. I’m Becca. I have a son with autism. We autism moms are really familiar with the word “tantrum.” We know about yelling and screaming and throwing, and doing it in really uncomfortable places at really awkward times. Like the grocery store. And we know that sometimes you can leave and sometimes you can’t. We do the best we can. If that means bribery, so be it. Opening a bag of chips in aisle 7? Whatever. And yeah, sometimes all we can do is look ahead, keep walking, and try not to fall apart.

I don’t know if your child is autistic. Maybe. Or maybe your kid is totally typical and was just having a bad day. Maybe your child is a portrait of perfection most of the time or maybe your kid is, actually, a real shithead. You might be mom of the year or you might be the laziest parent in the world. I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s not for me, or Kathleen Smith of I-Make-Crazy-Hate-Videos-While-Driving fame, to judge you.

There is a whole army of us out here who have learned, through the struggles of our own children, that everyone has a story and that everyone has it rough sometimes. If a member of this army had been in that grocery store with you, she would have reached out to you, smiled, said, “It’s okay, I’ve been there.” She would have lifted you up, not torn you down. She would have made you feel that we’re in this together – because we are. I really wish one of us had been there for you. We would have had your back.

We’re here now. There are a lot of us, and we think your child is glorious, yelling and screaming and all. We think your child is awesome and worthy and good and a hundred times stronger than Kathleen Smith of Tomball will ever be. So are you.

Keep your head up, sister. We have your back.

Sincerely,
Becca

22 thoughts on “Hey Kath in Tomball, TX – Enjoy Your 15 Minutes, Girl.

  1. Love this. You are amazing. And I have been there before my child was sick 102 temp and I was alone a military spouse that was active duty. We went to wally world for pedalight and chicken soup he was maybe one and a half years old and a lady told me to silence him to Wall mart in Norfolk Va. So I got my things got out of there and got him home ASAP. Today he is five and all he knows is that momma and daddy love him so much.

  2. Love this. You are amazing. And I have been there before my child was sick 102 temp and I was alone a military spouse that was active duty. We went to wally world for pedalight and chicken soup he was maybe one and a half years old and a lady told me to silence him to Wall mart in Norfolk Va. So I got my things got out of there and got him home ASAP. Today he is five and all he knows is that momma and daddy love him so much.

  3. I love this, I really do. You are an amazing woman and I am sharing this entry with the world! Bless you, and your son! He is very lucky to have such a wonderful mommy. I find I use you as an inspiration quite often in my own life, with my autistic son. When my patients wears thin, and I feel like the worst mom in the world, I turn to your inspiring posts to give me the faith I need to continue this autism journey with my son. Love, Rach

  4. I love this, I really do. You are an amazing woman and I am sharing this entry with the world! Bless you, and your son! He is very lucky to have such a wonderful mommy. I find I use you as an inspiration quite often in my own life, with my autistic son. When my patients wears thin, and I feel like the worst mom in the world, I turn to your inspiring posts to give me the faith I need to continue this autism journey with my son. Love, Rach

  5. Kathy from Tomball. Thank your lucky stars you weren’t on an airplane. Although I think the rest of society woukd benefit greatly from your arrest for assault with intent to kill, I would hate to see an already harried mother and child suffer at the hands of a intolerant lunatic. Did you once consider the way that poor mother must have felt ? What do you think her days are like iff her child suffers from an illness that triggers that kind of behavior and the woman is in this atmosphere every waking hour of the day. So while these mothers are busy growing the “balls” to abuse their kids instead if using their heats and minds to correct the child, maybe you should get in line for a heart transplant. Clearly yours is malfunction and abnormally tiny, j ust like your brain.

  6. Kathy from Tomball. Thank your lucky stars you weren’t on an airplane. Although I think the rest of society woukd benefit greatly from your arrest for assault with intent to kill, I would hate to see an already harried mother and child suffer at the hands of a intolerant lunatic. Did you once consider the way that poor mother must have felt ? What do you think her days are like iff her child suffers from an illness that triggers that kind of behavior and the woman is in this atmosphere every waking hour of the day. So while these mothers are busy growing the “balls” to abuse their kids instead if using their heats and minds to correct the child, maybe you should get in line for a heart transplant. Clearly yours is malfunction and abnormally tiny, j ust like your brain.

  7. Thank you Becca,
    Beautifully put. We don’t know if the child was in pain or not. We do know the mom was and we wish someone compassionate was there with her. I hope mom and child see what you wrote one day and this mom finds the couage to reach out to any one of us, knowing that we care and want to help her. I really believe that caring people far out number Miss what’s her name from small town TX.

  8. Thank you Becca,
    Beautifully put. We don’t know if the child was in pain or not. We do know the mom was and we wish someone compassionate was there with her. I hope mom and child see what you wrote one day and this mom finds the couage to reach out to any one of us, knowing that we care and want to help her. I really believe that caring people far out number Miss what’s her name from small town TX.

  9. Becca, as usual you are dead on!! As I sit here & leave a response I truly have already forgotten “what’s her face in wherever Texas”. Actually I’m more focused on the beauty of all us Moms having each other’s backs. That’s a much better thing to focus on! Love you Ladies, all of you & our wonderful children, tantrums & all!!

  10. Becca, as usual you are dead on!! As I sit here & leave a response I truly have already forgotten “what’s her face in wherever Texas”. Actually I’m more focused on the beauty of all us Moms having each other’s backs. That’s a much better thing to focus on! Love you Ladies, all of you & our wonderful children, tantrums & all!!

  11. Kathleen who of where, Texas?! Oh, I forgot about her! Kudos to you Becca and to all us moms, and dads, of screaming, temper tantrum throwing kids. We ROCK! As for the Kathleens of the world, oh well.

  12. Kathleen who of where, Texas?! Oh, I forgot about her! Kudos to you Becca and to all us moms, and dads, of screaming, temper tantrum throwing kids. We ROCK! As for the Kathleens of the world, oh well.

  13. You are so right! Tomball, Texas is not a small town though, more of a far suburb of Houston. Kath is not some backwoods farm wife. I did not have autistic kids though, and I will tell you, I am no stranger to tantrums. When your child wants to throw a tantrum, they appear born with the knowledge it is best when there is an audience! I had people telling me I was too hard on her, or that I was too easy on her. I did not hit, I did not baby. I simply removed her to the car, leaving full carts in the store. Some people like to be judgmental and act superior, like Kathleen. I agree -enjoy your 15 minutes, because that is all it is.

  14. You are so right! Tomball, Texas is not a small town though, more of a far suburb of Houston. Kath is not some backwoods farm wife. I did not have autistic kids though, and I will tell you, I am no stranger to tantrums. When your child wants to throw a tantrum, they appear born with the knowledge it is best when there is an audience! I had people telling me I was too hard on her, or that I was too easy on her. I did not hit, I did not baby. I simply removed her to the car, leaving full carts in the store. Some people like to be judgmental and act superior, like Kathleen. I agree -enjoy your 15 minutes, because that is all it is.

  15. I love this letter. We have all been there right? I recently wrote my account of a similar incident and everyone was staring and it felt like everyone was judging. And then one woman said to me “we all have days like that, dear.” I so needed that! We could all use a little extra love and a little extra grace in times like that.

  16. I love this letter. We have all been there right? I recently wrote my account of a similar incident and everyone was staring and it felt like everyone was judging. And then one woman said to me “we all have days like that, dear.” I so needed that! We could all use a little extra love and a little extra grace in times like that.

I love the comments!