I know that I probably should have waited until I’d completely calmed down from the matter, but frankly every time I think on it, I go right back to how I felt when the incident first occurred. Today Zoe and I came face to face with a real class bully!
I decided to venture out with the girls today. Its become an even bigger ordeal now that I have two itty- bitty ones coupled with the fact that we’re subjected to the blistering winter. We live in a condo on the 4th floor and we don’t have an indoor parking spot. So our adventure starts with layering on the snowsuits and the hats (Mini Mina hats of course), schlepping a “2 step-pause-2 step-pose-2 step- think about it” toddler, arm baby and diaper bag (and sometimes purse) down the hall, to the elevator, through multiple fire doors and then out to the car where I load them into their car seats. Typically I’m spent before I even put the car in gear. Still after putting in all of that work (and I didn’t even get into the pre-departure logistics), I’m determined to show myself and the girls a good time.
So Today I decided to venture to Gymboree class. It would be our very first kid social outing of the year and it was going to be a good one! We arrived to class a bit frosty, but was warmly welcomed by the receptionist and then our teacher Ms. Marcelina. For the most part, the kids were awesome, just a few instances of ball snatching or anti-sharing, but nothing that would warrant a major intervention. That is, until one kid (We’ll call him Big Boy Bully) decided he wanted to be the class bully. Out of nowhere he begin pimp slapping kids! Yes! He literally walked up to a little girl and slapped her. She was so stunned as she held her little hand to her red face. Her Mom was equally mortified, but it happened so quickly that she couldn’t protect her baby. He then walked up to another girl, face muffed her, and then proceeded to claw at her face!
So now, I’m on high alert! Like bells and alarms are ringing loudly in my head and I’m kinda seeing red too! I was so angry for the other Moms who like me wouldn’t have known the best way to handle someone else’s kid…especially when the Mom slowly moses over to the situation and gently grabs Big Boy Bully’s hand, mumbles a few soft words and then sits down. I know…are you now upset with me? Well hang on….because there’s more.
Big Boy Bully swiped at another unsuspecting kid and his Mom reacted the same way. Finally as Zoe was passing by he swiped at her but MISSED! Thank you sweet Lord above because you knew this Tigris was in pounce mode! Instinctually, I blurted out “Hey, Hey Hey, Don’t you do that!” To which his Mom responded, “I will tell him,” in the same non-chalant manner in which she’d re-directed him before. To which I responded (something I don’t usually do either) “Well then you need to be pro-active instead of re-active!”
I know, I know….it got kinda ugly really fast. I have no idea what the other Mom’s were thinking or feeling at the time. After all, I was still seeing red and those damn bells were ringing louder than ever.
I’m not the type to tell someone how to Mother their kids, and especially not how to discipline them since I’m figuring it out too. I usually try to be the voice of reason now-a-days because frankly I spent a lot of my adolescent years fighting every battle that posed a threat to me. But I do think that it is common sense that if your kid continually terrorizes the other kids (rendering them totally confused and ruining just a wee bit of their innocence), that it’s time for you to try a different method of Mothering. As a Mom of 2, I’ve literally got my heart divided and pinned on both of my sleeves. I’m trying not to teach my girls that when someone hits them that they should hit them back, and I don’t want to teach them that if someone slaps your cheek turn to the other cheek and risk them slapping you again (cuz that’s for suckas)!
So there you have it. I’ve totally revealed the ferocious side of me. The sleeping giant is now re-awakened as I come to grips with the fact that all kids aren’t angels and all parents don’t have a clue. I do plan to take the girls back to Gymboree, that is if we’re not banned from the premises, but next time I’m strapping Jada on my back so that I’m poised and ready.
How do you handle kid conflict?