Monday, June 16, 2008

More Mama Drama

Oh boy...so picture this...2 boys (approx. ages 5 and 2) with 2 grandparents in tow, and all 4 of them are non-English speakers.  We're in our little gated garden area when this clan walks in.  Yay!  We love more kids and grandparents...all good things.  The more the merrier.  Let's party!  Well the older boy--we'll call him, oh I don't know...let's say Attila--walks right over to Beanie's bucket and shovel and starts digging away.  Great.  We love boys digging in the dirt!  Beanie wasn't playing with it at just that moment so no problems here.  After a few minutes little Beanster walks over to the Brothers Grimm and wants to contribute to the dirt being placed in the bucket.  Her bucket.  Little Attila lets her participate.  Then she picks up the shovel--her shovel--the same shovel that Attila had put down and was no longer playing with, and suddenly Attila grabs it away from her.  Well you can bet that I was over there in half a nano second and was telling the little boy that it was her shovel and he was done playing with it and now it was Beanies turn and blah blah blah.  Except one problem...he doesn't speak English.  So I've turned into the teacher from Charlie Brown who's inexplicably taking away a toy that he was playing with not 2 minutes earlier.  I'm sure it was confusing for him.  I'm also sure that his grandparents could tell what was going on--clearly this was not his shovel and clearly Beanie didn't grab it until it was on the ground and clearly it was ours anyway so we could take it any old time we liked and naa-na-na-na-na.  Not to mention the fact that she's a baby and he's a pretty big kid.  Anyway, I start to take it away from him explaining that it was her shovel and it was her turn to play with it...and while he didn't speak English he was very well versed in the language of aggression and grabbed it away from me and wouldn't let me have it.  Here's where it gets tricky.  I could have strong armed this kid and forced it out of his hands but he was being very very aggressive and it would have taken some forcefulness on my part. I didn't want to hurt the kid but I did want to stand up for mine.  At this point I look at the grandparents (the ones who don't speak English but surely understand the universal look of "help please") and they're yelling at him from the bench, but not doing much else and I need some physical intervention here people!  Again, I pull at the shovel and he pulls it away.  So I go get a ball to bargin with.  Nope.  At some point Grandpa makes his way over and is trying to talk to the boy but he's not actually taking it out of his hands--which is what I wanted him to do.  I look at B and say, "lets just go."  We gather up all our stuff and I can't remember if it was me or grandpa but somehow we got the shovel and bucket from Attila's sticky little fingers and went on our merry way.  I did the best I could but there were several things about this situation that made it really tough...at what point do you get a little physically aggressive with someone else's kid?  For me to take away the shovel and bucket I would have had to grab both his hands and literally pry his fingers off and I'm sure it would have been a struggle.  I didn't want to do this, but if it came down to it I guess I would have.  Again the language barrier was a huge problem...did the grandparents understand those were actually Beanie's toys and not just in the garden area?  Did they see that she picked it up only when he wasn't playing with it?  And besides all this did they happen to notice that she's a baby!?  He was a pretty big kid and I think that's what made me most upset--get over here and get your Goliath off my itty bitty baby!  Anyway, I was pretty annoyed/upset about the situation.  Have you ever had to be physically aggressive with another person's child?  How did you handle it?  Would you just let it slide or stick to your guns?  I'm not questioning my own actions here I'm just curious as to what you would have done.  Another day another dollar...

4 comments:

  1. I'd grab his little hands and pry his little fingers off the toy. But then again, I'm probably a mean mama.

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  2. I probably would have done the same as Malesa, combined with some serious crusties.

    Then again, I've never really had to deal with that kind of thing before. Joe has, and he doesn't deal with it well. He'll check a kid who is messing with one of our children, and other times chew out another parent. One kid at the play ground hauled off and decked our 3 year old last year, he still has a scar. I'm glad I wasn't that kid's parent when Joe got finished dressing them down. I don't think his behavior is entirely appropriate, but I've never been in that situation.

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  3. A similar thing happened to me once, except it was a piece of sidewalk chalk. The kid wouldn't give it back and we needed to go. The parent of this 4-year old who would not let go of the chalk was nowhere to be seen.

    So, I took the chalk with one hand, started to slowly pull it toward me, and I started crying like I was 2 years old. It was kind of loud too. The kid just suddenly stops his "MINE!" yelling and face, and just stares in shock at this 29 year old man crying in the park over some chalk, and then just released it.

    I then stopped my crying, did some little fake "ok-I'm-done-crying" sobs, and put the chalk in the bag. I then picked my daughter up and we left, leaving this kid with the same incredulous face, as I tried not to bust out laughing.

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  4. ut that for when I'm a teacher someday. If the kid doesn't get up and go to the principals office, do I pull his hand or try to pick him up?? I am so passive about that stuff. My poor kids!

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