Bring it, MAMA!
I am a very non confrontational person. In fact-nothing makes me more uncomfortable than people fighting. I am so Switzerland it’s not even funny. I can take any argument, see all sides, mediate it and have everyone ending up hugging and singing Kumbaya. I mean, really. Can’t we all just get along?
While some might view my peaceful nature as a good quality, I am not so sure it’s always a good thing. If someone is awful to me, I pretty much just let it slide. Life is too short to be upset, so I just focus on what’s important and move on. The problem is, a lot of the time I end up stewing about it and I’m up all night thinking about all the scenarios of what I COULD have said. What I SHOULD have said. It’s like George Costanza on Seinfeld coming up with the perfect comeback. Is there a perfect comeback? Never right when you need one!
However, I have found that when it comes to my kids, I am getting more ‘cojones’ in the confrontation department. At least I hope I am. Mess with me, I can let it go. Mess with my kids? Not so much. I feel like a new me is starting to come out. My inner b-word wants to come out to play. There have been a few instances where I have not hesitated to stick up for my kids. Actually mostly it’s older kids getting way too rough with the little ones, so does that count? Sure it does.
But today my inner b-word failed me. Where was she when I needed her?
It was one of those mommy moments I have only heard about, and when I do I think, “Does that REALLY happen?” But it happened. I was sitting with two of my friends at the park as all of our kids played happily in various areas of the playground. Curran, my four-year-old, found three boys (that I didn’t know) playing chase and he joined right in. They seemed to welcome him in their games. I stayed out of it. I could tell they were kind of rough. They were playing “police man” and apparently chasing each other, pretending to be either the good guys or the bad guys. I saw them roughing it up a bit, but I just wanted to let boys be boys, saying the occasional, “Be gentle! Don’t hit or push for real, just pretend! It’s just a game.” I get nervous sometimes when Curran does this, because he is a gentle soul and when he gets in with some of the rougher boys I wonder if he will be able to handle himself. His two year old sister puts him in tears on a daily basis over lesser things.
All of a sudden, this woman, an older frizzy haired scary scary woman screams bloody murder across the playground. (And I mean screaming like a crazy person, the kind you see in movies, the really really really awful villainous characters like Miss Hannigan-“HEY! YOU! STOP IT! YOU GET OVER HERE! DON’T YOU EVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? GET DOWN RIGHT NOW! I NEVER EVER WANT TO SEE THAT AGAIN!” Everyone in the park stopped, looked at each other with one of those, “Whoa, what was THAT about?” looks. She got up and went over to reprimand her kid, or grand kid or whatever. I felt sorry for whoever was getting the wrath of that Crazy. And then I realized she was talking to MY SON!
Whoa. What the?? I was seriously shocked into silence. I sort of became numb and I just could not comprehend what was happening. My friends looked at me in disbelief. “Is she talking to my kid?” I asked. They nodded, as stunned as I was. She came up to me and got in my face, “Your son was pushing another boy and he could have fallen!” (off the jungle gym). Admittedly, I didn’t see the incident and had no idea what she was referring to, but I was just too shocked at her demeanor to respond at that moment. Without saying a word, I got up, took Curran (who might be the most mild mannered boy on the planet) over to the boys and asked him to apologize for pushing, or pretending to push. He said they were jsut playing bad guys and he was pretending to catch the bad guy. He apologized. He said he wouldn’t ever do it again. The lady managed a harsh, “THANK YOU” but super rude and smug. I still stood there, in disbelief. It was really really quiet. I looked at my friends and said, “That was really weird, right?” They nodded, their mouths still agape. I’m sure she heard me. I said, “I don’t even yell at my own kids like that.” I said it out loud but not to her face, I said it passive aggressively. I could not make eye contact. I was actually intimidated.
So, true to my nature, I let it go. I scooped up my kids and we left. But it has ruined my day. I cannot stop thinking about what I wish I would have said. I wish I would have ripped her a new one. But I did nothing. Of all the scenarios I’ve had of going back in time and telling her off, the one that would have been the absolute best is to have walked up to her and said (a la Cher in Clueless), “That was way harsh” in my best valley girl accent. And then walked away. To jog your memory, it was Cher’s response when Tai told her, “You’re just a virgin who can’t drive!” A little joke between me and myself, because I love that movie and referencing it at that moment would have been totally ridiculous and awesome-to me and me alone.
In retrospect, If I’d engaged her, she probably would have yelled at me, probably something to the effect of how I wasn’t watching my kid. There’s an argument I didn’t need to get into in front of my son. Curran didn’t need to see her yelling at me, too and he definitely didn’t need to see me sinking to her level. So for now, I guess blogging about it will have to do. But if I ever see her again, I will have some perfect comebacks up my sleeve. I’m ready. Or at least Inner b-word is ready … next time.