Monday, September 19, 2011

Angry Mama

Sorry Guys, I know it's Monday morning and a cheerful, low key weekend-recap post might be just what you need with your cup of coffee, but if I don't get this off my chest, my head might explode.

Over the weekend we took the kids to the playground.

We were having a blast - there were lots of other kids, friendly folks, and gorgeous weather. A beautiful moment in time.


So I'm standing by the twisty slide supervising the Wee One as he climbs the stairs when an older boy (perhaps 7-9 years old) races nimbly up the climbing structure and slides down the slide, head first, on his belly.

His dad reaches over the side of the slide to stop his descent and tickle him.

I am laughing, too - until I hear the sound of skin squeaking painfully against plastic. "Ow! Ow!" the boy cries and the dad lets go so he can slide to the bottom.

It was clearly an accident, and not a bad one at that. Just a little Indian sunburn on a knee or an elbow.

"That really hurt!" says the boy when he reaches the bottom of the slide, rubbing his leg.
"What?" says the dad, his voice high pitched and mocking, "You want your blankie and your pacifier?"
The boy knows he's supposed to laugh, and he tries.
"Shut up, Dad!" he says, still trying to laugh, but there's a forced joviality.
"You really... suck!" he says, and now his laughter is a little less forced.

"Stink" his dad corrects, "Say stink instead."


What did this kid (and all the other nearby kids) learn?

When you inadvertently hurt someone you should mock them until they stop complaining. No apology necessary.

It's not okay to look for comfort when you're in pain. If you do, you're a baby.


The mama lion in me stirred. She's old and fat, but she's still pretty vicious when it comes right down to it.
I thought about saying something, anything.
But to who? The boy? The dad? The mom (who stood nearby and did nothing)?

I hate that my boys will have to interact with folks who function this way.
Who think that this is the way men and boys should interact.
Bullies are built, not born.

As I walked away, I sent a fervent prayer that some other male role model might enter that boy's life. Teach him a thing or two about being a real man.

It takes a village to raise a child, and I firmly hope that that boy's village is strong and supportive.
Perhaps he can teach his dad a thing or two.


Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox.
Funny photos and stories to return asap.


  1. BRAVO little mommy..could not agree with you more..can't complain about the current crop of kids when you see things like that going needs some parenting classes..and you are right without correction that is the kind of dad he will be love MOM

  2. No, I know exactly what you mean! My own husband used to be one of those guys- he thought "babying" them would turn them into mama's boys. He still has a hard time with the mushy stuff (a direct result of his upbringing... but I won't go into that), but he's doing much better, thankfully. Unfortunately, you can't tell other people how to parent, only cringe when they do. But, you CAN make a conscious effort to NOT be that parent. :)

  3. Oh my gosh, I would have done the same as you, desperately wanting to say something, to help somehow, but knowing that it's out of your hands. But I would have had to work really hard not to spit an "Asshole!" at him as I walked by!

  4. The dad's of our generation are really caught - there's most likely a dramatic difference between the way they were raised, and the way the current generation of boys needs to be raised in order to function in the world today.
    NHG - I know that your Hubs (and this fool at the playground) are doing the best they know how. Your hubs is lucky to have had you around to help him see there's a different way to be.
    MM - it was hard. very hard. totally wanted to call him out.

  5. There was just so much wrong going on in that exchange that I probably would have just stood there, flabbergasted, catching flies with my open mouth. I can only hope that CH doesn't go that route, though I think he won't (because I would not be having it).