Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Pet peeve

Kelly at Missing J.T. Snow blogged about something that totally pisses me off: unsupervised children who act like little hellions. This prompted me to go off on a recent event.

We were at a UNT basketball game not too long ago when I had my encounter with a child who will grow up to be a jerk because his parents didn't care enough to take care of him. Before the game and during half-time, UNT has a little kid zone with a miniature basketball hoop and bounce house. Hot Rod likes to play basketball and Stinkerbelle usually gets in the bounce house. The UNT folks are pretty good about keeping all the little kids in the bouncehouse together and timing it so everyone gets a turn and then the big kids go all at one time.

Well, this one night, Little Bit was the first kid in line. That is, until some 9-year-olds decided to run and cut in front of her. She is a very sweet child and not one to fuss too much at situations like that, but it was frustrating for me to watch her wait in line patiently and then not get the first turn in there because of bigger kids (who knew what they were doing was wrong) cutting in front of her. But, I let this go because I knew she'd get a turn.

Then, all hell broke loose. While I'm biting my tongue at that, I hear Hot Rod pretty much screaming and look to up to see some fat little child with my son in a headlock. I go over and pry his fat little fingers off my son and ask what the problem is and tubby was mad that Hot Rod got the basketball (they play the game more like rugby than basketball, just to give you an idea of what goes on - usually there is some teenager/college-aged boy supervising, but not on this evening). So, I pry them apart and figure boys will be boys. I whispered to Hot Rod that when someone has you in a headlock to use your elbow closest to the person and get 'em in the ribs. I figure that was a safe way to get the kid to let him go in the future without really doing serious damage.

So, I back up a bit and try to watch both the bounce house - which Little Bit is now beebopping around - and the basketball "game." Next thing I know, tubby has once again grabbed my son and is making his move to put my kiddo in a headlock only this time I get there before he can get full grasp of his head. I grab the child's shirt at the shoulder and ask him where his mom or dad is. He just looks at me blankly. I have a feeling that God's gift to this child was his size and not his wit. So, I ask him again. At this point, Hot Rod is trying to stop crying from being assaulted and my voice is getting louder. Once again, I demand, where is your mom or dad? At this point, I'm pulling the child by the shirt out of the play area and into the group of parents who are all staring at me - mouths agape - and finally his dad (I presume) comes out of the stands (where there is no way you can see what is going on in the play area) and asks me what happened. He didn't seem alarmed that I was pulling his son by the shirt. That should tell me something right there. I told him that tubby (I was nicer than to call him that to his face) had put my son in a headlock for the second time and I wasn't going to let him continue to beat him up. The dad wisely takes his son and vacates the play area back to the stands.

Of course, at this point, I'm totally embarrassed for coming unglued and every eye is on me. Fortunately, my kids were unphased and continued to play. I figured I did a public service for tubby by intervening before my son got really fed up and pounded the crap out of him. Hot Rod is solid muscle and is patient to a point. We have told him to use his words and try to settle things before resorting to fighting back, if he can. It was only a matter of time before Hot Rod kicked that kid's butt.

The next UNT ball game we attended, I did NOT want to go anywhere near that play area, so Army of Dad took the kids. The gal working at the bouncehouse apologized to my husband for the lack of supervision at that previous game. I felt a little better knowing that they weren't banning me from the area. I thought I did pretty well not to box that kid's ears and just get his shirt. The mama bear instinct is pretty strong.

But, I used that story as one illustration of how kids will be brats when they are unsupervised. If you want your child to grow up to be respectful of others, it is a good idea not to just turn them loose, because kids will be kids. They are all about themselves unless we, as parents, teach them that others have feelings, too.


  • At 9:12 AM, February 28, 2007, Blogger Gadfly said…

    Can you say beaten within an inch of my life in front of God and everybody?

    My dad had little patience for that kind of thing.

  • At 4:09 PM, February 28, 2007, Blogger Melessa Gregg said…

    I've been known to lose it in a similar fashion when watching my kids. I have a huge problem with people who don't watch their kids myself.

  • At 4:49 PM, February 28, 2007, Blogger Trixie said…

    Did the UNT people do anything about what was happening? Just curious.

    I wrote about the hellions having a spit wad fight at McDonalds on Halloween night and all the parents said to them was "Be careful you might run into someone". I kid you not.

    Kudos for you for doing the right thing. Bravo!

  • At 8:43 AM, March 03, 2007, Blogger Mo K said…

    Thanks for sharing that, AoM! If there were more parents like you and AoD I'd feel a lot better about the future. I know there are people like you out there, it's just nice to hear the stories :-)

    And good for you (esp. Hot Rod!), giving him tips on defending himself. I remember a boy chasing a couple of us girls around the playground always trying to kiss us. This went on for a few years, and then in 6th grade when I was wearing my patrol badge and we were alone in the classroom after everyone filed out, he started to approach me. I warned him that I was going to punch him if he didn't stop. He kept coming, and he got the wind knocked out of him, as I used a technique Dad taught me. Not saying that kids should resort to that, but I had put up with his B.S. long enough. I always wondered what kind of adult he became.


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