Today, CJ and I went to playgroup with our playgroup friends at the new McDonald's playground. They tore down the old McD's and built a brand new one across the street. We were there for breakfast AND lunch. The kids were having too much fun and the moms were enjoying the conversation and being able to let the kids roam freely.
As we were gathering up to leave, I went to tell CJ he had a few minutes before it was time to go. The one area of the playground has these large musical instruments, very cartoon like, that you climb, jump and slide on. When the weight of your body is on them, the instrument makes the sound it's supposed to and with repeated jumps, movement, etc. you can put together a "song." You get the picture.
Anyway, CJ wanted to go down the slide two more times, which was fine with me. This slide is about 3ft. tall at the highest point and looks like an organ. When you slide down the slide part, painted to look like a keyboard, it sounds like when you strum your fingers from one side of a keyboard to the other.
When I went back to get him some mom is walking towards me and she says, "Is that little boy yours?"
Me: "The one in the red shirt?"
Me (knowing this is not going to go well): "Yes."
Her: "Well he just pushed my little girl right off the slide."
Me: "Oh, I'm sorry." And while not on purpose, but I think it was subconscious, my apology sounded very insincere. She picked up on that.
Her: "Well, I just thought you would want to know."
Me: "OK." Again, not so sincere.
At this point, all I could think was, "are you really tattling on a five year old?" If that was me, I would have told the kid who pushed mine not to do it again. Then, if it happened again/repeatedly, I would find the parent or I would have told the kid to go play somewhere else. She said it only happened one time. And it must have been quick, because I had my eye on him the majority of the time.
As we were leaving, her and another mom were chatting and glaring at me while one of the moms I was with was cracking up. I think this woman wanted me to give him a public whipping - you know, like the ones criminals get in Singapore. What I really wanted to say to her was "She looks fine. This can be a rough place." Obviously, if I had seen this happen, I would have been all over him. But I have been parenting long enough to know that one parent's interpretation of "being pushed off the slide" is very diffferent from another.
When we got in the car, I asked CJ about it and he admitted right to it. So I asked him why he did it.
CJ: "Because she was taking too long to go down the slide."
Me: "You don't get to push people when that happens. You should have told her it was her turn and people are waiting. If that didn't work, you could have gotten down and come to get me or her mom."
Me: "You could have hurt her."
CJ: "I know."
Me: "I don't like it when you do that. Her mom didn't like it that you could have hurt her and she told me about it. I would rather hear about you being nice."
CJ: "She probably wouldn't tell you about that."
Me: "About what?"
CJ: "About me being nice. She wouldn't bother to tell you if I was nice."
Me: "You're right. People don't usually point out nice. So when I am not hearing about your behavior, I know you are being nice. Therefore, I don't want to hear about it."
Not really the public lashing the mom had hoped for when tattling, but so be it. So, if you read a blog today about an incompetent, lazy mom at McDonald's who lets her kid physically assault the other kids on the playground, it's probably me she is talking about. Oh yeah, and let me know, because I would like to hear her version of the story!