Monday, March 15, 2010

Who's the Boss?

Last week, I was starting to fear that God was reneging on His promise to never flood the world again it rained a lot in Tampa.

After 36 hours of downpour, the kids were going stir crazy and Mommy was just going crazy, so we took off to a playdate at Gator Fred's. (AKA the coolest indoor inflatable playplace ever!)

One of the highlights of the day was the inflatable baseball dome!

Libby, Emma Jane, Wesley, and our friend Connor had a blast taking turns hitting the balls. Libby made it through one of the holes in the backdrop!

Even John had fun playing baseball. He was fascinated with the ball floating in midair and kept trying to knock it down.

All was going really well. Our kids were doing a great job of taking turns and everyone was having fun.

Until the other kid showed up.

A little boy, probably Libby's age comes over to join us. But instead of taking his turn in line to hit the ball, he climbed into the inflatable. Which of course, would have been fine on any of the other inflatables in the building, but this one was clearly not meant to be bounced on. The bottom of it was nothing but a thin mesh net!

Seeing that someone else had climbed in, Libby immediately threw a leg up and was on her way over the edge when I said (loudly enough for other kid to hear me) "This inflatable is not to bounce on."

Libby, perfect child that she is, immediately climbed off without a complaint.
Okay, maybe there was a little, miniscule complaint. But definitely no whining!
Definitely not much whining!

But honestly, I don't blame her for being upset. She's four. In her mind, if she can't bounce on the mesh net, why can that kid? It's not fair.

In a lot of cases, my answer is along the lines of "Life isn't fair. Some things that aren't okay in our family, are acceptable to other families and that is just the way it is sometimes. Life is tough, kid!" Yadda yadda...

This was not one of those cases.

I ignored this kid for all of 10 more seconds, giving his own mother ample time to see that he was out of line and take care of it before I stepped in.

I walked over to him and said, "You need to get out of there. This is not to climb on."

And then I put my hand on his shoulder and guided him out.

He gave me a pretty dirty look but obeyed.

A few minutes later, John was staring in wonder at the magical flying ball again when this kid reached over and grabbed hold of the yellow cone below the ball, cutting off the air supply.

No air = no magic flying ball

I told him to let go.

He did. For about a minute and a half.

By this point, I have had it with this kid. (and his nonexistent mother. Seriously the room was not that big! She had to have seen what was going on!)

So I got down in his face and said, "You are not playing with this properly. You need to go play somewhere else."

To which he replied, "You aren't the boss."

Let me just say, had this been my child, I would have grabbed him by the ear an taken him to the bathroom for a little lesson in respect.
But he wasn't, so I couldn't.

What I did do was give him my "I mean business" mommy face and said, "Do you want me to go get the boss?"

For a split second, I thought he was going to cry.

And for another split second, I really hoped that he would. Not because I enjoy making children cry, but because then his absent mommy would probably have shown herself.

I am thinking that may have been the first time that kid wasn't the boss.


shortmama said...

Yay for you!!! Way to be the adult his own mama obviously was not!

Kmama said...

You handled that so well! Bravo!

I probably would have screamed "WHO IS THIS BRATTY KIDS MOTHER! SHOW YOURSELF". LOL!!

Life with Kaishon said...

I don't ever do things like that. The people around here can get so crazy. I am afraid a parent would go psycho on me. When there is trouble I just try to make my kid go somewhere else!

heidi said...

Good for you!

Summer said...

Seriously...WHERE ARE PARENTS in situations like this? I have to wonder! Even though I'm not a mama yet, I tend to discipline children that aren't my own quite often...I do it lovingly (for the most part) and firm, and I've never had a parent tell me I was out of line...shocker.

Jennifer said...

OMG some peoples kids drive me freaking mad! I swear my kids are by no means the best, especially my boy, And I wont lie he's prally one of those boys that would "try" to pull a stunt like that boy did, but I whip him up quick and "take him to the bathroom, for one of those old fashioned lessons you speak of." It pisses me off when people let their kids ruin other peoples time...Only my kids are allowed to ruin my time and the boy is pretty good at that with his ADHD but I sure wont let him get away with it or hide to pretend I dont see him! And how can parents let their kids just wander off like that! If you really dont wanna watch them then find a babysitter! Good for you in handeling that I have temper issues so I dont think I would have done so well! Funny too even though I ended up ranting haha!

Sierra said...

You are my hero!

Emily said...

I'm still pretty sure you were nicer than I would have been! ;)

Foursons said...

I HATE when the OTHER kid shows up. Who the heck mothers these children? I love your response, if some kid ever says that to me I am so ready with my comeback now.

Momisodes said...

Oh I think you handled that well. Good for you!

Rachel said...

Oh My Lord!

Is there some kind of epidemic of parents who just vanish when their bully/kids are in a public play place???

(I posted twice on this recently and it

I'm glad you called the kid out - he probably doesn't get much of that, huh?

Thanks for linking up - maybe I'll learn from your example next time!

(And I *love* John's expression at the floating ball - darling!)

Angie S said...

Wow...I may have lost my mind with that did great!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

There is one in every crowd, isn't there?! I think we met your "friend" on Monday! ;0)

Mrs. NB

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

You handled that really well. I am not good at confronting other people's kids, or other people about their kids. Usually, I just leave.

Tonya said...

And my husband says things like this only happen to me! Now I have proof :) Those situations annoy me so much!

Krystyn said...

I don't even know what I would have done.