Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Weekly Out of Character Moment

Apparently I am making a habit of this. The whole acting rashly out of character thing.

I treated the kids to some Old McDonald's today (their words not mine) and we took it to the park with us to snag our allotment of vitamin D. After we ate I of course turned them loose on the play equipment because full bellies + sunshine + fresh air + physical activity = nap. Right?

Everyone is climbing and sliding and swinging and all is well. It's the first beautiful Saturday in two weeks here so of course the park is crowded with house crazy families. Suddenly Tuck pops out of one of the tubes crying. When I asked him what was wrong he told me that "that little girl won't let me through." I was fully expecting to see a 12 year old stuck in the middle of the tube.

It was a little girl probably about four (the same age as Tuck) with her hand in Munch's face telling her "You're not gonna do it either" in the snottiest voice I've heard from a teenager much less a four year old. This is me leaving my body.

The normal me would have shot her a dirty look and moved my children to a different part of the park. Today I was not normal me. "Please move out of the way so other children can play. You are not the only one on the playground and you really need to share." In my brain I was asking myself who was talking.

Snots McFly decided that sure, she would move out of the way. She made her way through the rest of the equipment, down the slide and straight to me. "You aren't very nice to talk to me that way." And she stood there with her hands on her hips like I owed her an apology. This is me not even thinking about returning to my body.

"It's not very nice of you to be rude to smaller children and to talk so disrespectfully to an adult so save your speech for someone else."

It's that voice again! Where is it coming from? Now I am pretty sure that if her people had been around I never would have talked to her that way, so what made me do it today? Was it because her people were no where to be seen? Was it because there were a lot of smaller toddler size children on the playground and I was making a preemtive strike on their behalf? Or was it the fact that I am so tired of mannerless children running amuk on the planet that I finally took a stand?

I am not proud of my behavior at all and maybe I crossed a line. I probably did. Who lets a four year old rile them like that? Just the same, what would you have done? Would you have moved on like Normal Me? Would you have sought out the parents and had a conversation? Or would you have drop kicked her like a penalty shot on an open goal like Out of Body Me?

This parenting thing just keeps getting more complicated.


Fer said...

I don't think you were out of line at all. And where the heck were her parents? If she's only 4, you would think her parents would be close enough by to know she was being a brat and would have at least heard your first statement and remedied the situation then. I think you showed more restraint than some people would have been able to muster. If a kid did that to me and my kids, I really don't know that I would have managed to be as polite as you when she mouthed off at me.

Amanda said...

I think you were nicer than I would have been. I think my remark to her would have been punctuated with "Where is your mother?" I'm so tired of snotty kids. They're why I love and hate the beginning of the school year all at the same time. I love that I have one less kid to drag on errands, but hate that we go through smart mouth phase as we assimilate back in with the general population.

Staci said...

This is why we try to hit the playground when no one else is there-snotty little kids (and the lack of parents watching them) drive me insane. I don't think you were out of line at all.

Cat@3KidsandUs said...

I agree that you were not out of line. You probably had more self control than I would have had at that point.

Shannon said...

I'm like you & normally just move on & dont say anything. I wish I had it in me to set them strait or at least have thiere parents handle them. Good for you.