Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mama Bear is Angry

It is not nice to call people names. (Tell me when I get something wrong.)

Took all three kids to an indoor bounce-house to play today. It is full of many inflatable bounce houses and obstacle courses. Kids climb, bounce and fall. Soft, inflatable, bouncy fun but when you have several kids in an enclosed space, kids will bounce into each other. I get it. I can't help it. I take my kids there, anyway.

The older two were in the same Spongebob bounce house today until my son came out, ran to me and began sobbing. I figured he'd bounced into someone else but asked him to calm down and tell me what happened.

"Someone called me an idiot!"

Oh. We have been through this any number of times and you have to ignore kids that say mean things.

"Did you bounce into someone?"

"Yes," he sobs. "I didn't mean to! We were bouncing and I accidentally kicked someone."

"Okay. Did you..." (I don't even get to finish asking if he apologized.)

"I said SORRY! I told him I was sorry and he said he was okay but his mom came in and called me an idiot. I want to go home."

"What mom?"
"I don't know. I just want to go home."

Keeps sobbing. An employee comes over to see if my son is hurt and if he can help. I explain that only his feelings are hurt but many people are looking. Which makes him more embarrassed. "I just want to go home."

I tell him to go splash his face with cold water and as he turns, another kid looks at us, looks down and says, "I'm sorry."

I ask if this is the boy he kicked and my son nods. I ask the boy if he is okay (clearly, he is--he just sprinted by us) and he says yes and that he is sorry, again.

My son just keeps sobbing so I send him off to go splash his face with cold water.
My daughter comes running up and asks where he is. I tell her and she says, "yeah, some lady just came in and called him an idiot!"

"Did your brother kick the boy?"
"Yes, but it was an accident, Mom. We were all bouncing and well, he did not mean to."

Now I have confirmation. While she is his sister, she is his sister. She is THE FIRST ONE to give me every detail when he does something wrong. Occasionally, he does kick and she would tell me so. But she is also thrown by an adult calling him a name. And now I am angry. But I take a deep breath. We had storms ALL night last night, maybe she did not get any sleep. Maybe her son is recovering from something and she thinks he is fragile. But then, why bring him to a BOUNCE house?

I ask my daughter if she can point out the mom but she can't. I ask her to take her other brother on one more slide and then get their shoes. My son comes back from the bathroom and as we go to collect shoes, my daughter touches my arm. "I found her! I wasn't sure but then she called her son over. It's that lady--the one in the recliner, with the blanket."

My son grabs my other arm. "DON'T say anything, Mom! I just want to go home."
"I just want to talk to her for a second, honey."
"NO! Mom, PLEASE, can we just GO?"
He is distraught enough so I don't say anything but look back at mom, who has her feet up, blanket up, smiling and laughing with her husband and I realize that from where she is sitting, she has just watched our whole minor episode. She has seen how upset my son is, she has seen her son apologize, she has seen other people check on my son and she has sat there, snuggled up in her blanket and is having a grand time. I still don't say anything but as another employee cuts our bracelets off, I glare. Her husband looks up for a second but nothing from either one of them.
I am sure they've forgotten but my son was still whimpering the whole ride home. I explain that even grown-ups make mistakes but that the mother should have known better. I explain though that sometimes parents get upset quickly if they beleive their child is hurt. I offer any number of excuses but my son was still whimpering when we made it into the house. "I am not an idiot."

No. He isn't. But I have my doubts about this lady.


jocelyn said...

Wow, I don't think I could have not said anything. It's bad enough when it comes from another kid (who obviously shouldn't say it either), but from a MOM!! What was she doing there with a blanket and putting her feet up anyway? Was she on vacation in her own little world?? Wow, C isn't my kid and I am more than mad! We don't have bounce places like that here, but I have seen things happen like that at the playground. I can't understand how some parents can just sit there (one dad one time was standing reading his kindle type thing when his kid pushed M once). Still, not any words were exchanged. I am so sorry for C and for you. I just can't believe it!

LoryKC said...

We went here:

When they opened, they advertised a "parents' lounge" area where you can recline in these comfy leather chairs, watch tv, get on the internet, etc.--all while professionals supervise each bounce house.

Not long after, they changed their tactics and mentioned that though the lounge was still available, parents were strongly encouraged to play with their children and enjoy the fun.

I'll admit--I keep thinking when my youngest is a little older or when the big kids will take him with them just a little longer, it'd be nice to just sit back and watch them play. But I never thought of bringing a blanket and settling in! Still, maybe she's tired. Fine. If she can't get up and play with her kid, fine. Makes no difference to me. But she sure got up fast enough to yell at mine!

LoryKC said...

And, for the record, while it may sound like I don't watch my kids, I did not see this incident unfold b/c I was watching the 2-yr-old navigate a very tall, bouncy slide.
I'm done venting, at least for now.

Tracy said...

Argh! You showed amazing restraint not getting in this woman's face. I would be fantasizing about it for days. But it was good that you honored your son's request. Hard, I'm sure, but good.

LoryKC said...

Turns out it is a REALLY good thing I did, in fact exercise restraint as I NOW understand why he REALLY did not want me to go over there.
False. All False!!! (And I should have KNOWN, once I put it all over the internet!!!) He used to be such a bad liar and my daughter is such a tattle-tale! I believed my own kids.
And they stuck to their story. Until it was time to get into bed and say prayers. And then the guilty consciences and tears bubbled up!!!!

LoryKC said...


Tracy said...

Lory -- If that writing conference in SC doesn't work out (JJ as keynote would be awesome!) you could always try the Kansas conference. We have Nancy Pickard speaking this year. Also a great writer and a fantastic speaker.

MaryP said...

So if she didn't call him an idiot, why was he crying? Why was he so desperate to leave, so suddenly?

Oh, wait. Maybe that's not something you want to share with the Internet.

I remember the shock of realizing that for the first time that my child was lying to me. It gives you a sick feeling in the stomach, doesn't it? And yet good to know that he does have a conscience. THAT probably explains a goodly portion of the tears. Those guilty tears would make me feel a little better about the whole experience.

LoryKC said...

He felt guilty and she did, apparently, call him an idiot. BUT he did kick the kid ON PURPOSE! So while I still don't approve of calling kids names, she was actually justified.