Friday, April 9, 2010

The Mommy Dance

The kids and I were at OMSI the other day and I found myself doing an all too familiar dance. Most likely you've done this dance too.

187,000 children were playing in the sand area and I was sitting on a nearby bench watching Samuel and Emily building a little mound of sand together. They were happy clams until little Daisy came along... trying to get to her mom who was sitting next to me and talking to her friend, Daisy stepped on the sand mound, barely missing Samuel and Emily's fingers.

"Its ok", I said to Samuel and Emily's disappointed faces, "It was an accident and you can make another one". Daisy's mom looked at me and smiled before turning her attention back to her friend. Thus began the dance.

Daisy tromped back over the kids' sand mound, abruptly turned around, bend down and wiped the sand mound down to a flat pancake. Samuel and Emily looked at me with surprise on their faces and waited to see what I would say to Daisy. I looked at her mom and waited to see what she would say to Daisy.

Nothing. She said nothing. Then looked at me audaciously and smiled.

I cleared my throat, "Honey, please be gentle; the kids are trying to build something." My words were kind but also loud enough for her mother to hear.

Daisy, not new to this dance, picked up a sand toy and dropped it in the middle of where Samuel and Emily had resumed play, narrowly missing Emily's head.

I waited. 1 Mississippi. 2 Mississippi. 3 Mississippi. Nothing from Darling Daisy's mother.

Throat clear. "Hey sweetie, please play nice; your friends are playing right here". At last, Daisy's mother looks at her and says, "Did you hear the lady?" Daisy doesn't reply but walks over to the other side of the sand pit to torture some other happy kids. Daisy's mother turns back to her conversation.

Now my kids aren't perfect--I don't ever claim they are but come on Daisy's mom...GET A CLUE!! Maybe we wouldn't be in this awkward position of me parenting your child IF YOU WOULD DO IT.

Tell me about your experiences with "the dance"; I love to hear other stories of painful awkwardness and how you handled it!


Christy said...

Honey, I don't dance. I am that Mom who will stop your child on the playground and tell him/her to stop cussing. (Yes, I have)
And in return I will take my child over to apologize to another child and ask for forgiveness.
I'm not saying I'm perfect, but truthfully I don't mess around, I get that from my Mom ;)
I have found that most kids respond better to another adult than sometimes their own sad but true. I think you did everything right!

Anonymous said...

I recently had a very similar experience. During Spring Break Michael and I took the kids swimming at the Kroc center. This little boy kept coming up to Michael (yes my husband) and punching him. He wasn't playing, he was out for blood. His grandmother was alway right there and did nothing. My husband also said nothing. Honestly, I think the two year old frightened him. The fifth time this little darling pushed past my kids to beat up on their father I looked at him and shook my finger and said, "no, no, we don't hit". --Heidi

:)Rhonda said...

I'll give you the Readers Digest version...Adam and I were at the park and a couple of kids were misbehaving by being naughty to Adam. I told Adam just to go do something else. Their mom was right there and nothing was being said or done. These kids were probably 6 & 10-ish. It seemed like everytime Adam would go do something else, that moments later they were there bothering him again. Finally I was fed up...with them and their texting mother. So, as I got up to have my say, Adam came over to me and asked what was wrong. I told him that I was tired of those boys and that I was going to let them know that they were in a LOT of trouble.
I love my son. He turned to look at them, then back to me and said, "Momma, God tells us to love everyone; so we are supposed to love them too."
Boy, that takes the bluster out of a sail. I was screaming at those boys on the inside; while in the same moment thanking God for the blessing of my son. He really made me feel like a cad for allowing them to upset me to the point of going to have my say.