By day two of the unending high volume blather coming from the mom in the adjacent site as she alternated between detailed narration and haranguing critique of her three small children, we were desperately hoping that she would carry out at least one of her many threats aimed at the tykes. After hearing for at least the twelfth time that if little boy 1, equally little boy 2, or even smaller girl did not do, or stop doing, some trivial thing then they would most certainly pack up and go home, we privately though whole-heartedly endorsed the appropriateness of following through on said threat. Indeed, we would have stood up and applauded her firm but fair, clear-eyed approach had they done so.
Alas, it was all words, as was the score of other threats leveled at the children that resulted in no action. Surely she must realize that her children are not complete idiots, being capable of at least stimulus response reactions on the level of, say, puppies. It may be improbable that a five year old will logic his way through the “we’re all going home” threat by examining the campsite, the multiple tents, the five coolers, the outdoor toys strewn in every direction and conclude that no, no we aren’t going home even if I light the entire campground on fire. But, after having been told that unless you do or stop doing X, you will go home, and then seeing that despite continuing to do or not do X, we are still, shockingly, here at this very same campsite, then even a toddler will recognize the emptiness of your nonsensical attempts at coercion.
Which brings me to my question: Is this a case of a parent desperately in need of an audience, wanting everyone within distant earshot to know, with absolute certainty, that she is mothering? Or is it a case of audible narcissism; a sort of intense love with her own voice and words such that her ever-present dialogue, despite no one else participating, can never be cut off? Perhaps a frothy mix of the two? Either way, she is about one set of quadruplets away from her own self aggrandizing reality TV series.