Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Young Man, Pick Yourself Off the Ground

**Caution: This is a rant.
Yesterday, at Davis Farmland, I had one of my first real Mama Bear moments. After two hours of fun in the sun and water, a pleasant lunch and some ice cream our time was winding down. I sent Henry back to the splash pad because it's a whole lot easier than wiping the sticky remains of his sweet treat from his little bod.

The aqua fun-land is divided into a large pad for the big kids with lots o' fun and a small pad for the little tykes that has a couple of simple geysers. Guess which pad caused the bigger ruckus yesterday?
I was changing Charlie's diaper in my lap so that I wouldn't be negligent in the supervision of my child and was visiting with three other mamas. I heard the tell-tale seal bark of a mother who was also seen flapping her arms like a woman trying to shoo a fox out of the hen house that meant somebody's child was causing a problem. I immediately stood up because I was pretty sure it was H.

I'm no innocent when it comes to the 'precocious' nature of my child. He's physical, but not mean, and he gets his feelings hurt easily. I saw a 4 or 5 year old boy who was sitting over a fountain of water and Henry standing over looking perturbed. He was gazing at the approaching woman like a deer in the headlights. With Charlie on my hip, I quickly asked what was going on as she yelled (and no, I'm not exaggerating, she was yelling) at H "What do you think you're doing?!"

I again asked what he did, I was literally less than 10 feet from him the entire time, and he'd been fine when I glanced at him 30 secons prior. I was informed that he'd kicked the other child. sigh. "Oh, Henry!" (there, now you know what H stands for).

But crazy mom doesn't stop there. In her floppy hat, arms akimbo, she adds loudly "He kicked him in the boaaaahls, actually! That's what he did!" Note; we're standing about three feet apart. She's clearly yelling.

Okay, a) crude talk for a playground b) I get it, your child is victimized. My child is evil. Please note that the offended child was not crying, whimpering or otherwise appearing injured and looked as surprised as H that his mother was acting like a loon as she hauled him from his spread eagle position of possession on the geyser.

There is a right and a wrong way to address someone else's child, and the way she was doing it was not it. I'm all about someone redirecting a child if the parent isn't immediately available. But you don't yell at someone else's kid, a stranger's kid at that. I've had to peel another kid off Henry before and you just do it, smiling wryly at the apologetic parent is always a plus. Because, guess what? Four year-old boys sometimes kick each other! Is it okay? No. Is it a federal offense, punishable by up to to ten years in prison, or one session of your banshee ass? No.

Floppy Hat next bellowed loudly "You need to come over here and apologize, is what you need to do!" Wait. Is she talking to my child? The one that I'm quite clearly taking by the arm to lead off the splashpad? With iron resolve to be mature, I turned to her and smiled saying "Excuse me! He has a mother. I'm it. I've got it from here. But, thanks." Translation; Step. Off. Bitch.

That boy's mom robbed him of an apology, because I was too busy explaining to H in a calm manner of unknown origin that kicking was never a nice option, and it would be no way to make that boy his friend. Crying "But, I don't want him to not be a friend! I asked him to move and he kept saying no!"

H changed and our lunch gathered up, I said good-bye to our friends and headed to the car. I restrained myself from leaning over to floppy hat indeterminate age mom/grandma and whispering "I'm sorry you're a bitch." There, I apologized.

I am a big proponent of it taking a village, but that village is not self-appointed. As parents, we choose the people with whom we surround ourselves and our children so that they can have consistent modeling and parenting. We are not the YMCA and you, Ms Cow, are not one of my people.


Crafty Mama said...

Yeah!!! Totally agree with you. I HATE IT when that happens. It hasn't happened to me yet personally, but of course it will.

The Caffeinated Mommy said...

Holy crap. You handled that waaaay better than I would have! I would have grabbed her floppy ass hat and shoved it in the water...not exactly modeling good behavior, but whatever. ;-)

Unknown said...

Totally agree. I would have gone buck wild on her ass.

Unknown said...

"Excuse me! He has a mother. I'm it. I've got it from here. But, thanks." Translation; Step. Off. Bitch.
"I'm sorry you're a bitch."
You Are My HERO!!!!

Alex Elliot said...

I thought you handled it well too. I regret not reporting it.