I admit it. I’m tired. A week ago the toddler woke up and was 50% cantankerous, 25% pokey, and 75% in motion. Right as his oppositional behavior blossomed, we were taking care of home purchasing stuff. I was that mom at the zoo: checking for e-mails and taking phone calls while my kid ran off and was tripped by a wandering chicken. Some days the chicken just gets you.
Things are in a lull now. There are still 1.5 million things to think about, but nothing as time-sensitive as trying to score a house in this market. It’s a seller’s market out there, people. Sheesh we were lucky to get this place.
I say all this to let you know I understand that we parents are all tired. I understand that parents have to keep children alive while moving mountains (or homes). But I almost ripped the arm off another tired parent’s child today.
Okay, not really. But that was my instinct. I watched a little girl hold my kid’s shirt, then grab for flesh, in order to keep him from passing. The toddler, as we are trained in self-defense class, loudly bellowed, “I want to move!” This happens, yes. Conflict happens. I generally stay back just a bit to see how they might work it out themselves. But there was something in the interaction that caused me to momma bear it over toward my kid. By the time I got there, the girl had stopped womanhandling the toddler. She was still giving him the stink eye. And I think many of us would agree you can tell the difference between a kid just testing boundaries (having a bad day, just being a kid) and a kid who is a brute.
I wasn’t sure who the brute’s keeper was, but nothing had happened, so I wasn’t that fussed about it. Until I saw a woman giving her young son a frappuccino, while not looking up from her phone Facebooking. Then the brute girl, barely three, also went to feed from that sugary Starbucks cup.
I get it. I do. Some days you need a break. Some days you’re buying a house and you need to make calls. Some days you go to the children’s museum where your kids will run around so you can sit still for ten minutes and laugh at e-cards. But much like the dog park (okay, exactly like the dog park), if you have a pet who is a bit more challenging, you stay on top of that beast. I could go on about the parallels of life with dogs and life with toddlers, but that’s another post.
I put my judgement aside as that family clip-clopped away. What I was left wondering is: What’s with the urge to physically remove a three-year-old’s arm from its socket? It was a super tiny flash. But still. My highest self is a rational, nurturing human, who wants to help all living beings thrive. But for a split second today, I was…well, momma bear. Or the bitch in the dog park. Take your animal metaphor. There was also a chicken up there.