Recently we were at a function where there were several kids and a bounce house. The B Man and a girl about his age (but a little bigger in stature) were playing inside the bounce house and she was getting a little rough. They were playing “swords” (they were invisible) and at one point she bent back B’s wrist pretty hard. I was looking on the whole time and she still did it even AFTER I told her several times to stop being so rough. I didn’t know this girl at all. I reacted and told B to get out of the bounce house immediately. He was fine but visibly upset and his hand hurt a little. I think his pride was hurt too. In the end she apologized and they continued to play together…
Today we were at a local park and there were A LOT of kids there. It’s Spring Break here this week. I don’t usually worry too much about B at the park since this area happens to be gated and he usually just runs around inside and many times finds someone to “pal around” with. I was keeping one eye on K and one on G, as best I could around the large play scape.
Next thing I know, a woman many feet away from me is YELLING at B and asking him where is Mother is. I walk up and ask her what happened and she says he (meaning B) had “him” (points to a boy about 5 years old) pinned down and was hitting him.
By the way, this is SO unlike B and I’m guessing (I saw NOTHING) that he may have hit him once. And only if provoked.
By the time I got to B he was shaking and crying. He’s a pretty sensitive little guy.
This lady really freaked him out. He insisted RIGHT AWAY that we go home and had his face buried in my legs the whole time I tried to talk to him. He was stiff as a board and tears filled his face. I told him that if he hit the boy then he needed to go apologize and I repeatedly asked him to tell me what actually happened.
“I just want to go home! Please Mommy, can we PLEASE go home?”, he pleaded.
“Can you just tell me what happened?” I asked him as her eyes continued to glare at us from across the play area. I could feel them burning into me.
“I just got mad mom. Those boys were chasing me and one of them got on top of me and I got so mad.”
At one point he told me he felt bad as he continued to cling to me. So hard.
I saw the boy with whom he had the altercation and he was fine. Running around like nothing had happened.
But her glare made me feel like my son was the bad guy. Like I was a bad mother.
As I continued to calm him down they left the play area and B never did apologize. I still wish he had.
However the other mother really scared him and I think she overreacted a bit. And for that I wish she had apologized. B did not completely calm down until after we got home. She doesn’t know my child at all. She doesn’t know how he is. Should my son have hit someone? Of course not but she didn’t need to lash out at him the way she did. He’s still a child. I understand. We are all only human. But still.
And, as you read in the first story, sometimes we are on the other side of the line as parents. Times when we play defense for our kids. But this time I was on the side that I do not frequent, the offense, and I was unsure how to handle it.
Today I felt inadequate as a mother, in more ways than one…
And I didn’t like it.
This is loosely tied to the prompt for The Red Dress Club, to write about a fight. It’s not so much a memoir as a need to simply write out what happened and to get my feelings out. I’m curious, has this happened to you? How did you handle it? What should I have done differently? Parenting is hard sometimes.