July 8, 2005
When swim lessons ended for the day Joshua came to me saying he had two dollars in the pocked of his bathing suit and they had fallen out in the pool. I suggested that he let Don, the pool manager know, so if two dollars appeared in the filter he would know where they had come from. Don right away guessed that they must be in the slide pool, an immediately shut down the facility so the water would clear for visibility. He looked all around, and even opened up the slide filters but the dollars weren’t there.
Then we all walked over to the lap pool and after a few minutes of looking, they were spotted. Don pulled down his goggles and dove in, resurfacing with the money. We thanked him for his heroic efforts and made our way to the park for free lunch.
Joshua wasn’t happy with his milk and decided to spend one of his (still soggy) dollars to purchase a drink for the vending machine. He complained that his dollar had gotten stuck and I told him to speak with the woman running the lunch program. Unlike last year they didn’t have a key and couldn’t help. I told him that I was very sorry but I didn’t have a dollar myself and there wasn’t much more I could do to help. He somehow was able to get a bottle of lemonade out and was happy once again.
Interacting with other mothers is of course no easy feat. After eating the kids like to play at the playground, and that’s what they were doing when Joshua announced that he had once again lost his dollar. The last place I had seen it was on the table and it wasn’t there now. Minutes later an excited little boy ran by announcing that he had just found a dollar. Great. I asked if he had happened to find it on the table. He said he had found it on the other side of the park, and Joshua was now pretty sure that it had fallen out of his pocket (again!).
The boys’ mother came over and upon hearing the details suggested that he give his found dollar to Joshua. I told her that wasn’t necessary, and that I felt bad for both boys but she insisted and so Joshua had his dollar back once again. She then went on to say to her boy how he had done the “right thing” several times in front of us. Was she implying that we had done the wrong thing? Then she added (while rubbing his head), “doesn’t it feel good to do the right thing?” I’m not sure but I would guess the kid was thinking “Actually it feels like shit. I was having a great day, found a whole dollar and now it’s all gone.”
So I won’t be expecting any play date invitations from them.
As we were getting ready to leave a large, unkempt woman came over to us, dragging a small girl behind her. “We have a problem”, she stated. “What’s the problem?” I asked. She pointed to Noah. “Is he yours?” I put a hand protectively on his head, “Yes, he’s my son.”
“Yeah, well they have been hitting at each other and now her fingers are all pulled apart and she’s crying and she said he did it!”
I asked Noah, “did you have a fight with this little girl?”
He said that he did, and went into detail about the altercation. The mother shot back at him, “Well, did you tell her to stop hitting you?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Did you tell her you didn’t like it?”
“Did you ask who she was with?”
“Yeah Noah, didn’t you get all her contact info before you smacked her back?” I thought Instead I said, “I’m really sorry that you got hurt, but we are just leaving so there won’t be any further problems. Come on kids; get in the car (and away from the crazy lady!)”
It is so hard to advocate for my kids. I know they are not perfect, and in fact I would bet that Noah was 50% at fault for the altercation. Which is why I don’t think I would ever go up to another mother and child the way she did. I would tell my kids to stay away from kids they were having trouble with and I would monitor the situation more closely.
I am so not making new friends at the playground! Why is it so hard to get along with other mothers?
We left and went right over to the Maine Made Shop to look for a little cat to gift to Katherine’s friend Nicholle for her birthday. Joshua began bugging me to find out how much a certain pencil would cost him. I told him that he needed to ask the clerk. Something he was apparently unwilling to do. I am simply unable to do it because in the midst of trying to make my own purchase I am being hit with three voices requesting loans, asking for pricing information, complaining about their measly financial state, and whines about how “it just isn’t fair!” Add to this the wandering toddler and it is all I can do to get out with an ounce of sanity. It turns out the pencil costs $1.50, and no, I wouldn’t loan anybody “just” 50 cents.
I paid for my purchases and was making my way out of the store when Joshua begins yelling at me that I have been holding his money hostage and there was something he wanted to buy but I never listen to him. I handed him a dollar and told him to go make his purchase. He instead followed us to the car, now yelling about how I never listen to him and how he is never going to let me hold his money for him again. Know what kid? NOT a problem. Don’t ask me to hold your money for you. It would be a relief!
Having helped recover the money for him THREE times today, I am so done. My day might have gone much smoother it I had told him in the morning, “Sorry to hear that you lost your money. Next time don’t put your money in your swim trunks.” So much for being the nice mother.
By the way, what do you think of the size that I publish in? It seems to me much easier to view when I make it huge*.
* I wanted to write gianormous here but I resisted. I used to cringe when people used this made up word but now I want in on the gianormous fun of using made up words like gianormous+.
+Most recently I heard it used on television, right before the person said "FOUR BEDROOMS?! Four bedrooms are an insane amount of bedrooms!" Isn't that funny? Four bedrooms would be a minimun housing requirment for us. Insane! hehehe