Monday, June 1, 2009

Actually, I think she was 7.

How could anyone be mean to these cheeks?

I almost called a 7-year-old a bitch to her face.

The B and I were at the playground yesterday when he caught sight of a girl wheeling a giant stuffed penguin around in a doll cart. Because the boy is obsessed with:

A) large stuffed toys, and
B) anything he can push

he started toddling after her. He managed to maintain a respectful distance for a few minutes, grinning and babbling in hopes of charming her out of her toys, but eventually he couldn't control himself and tippy-toed over to the penguin to tap it on the nose.

The girl yanked away her stroller and screamed "NO!" with all the force her lungs could muster. Then she looked at me, scrunched her face into a huge scowl and yelled, "I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN OTHER CHILDREN TOUCH MY TOYS" before storming off. She stopped her exit twice to look back at me and scowl.

It was such a Nellie Oleson moment I almost laughed. Almost.

After I reassured the boy that everything was cool, we walked over to the jungle gym and started playing on the ladders. The girl came over, climbed up next to him - inching her feet really close to his hands, the way kids do when they're thinking about stepping on another kid's fingers - and growled, "I'M playing here."

Here's the part where I point out that I understand that she's just a child. I get that pre-pubescent children are possessive of their toys and lack self-control. But I also think that some kids deserve a damn spanking.

It wasn't just that she was acting like a bully to a MUCH younger child - she was trying to bully me too. Sorry, Mama doesn't play that. I don't like it when children act like they're my equal. Because they're not. They're children. I don't need kids to call me by my last name or anything like that - I am happy to treat the Rated G set with compassion and respect - but in my world, you don't get to act like an authority figure until you can legally purchase porn. I wish I could say that I yanked that little brat down and sent her crying to her distracted Scandinavian mother but I didn't. I just looked her in the eyes, lowered my voice, and said "ENOUGH." Then I removed my baby from the situation before I did something I'd regret. Because no matter how much the little bitch deserves it, it's hard to come out looking like the hero when you cuss out a 2nd grader.


Missy said...

I'm sorry but if my child at the age of 7 acted that way, she would have IMMEDIATLEY apologized AND been escorted post haste from the play area. If she were 4 or maybe even 5 I could see that type of behavior as somewhat age appropriate, but still not OK. Past that...nuh uh. That goes beyond basic expected behavior.

This kind of addresses a peeve of mine that developed when my kids were your boy's age. It used to drive me crazy that parents would allow their kids to run roughshod at the playground when there were smaller younger children trying to play. Yes I fully understand that they are kids, they don't/can't think about the possiblity of hurting someone smaller etc. HOWEVER it amazed me the number of parents who would just sit by and say nothing as their much older larger child trampled my smaller one.

TO THIS DAY when we are at public play areas and there are tiny kids playing I am on my girls to be careful and watchful of tiny people. I wish more parents would do the same.

There, I will get down off my soapbox now.

Colleen said...

Alisha, you just hit on something we discuss at school all the time in the teachers' lounge: these kids think they are on par with adults! It just amazes me every day! They will ask me VERY personal questions, make cracks about my age or appearance, talk back, refuse to back down when we tell them they're wrong, etc. I'm working very hard to make sure my kids understand that kids are kids and adults are adults but I see it in them too. It just blows my mind. We would never have DREAMED of speaking to adults that way when we were younger. And of course, as you discovered today, many of them see no reason to treat smaller, more vulnerable people with any special care either.

If anyone has some suggestions on turning this train around I'd love to hear them!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Don't look to me for advice. My almost 8 year old screams at me and I'm not allowed to smack her.


Next time, you should totally make a scene because if her folks aren't keeping her in line, a little public humiliation might.

...Sharon said...

She sounds just like little girl in the movie "The Bad Seed".

Mama Cass said...

I totally get that. And it sounds like you handled it very well. Really, though, more than the kids, it's the parents of these kids who piss me off. Why was her mom not pointing out her rudeness, and insisting she leave you guys alone? If no one teaches the child, it's not all the child's fault.