“Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Have you ever wanted to throat punch another mom at the Playland? I know it’s an inappropriate reaction but OH MY GOSH WATCH YOUR KID ALREADY.

So yesterday I was at the playland on base with my four kids and my girlfriend’s three kids. Sounds like a lot but when they’re in a contained space it’s usually pretty simple. But yesterday the playland on base was a zoo, completely overrun and overcrowded. One of those days where you have to pay attention.

We’d been there about ten minutes and I was making fast friends with the mom next to me when June and Laney  (5 and 6) came over with tears in their eyes.

“Mom!” June cried, “Look what that girl did to us!” The girls turned around and I was startled to see hunks of skin missing and bloody claw marks on both their lower calves. What??!

They pointed the girl out and I saw that she had just left the play area and headed out to the food court where her mother was sitting with her back to the kid zone. Not even within shouting distance.

Okay, I admit I was a wimp. The little girl was African American and I didn’t want to seem like I was being, you know, snobby. I really didn’t want to make any trouble with her mom.

“Look girls,” I said, “I am so sorry, we’ll only be here ten more minutes then we can leave. It looks like that little girl left so you should be safe now, okay?”

They limped back to the play apparatus and I turned back to my conversation. Three minutes later they came running over.

“Mommy! She’s right there and she said she’s going to get us!”

Now on one hand I know that this little girl was probably wanting someone to play with and her aggression was stemming from a place of loneliness more than anything else. I also know that June and Laney can be kind of…bratty. I didn’t think they were innocent here but physical contact is not appropriate. So I stood up.

I headed over to the playland and motioned to the little girl. “You!” I said, then crooked my finger at her to come closer. I wasn’t going to yell at her, just ask her to please leave the girls alone.

She panicked and totally freaked out.

“Look,” I started to say, “Please don’t scratch–”

“Excuse me?” It was her mother. Right in my face with her finger. “Are you talking to my daughter?”

I hate this kind of confrontation. In hindsight I can think of forty better things to say to her but I went with, “Oh, hi. It looks like your little girl scratched my girls on their legs–” I had the girls turn around and show her the damage, which was significant.

“No I didn’t!” her daughter said, “Look at my nails, I couldn’t have!”

“Yeah,” the mom said, “Besides your little girls hit my daughter! If you have a problem, you don’t talk to my daughter, you talk to ME!”

There are moments when you know the only satisfaction you’ll ever get will come from kicking someone in the shin so you might as well sit down. This was one of those. I turned to the girls. “Look, just leave her alone, okay?” Then I turned around and walked back to the bench.

And there it was. I sat there trying to pick my conversation back up with my new friend but inside I wanted to puke from the altercation. I made myself think about what Jesus would have done differently, was she right? I know the girls weren’t lying, but they’re kids.

Crap, I thought, she’s right. I should have talked to her first. Would it have helped? Doubtful. But I knew in the back of my spineless head that she was right.

I watched her out of the corner of my eye and they finally got up to leave.

And so, in an attempt to be right with Heavenly Father so I can someday inherit my big mansion in the sky, I ran after that mom and apologized for not coming to her first. I didn’t tell her her daughter was a lying little brat, or  mention the fact that she should have been paying better attention, I just told her simply that I was sorry for not coming straight to her.

Then she lectured me on my poor parenting and I stood there and smiled.

If this one isn’t on the books when I come face to face with Old Peter I will be seriously ticked.


  1. Oh my gosh. That’s all I can say.

  2. watch out Jerry Springer- I would have had a full on PROBLEM!!! YOU are sooo righteous!

  3. My blood is boiling. You are a SAINT.

  4. I admit I am totally a wimp in situations like these. I do NOT like confrontation, but I have no problem parenting someone else’s child if they’re bringing mine to tears.

  5. Thats horrible. I really don’t do confrontation either, so I really don’t know how I would have reacted to her lecturing. Thats all sorts of not okay.

    Can we talk about the other kinds of moms at the playground though? The ones who are still helping their 10 year olds to climb up the ladder?? Who are constantly helicoptering their kids? Those ones make me just as crazy. Because even though I don’t do confrontation, I’m totally a critical judgmental jerk. 🙂

  6. My two cents? I think you did the right thing by apologizing. Bummer she didn’t have better manners or a kinder heart, but, hey-there’s nothing you can do about that. You can only do what’s right in your heart. And you did it. Proud of you. That mansion’s gonna be a big one. Lol.