May 21, 2012 by admin
First of all, a little context: my guys take a gymnastics class with a big window where parents can sit and watch while their kids fly around the room and try new daredevil skills in a relatively safe room full of mats with professionals who supervise them. Remember that I don’t like blood. I don’t like playgrounds. I don’t like disorder. So this is where I tend to write my blogs or chat with other mommies and every so often peer at the kids and wince at the crazy things they’re doing. And this is why I love this class.
The other day I was shopping for summer clothes and I peeked up to check on what the boys were doing and I caught the eye of another mom who was glaring in my direction. “You need to go and tell your kid to get his hands off my kid! He keeps pinching him!” And then all the eyes in the room were on me. I was THAT mom with THAT kid and his momma bear was going to get me.
“Uhm. Sorry. I’ll take care of it.” I mumbled and obediently, red-faced and robotically marched myself into the “glassed-in” area and talked to my offending child doing exactly what she had told me to do.
And then it hit me. What was I doing? This class is supervised by smart, talented individuals who direct my kids on how to behave and who probably saw the behavior too. No one was crying, screaming or in obvious torture or pain. I could have talked to my guy after class like I usually do when I see him do things that are both positive and negative in class. I could have asked the teacher about my child’s behavior to see if it was outside of the norm. My immediate reaction came from the public spanking I received, my humiliation and the fear that my guys were going to get the ‘bully’ label. But was this the best solution for the kids?
So what would you do? If I had the perfect do-over what would be the best way to handle this? Was that momma in the right? Should I go in there and tell my kid to keep his hands to himself or would it have been okay to address the situation later? I wonder what I would do if I saw my kid getting tortured by another. Would I go over to his mom and make her deal with it, would I fix it myself or would I just let it go? I never really thought to ask before what my role as a parent is with this see through/non-participation role in a classroom and I’m glad that I’m learning to figure this out now.
In my perfect world, a pedicure truck would have pulled up in front of the classroom after the whole awkward ordeal and somewhere in the flurry of moms frantically scurrying to get our toes fixed for the summer the only debate we’d have had on our hands is what nail color to choose. Because seriously, it is so much easier to deal with mom drama when you have rose-colored toes. (So please someone make a pedicure truck already-even one that replicates that old Lincoln toe truck would be a welcome site.)
(PS. this incident has prompted me to add some new books to our home library. Hands are not for hitting , Feet are not for Kicking, and Making Friends are all books that should be arriving on my doorstep sometime this week.)