We’ve all felt frustration with other people’s kids, especially when they spill the beans on something we’re trying to keep secret. But is there ever a good reason to take legal action?
That’s what’s allegedly happening to one mom and Reddit poster who lives in Southern California, whose child — a first-grader — let a bunch of other kids know that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. This incurred the wrath of the PTA, who the poster describes as “know-it-all, PTA, suburban Stepford Wives.”
The roving, angry gang of moms then did what any sane person does when another person annoys them, and called the poster for a calm, even-handed chat about what was bothering them.
They had a courier deliver a scathing letter threatening to sue the ever-loving crap out of her. Let that sink in for a second. If you’re starting to think that this is a pretty nutters thing to have happen, you don’t even know the half of it. Here’s some more of the story, which this mom posted on r/LegalAdvice:
“The letter has 8 kids names that were ‘traumatized’ by my son’s ‘negligent actions’ and demands that he stay away from them at all times, he is to never interact with them.
Here is the icing on the cake, in lieu of suit: the letter states that I need to pay for a fully interactive “Santa Experience” whereby a hired Santa will be hosted at one of the kids houses for a ‘Santa Experience’ where he hands out presents (at my expense), sings songs with all 8 kids, and offers general Christmas cheer. The purpose of this is to ‘reverse the damage my son caused and re-spark the child like wonderment that surrounds the holidays.’
They have given me until the 15th of September to ‘rectify this unfortunate situation.’
As a single mom, I really do not have the cash on hand to hire a lawyer. I am tempted to take this to the school principal for assistance…any advice here would be appreciated. I could honestly not give to flying f**** about these kids (I seriously doubt they are traumatized), but I need to protect myself and my little boy.”
Now, the thing to remember here is that this is Reddit, and this is the Internet, and all of this could be completely fake. In fact, there’s a good chance it is. It’s best to take this entire story with an entire shaker of salt.
On the other hand, the story is just crazy enough to be true. After all, it is Southern California. And we do live in a time when parents treat their children as precious little monarchs who must never, ever be allowed to know that the world is a less than magical place stuffed to the brim with magical creatures and warm fuzzies. A lot of parents imagine that their child is the axis upon which the world turns, and the rest of us just exist to facilitate the process.
If it is true, then we have to assume the people who wrote the letter are either perpetually drunk or just otherwise completely deluded. Of course, we all get annoyed — even angry — when we’re forced to have a conversation with our kids that we aren’t ready to have. If the truth about Santa (or the tooth fairy or leprechauns) shatters a little bit of their innocence, then we feel indignant. Who hasn’t wanted to make some thoughtless adult or, yeah, even a thoughtless child, pay for that?
But we don’t do that, and not just because it’s totally blinkered to consider it, but because we’d have to consider where to draw the line. Can we sue kids for telling their peers about how babies are made or that the ice cream truck doesn’t really play music when it’s out of ice cream or for not keeping our secrets for us?
Because they won’t. Adults are terrible at keeping secrets, and kids are even worse at it. If you’re the type of person who gets massively vindictive when some kid tells your kid that the tooth fairy is a total sham and they’re a jive sucker for believing it, you might want to tone it down. Why? One day it’s gonna be your kid “accidentally” revealing that a classmate is adopted or that broccoli doesn’t actually make you taller.
There’s a social contract in place that says we all must mitigate the damage that blabbermouth kids do to our precious little darlings, and in return, other parents will forgive us when it’s our kids who can’t keep their little talkholes shut.
Let’s not ruin that with frivolous lawsuits, mmmkay?