I have an issue with guilt.
As in, I tend to hang on to it because I don’t want other people to be upset.
I care too much about what other people think.
I know all of these things. Doesn’t keep the guilt from coming. Ugh
So this weekend we went to a birthday party. Kids and adults abound! It was perfect for our little 4-pack-family as we got to see good friends, celebrate a milestone AND Bubba had a chance to run around with the other kids. Win-Win-Win!
At the party, there was a playset with two slides! Two! One Bubba called the fast slide and the other he called the tunnel. He loved it. Yet, we noticed that he doesn’t do well with the open steps. He was not very keen about going up the steps but would much rather scale the mini-rock wall with Mommy’s help… How, is that easier? Oh well, he was playing.
There were several other families with kiddos there. Many around the same age as Bubba who were all playing on the playset. Some with parental supervision, some without. As it was a big group of people we all just sort of took turns watching the kiddos if necessary. I mean, I hope someone would keep an eye on Bubba if he meandered over to the play set for a few seconds before we got there, we sure would.
Anyway, Bubba would go up the rock wall, slide on his belly, scoot to the slide, flip around and go down, then try all over again. There was a little girl and her Mommy there playing as well. We chitchatted a bit while the kids played. Bubba went up and down, the little girl just sitting at the top. At this point, there were about three kids up in the playset. Bubba, Girl and another little boy who was stomping about and singing. Bubba had just gotten to the top of the rock wall and scooted toward the slide, right in front of the little girl. Strike 1: Hey Buddy, we don’t cut in line you need to wait your turn. But it was too late. Girl had started crying for her Mommy. I mean, No Cuts, No Buts, No Coconuts- right? I get it. So we apologized. But the Angry-Mommy was on the hunt. Apparently, Girl crying meant national panic… oh great.
“What happened!? Why is she crying!?” Your guess is as good as mine, lady. She’s yours, I was focused on my monkey-climber.
But instead, I said.
“I think he slid in front of her and it may have been her turn. Bubba, say you’re sorry. We don’t go in front of people. We need to wait our turn.” Bubba: “I Sowee. I wait.”
“NO. He stomped on her finger!” She says in an accusatory tone… to my 2-year-old. About her 4-year-old.
…really?… He didn’t even stand up, how could he have stomped on her finger? What about the kid dino-stomping around right next to her?
but again… out loud, I said:
“Oh, I’m sure it’s possible, I didn’t see. There are a lot of kids up here. Bubba, you might have stepped on her finger, we have to be careful.” “Sowee.” Says Bubba… again.
With that, Angry-Mommy whisked Girl off the playset, giving me dirty looks the entire time.
My first reaction was anger and annoyance.
How dare she accuse MY kid of purposefully stomping on her kid’s finger. Who, I might add, was just SITTING in the MIDDLE taking up space. Get on the slide or get out the way, kid, trying to play here.
*fume fume bubble anger*
Hubs was holding Little Bear and could see the annoyance on my face.
“She said it was Bubba who got her finger, it wasn’t him. He wasn’t even standing. It was the other boy who NO ONE is watching who stomped on her finger. AND Bubba apologized to the girl TWICE but she’s still slinging eye-mud over here.”
“Okay. It doesn’t matter. You don’t know her. He said sorry. Accidents happen.” Sound advice, right?
Okay, anger gone, but it was replaced by the dreaded guilt. I felt bad that her fingers got squished. I also felt bad that Bubba took the brunt. Then I felt bad that I didn’t stand up to the Angry-Mommy but what was I supposed to say?
We continued playing, and enjoying the party. Incident over, right?
We ran into Angry-Mommy and Girl later, and again she gave me the death glare. I wonder if this is the first time Girl has ever been accidentally grazed by another kid. Or is she like this with everyone who dares to cause her special snowflake to become upset. Jeez, I hope I don’t act that way.
This time, I figured I’d swallow my annoyance and check on the fingers. I mean, if you’re going to glare at me, then you’re going to have to glare while you talk.
“How are her fingers? Everything ok?”
“What? Oh yeah, They’re fine.” umm… then WHY the glare Angry-Mommy? Her fingers aren’t even red or anything.
“Good, glad to hear it!”
We continued on with the party but each time we passed I’d still get the glare or the cold shoulder and so would Bubba. He doesn’t understand why but knows enough to see when someone doesn’t want him around. At one point, right before singing ‘Happy Birthday’ he saw the woman, she glared at him and he looked back at me. I could see the hurt and confusion. He’s a smart kid and knows what it means when you look at him with anger or annoyance. This was complete dislike. Look, lady, I don’t want to be your friend, I’ll probably never see you again, but I’d hate for you to feel the way I feel. We’ve apologized, we’ve checked it, WHY are you still being a grouch and now you’re acting this way toward my child.
Thankfully, we headed out shortly after, as it was late and we had a 90-minute ride home. I’m not sure I would have held my tongue had she continued to act that way toward Bubba.
It’s been days, and I still feel bad about it. Bubba doesn’t seem phased at all. He got a cupcake out of it in the end. A good day in his book!
I’ll take it as a learning experience and hopefully deal with the next situation the right way.
If I can figure out what that is between now and then.