We were at Oktoberfest Sunday. The Husband took the boys to the bouncy castle; while I finished my nachos (Don’t judge me; I had bratwurst too.) and the FIL finished his beer. The FIL went to get another one, and I was done with my nachos, loosing him in the crows. I went to where The Husband and the boys were.
The Husband: The little girl, there, is pretty violent.
I looked at the other child in the bouncer, a slight three-year-old. At that moment, she started hitting Tornado E. As we were on the side, we saw everything perfectly through the net. I gathered myself and used The Voice.
Me: Stop hitting that boy! Stop it now!
The girl looked up at me, put her hands on her hips, giving me her version of the evil eye.
Girl: F you! F you! F you!
Only it was the whole word. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw The Husband’s jaw dropped. I placed my hands on my hips and gave the girl The Look.
Me: Mind your words, young lady.
The girl bounced away. I looked around for her mother, who turned out to be the woman working the ride. Oh, really? Luckily another family came, and two boys, a little older than Tornado E, came bouncing in, distracting the girl.
Tornado E gave up a few minutes later, climbing out, having a coughing fit. I tried to tend to Tornado E as I yelled at Tornado S to climb out, who decided to ignore me. As I fumed at Tornado S, trying to figure out what to do next, vowing never to let Tornado S into a place I couldn’t grab his arm and drag him out, the little girl pushed Tornado S over, jumped on him, and started to wallop him good. For the LOVE OF GOD!
Me: Knock that off! GET OFF HIM NOW! GET OFF HIM NOW!
The other mom of the two boys was just as upset asking where the mother of this girl was. FINALLY the mother of the girl looked and told her to leave the boy alone. The girl got off Tornado S and bounced away.
The other mother: Do you need help getting your son? (I nodded.) Bradley, can you get that little boy over there and bring him to his mother?
The older of her sons gently took Tornado S by the hand and led him to the front so I could snatch him.
Me: Thank you. Thank you very much.
The other mom: No problem. I’m sorry you’re so got hurt. Some mothers need to mind their children better.
I nodded and hustled my boys away from the ride.
Here’s the crook. If I could have grabbed that little girl, I would have grabbed her the minute she touched one of my boys. I would have marched her to her mother and demanded the mother do something. If I couldn’t find the parent, I would have sat that child down into time out. But I couldn’t grab that child. I could only yell at her. The other mother was more passive, saying her disapproval in a tone that let another mother understand what was going on. But I have learned that sometimes you have to take control of a situation. So is it ok to parent another child?