Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm 28, For Crying Out Loud

I am not sure which of those numbers I came closer to representing today, the 2 or the 8. I think I’m going to have to go with the 2. That’s right, I acted like a 2 year old today.

First of all let me just say, about a previous post in which I brag about taking a car away from a three year old. I am no longer, after today’s events proud of that moment. Never mind the fact that I was retrieving it for my son since the car was his. It was not something I am pleased with now.

Let me just dive right into the events of today that reveal just how low a mother will go in the name of “justice” for her son.

Back to McDonalds for another Wednesday playgroup, things are going well. Our little collection of kids are all getting along, this should have been my first clue that calamity was about to strike. Us mommies had moved closer to one of the slides in a silly attempt to convince ourselves that we really were about to end our conversation, collect our children, and leave. Who were we fooling? That is just phase one of a long process to stop our chattering and go our separate ways. This position in front of the slide did, however, put me right in the center of the children’s action. I witnessed a little boy, about 6 years old I’d guess, take out of Buddy’s hands, guess what, I red toy car. His Happy Meal prize!

I know Buddy; other kids, especially in big groups, fiercely intimidate him. I knew he would not stick up for himself. In fact, he turned around and gave me a look that said, “What do I do?” I didn’t know what he should do. So I did what any neurotic mother in my position would do. I tapped the boy, (To use my daughter’s system for labeling strangers we will call him green boy. Bella assigns these names to people based on the color of their shirt.) Green boy, (or GB) on the shoulder and asked if I could have my son’s car back. He held it out to me and then withdrew his hand again, still clutching the car and said, “It’s my car.”

“Then why did you take it out of my son’s hand?” I asked.

“It’s my car.” (Duh, I just told you that lady)

“But I just saw you take it from him!”

Blank look

“Where did you get it?”

“It’s my car.”

You see where this is going. Keep in mind I am a two year old, arguing with a six year old, about a toy. It’s going NOWHERE!

I finally told him, that’s fine. And turned and told Buddy that he had plenty of cars at home and we were just going to let GB have his car. Buddy had a remarkable attitude, much better than my own.

“But it’s my car.” (Little sniffle)

“I know buddy, it’s okay, you have plenty at home and you will get another one next week.”

“O.k.”

By this time GB had walked over to his mother that was standing close by watching this entire thing take place. I did not know that until that moment

“What did she say to you?” She asked her son.

I did not hear his response but they talked for a minute. Then she asked GB’s sister if it was GB’s car. Sister said it was.

I started to feel a little bit stupid for the fact that I kind of started this whole argument, and decide I needed to apologize to mom.

In the seconds it took me to walk the fifteen steps to where she was standing I lost all my nerve. Why? Because I was so embarrassed by my actions and because I HATE humbling myself to apologize! I have a hard time psyching myself up to tell my two and three year old I am sorry, let alone a woman in her thirties. So all I said is, “You know what that may not even be my son’s car. Maybe he lost his up in the tunnel.” She looked at her son and asked him to go look inside the tunnel and see if he can find it for Buddy. And he took off to obey.

I went on to tell her how my son will not stand up for himself and he keeps getting his stuff taken away from him. She says, “Well if we don’t find the car he can just have my son’s if it is that big of a deal. They’ll give us another one.”

This really hit a nerve. I felt like now she is just assuming that her son is telling the truth and mine was not. I no longer wanted to apologize.

I told my kids to get their shoes on, we needed to go, and she was telling her kids the same. GB, returned with just the one red car. She asked if he had found it, he said no. She said to her son, “Why don’t you give him the car then, that would be sweet.”

I told her No, please not to worry about it.

She said, “Are you sure.”

I said, “I’m sure.”

I got out of there as quickly as I could. Loaded my kids in the car, and got in the driver’s seat.

Have you ever felt like you’ve just had an out of body experience? That’s how I felt. Sitting there in the car it just hit me. “What the heck just happened?” Who was this crazy person that had taken me over and taken on a six year old. I felt so utterly stupid and ashamed. On top of that I was sorry for my friends sake. I actually don’t live in that community. We drive about 20 miles to meet with our friends every week. But these girls the other mom’s I hang out with, have to see GB’s mom all the time. One of them goes to church with GB’s family and I was so afraid I had embarrassed both of them. They had witnessed this whole event. I called my husband, and cried when I told him what had happened, declaring that I was never going back to McDonald’s (GB, mom, and sisters have just started coming every Wednesday with a group of their friends) I did not think I could face them again. N assured me that she was probably every bit as embarrassed as me. I called one of my friends that had been there with me so I could apologize if I had humiliated her. Jess assured me that she was not at all upset by it. Then she did her best to make me feel better. She told me that GB’s mom was not the type to hold a grudge. She was way to sweet for that. It did not make me feel better. I felt even more like a jerk.

Here I had jumped in to defend my son from a bully and had in fact bullied the bully. What business was it of mine to stand there and argue with a kid over whether he took somebody’s toy? Yes I had seen him take it from Buddy but I can’t say for certain that it was not his toy that Buddy had picked up off the floor and poor GB was just reclaiming what was his. Not to say I think my son is too sweet to have taken a toy away from some one else, he does it to his sister all the time. I am almost positive though that he would be too intimidated to have taken another kid’s toy, especially a bigger kids. But he may have picked it up from somewhere thinking it was his. Who knows, who cares? The point was, I was wrong in my actions.

I got home and had a long conversation with my mom on the phone about it. I asked her if she thought I should apologize to GB’s mom next week, as I was really feeling convicted that I should. She suggested trying to get her phone number and doing it right away. That way I did not have to dread it all week. She knows me so well; confrontation and apologies make me literally sick.

I called the other playgroup friend, apologized to her for my behavior and got GB’s phone number. She also confirmed how sweet and darling this poor woman is. I shrunk two more inches. And then to add mortification to humiliation she informs me that she is Dr. Spock’s (not really his name) wife. OUR doctor’s wife! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! So now I will not be returning to McDonald’s and I will be finding a new Doctor. Or I will learn my lesson, grow up, and apologize to Mrs. Spock. (If I can ever get a hold of her. I love that I have had the opportunity to drag this out as long as possible, as I have called 4 times and she is not home.)

And I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.
I will do my best to quit bullying children.

6 comments:

  1. I'm afraid I've already been in a similar situation, although I didn't have to deal with the mom (that would be much worse). I've scolded two little boys on the playground for practically running over Shiloh. I didn't know them, but they were twice her size and... well, I guess the mommy came out in me. It happens. Hope everything goes well with the phone call to the mom. :)

    Also, I've added you to my blogrole, since I've been reading your blog regularly, and I put it on private so no one else can see it. With your permission, I'll put it on my page, where people actually see it (all four of my readers). Just wanted to okay it with you first. If you don't want me to, it isn't a big deal.

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  2. You know it doesn't matter if you are 28 or 82, you are a mom which is a NEVER ending thing. Once a mom always a mom. And sometimes momminess overrides everything else - good sense included. Don't be too hard on yourself for loving your children. Even we moms have to learn our lesson sometimes. I think you learned yours. I'm still proud of you. Love, Momma

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  3. Please don't apologize for not asking before putting me on your blogroll. I didn't realize I was on there. If I had known, I would have just added you too.

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  4. You just went into Mama Bear Mode. It is a natural mode to be in and I'm sure I will do it too.

    Sounds like the situation just got a little out of hand. I would apologize to the woman and tell her you didn't mean it to come out like it did ... I'm sure she will understand. And if she doesn't...please blog about it because wow would that be entertaining.

    Kidding!

    I'm sure it will work out fine.

    You and I are a lot alike. I can tell...

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  5. hey there,

    this story kinda scares me as I'm pretty sure I would (and will) do the same thing you did.

    thing is, i dont think you wanna show buddy that it's ok to take things that dont belong to you either (as the other kid did) or to be bullied.

    so, not sure what woulda been teh right thing to do

    rock on anyway,

    aitch

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  6. Jenn: Guess I already commented to you!

    Lorie (mama): Thanks for being proud of me. It's always made me smile when I knew you were. I'd like to take a break from learning lessons for a while!

    Jonny's Mom: Umm thanks for the support?!?! I don't think you are supposed to wish bad things on your follow bloggers for your personal entertainment! hehe

    Harris: Yep, I still can't decide what I SHOULD have done. Just wish I had been more adult about how I handled it. I agree there were lessons to be learned by my son. Maybe some nice lady will come along someday and teach my children how to act appropriately! I'm not doing too good of a job by my actions.

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Thanks for letting me here from you!