Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mama and Papa Bear

My best friend in junior high and high school lacked self esteem. She always wanted me to make decisions, and I used to complain about the fact that she always walked behind me. I swear she could not enter a room first!

Fast forward to her daughter's first birthday a couple of years ago. Her adorable little girl was sitting in her highchair, about to have her first bite of cake ever, with all of us staring and pointing cameras at her, when IT HAPPENED. Some insane, I-don't-know-how-to-act-in-social-situations, woman pushed the birthday girl's face into the cake. Yea, really! We all just stood there frozen in shock, with the exception of my friend. My friend immediately sprung into action. She glared at this insane woman, and said, "Get out of my house". The insane woman kept laughing! My friend took a VERY menacing step towards her yelling, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, NOW!!!" She didn't have to ask again.

I swear, I would have started laughing at the irony of the situation, if I weren't afraid my friend would suddenly turn her Mama Bear wrath on me! It was then that I understood what having a child does to a person. It makes you capable of ANYTHING.

Yesterday, after reading BBM's post talking about the gaggle of teenage girls who jumped in front of her daughter in line at the zoo, I started thinking about what I would have done in that situation. I'm pretty sure I would have said something to them.

I was thinking about what I would do in other situations involving my kid, while he and I enjoyed playing at Mr. Rogers Playspace in the mall. He was sitting there grinning, in the trolley, when I saw the most darling little blond girl in a sundress, coming towards us. She looked to be about three years old, and she was adorable. As I watched her cute self coming over, I saw a little boy, about four, walk over, and for absolutely no reason, push her to the ground. Her little surprised face, with her quivering lip was too much. I actually started walking towards them to yell at the boy! Luckily, her mom got there first, and she got down in the boy's face, and said, "Do.Not.Push.Her." I think the boy ran away trembling, and I stood there thinking, "Oh boy. I am going to get myself in so much trouble in the coming years". She wasn't even my kid, and my Mama Bear instincts were taking over!

Last summer, when we took Dylan to the lake for the first time, I got a glimpse of a Papa Bear - my usually laid back, non-confrontational husband! Dylan was happily floating in his raft, when a boy about ten, ran wildly into the water, splashing Dylan's face. My husband shot him the "look of death", which tends to normally be my specialty. My dad remarked to me later, "Did you see Jim's face?! I thought he was going to beat the kid up! I never saw him like that!"

So, look out all you kids and parents of the Burgh. This Mama and Papa Bear couple have a kid now, and you don't know what we are capable of. We're not really sure ourselves.


Janet said...

That woman would have left my house covered in cake. And I was like your friend in high school too (of course, I've had more than 25 years to recover). That's completely crazy. If she could do that to another person's child, one wonders what atrocities she is committing with her own.
Unfortunately I'm very much afraid that my children are going to be the ones who do the hideous things at the playground. DeBoy has to be put in timeout every time we go somewhere because he pushes and hits people constantly. Sometimes kids LOTS bigger than he is, too! {sigh} But at least I try not to be a slacker mother and I don't actually LET him do it and get away with it.

Jonny's Mommy said...

I'm so worried about when my Mama Bear moments come up. I get this feeling so often -- even around my own nieces. *sigh* It is a horrible thing...yet, not at the same time.

One time my 3-year old niece was riding my son's toy. I had already told her that she was too big for it and she wouldn't get off. I got partially ticked because she wasn't listening to me, but more because my son wanted to get on it. I got all Mama Bear on her little butt and pulled her right off the thing. She just shrugged and ran off, but boy did I feel guilty. Less so when I saw my son's big smile.

Joanna said...

That's okay - I have a reputation! Soft and squishy one moment means as nails the next.

My Mom HATED to go with me to McD's playland cuz I had no problem yelling at other kids. Good thing the boys got older and I grew out of it. :)

First Rough Draft said...

I cannot believe that woman pushed cake into a baby's face. Good for your friend for kicking her out. Wow.

I definitely have the mama bear instinct. It comes out full force at work with my charge(s) and at the dog park with my dogs. I am scared to see how it manifests when I actually have children of my own.

Kellan said...

Excellent post, Jen - I loved it and it is so true about how protective we can be of our children!!

Have a good day - Kellan

JCK said...

I can't believe that crazy woman did that! And loved that your friend became the Mama Bear. What you've said here is so true! Our children give us courage.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Who the hell shoves a kid's face into cake? I wouldn't even do that to my own kid, let alone someone else's. Dumbass.

BTW, I didn't say anything at the Zoo because Gina said plenty for me. I'm usually the loudmouth in those sorts of situations, so it was nice to sit back and laugh as somebody else went on the attack. I highly recommend having Gina around when you need somebody to Mama Bear it. She's GOOD.

you know who said...

Welcome to the club Mama Bear. Sad that it took me 32 years and a child to grow a backbone, huh? And I totally remember you getting so ticked at me cuz I really wouldn't walk in front of you, pick what we did EVER, make a decision on my own without checking with you first, etc...sorry about that. After that party day my mom told me that I never stuck up for myself so she was glad I stuck up for my kid. Wanna hang out and patrol the playground?? Love you bud.

Julia said...

I can't believe someone did that to a little girl?? No way! Insane.

My Mama Bear comes out mostly over Abbie. I've always been ready to pounce at the first inkling of someone not including her or making fun of her...but you know what? After watching for it since the moment she was born- its never happened. (It has of course happened to countless kids with DS, I guess we've just been lucky)