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."
"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.