Mama Bear Gone Wild
After two hours, the tryouts were over. ChinchillaBoy and his best friend came running to us.
"We're on the same team! Did you see? Did you see? I got into a fight!"
"No I didn't, what happened?"
"The other guy started it", ChinchillaBoy's friend weighed in. Then they both started talking at once and I couldn't understand a word. Suddenly, I felt someone looking at me. I look up and see a kid in glasses, accompanied by his mom.
"Your son said very mean things to my son," the other mom informed me. "That wasn't nice."
And she continued to just stand there, staring. Clearly something was expected of me.
"Say sorry", I offered to ChinchillaBoy.
He did. The mom and the kid left.
I got up on my feet, rolled my eyes, and delivered a speech that I will save for later. Then I said to the boys,
"Okay, now I want to know how it really happened."
It was somewhat of a reverse engineering type of story. Somehow they told it all backwards.
"We were fighting and fighting. He fights like a girl. He scratches" (snorts of laughter from both boys.)
"He started it, though. He kicked ChinchillaBoy in the leg, like this."
"And then I hit him back. I called him four-eyes, and then he hit me."
"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "You called that kid four-eyes?"
"Yes, but not until he called ChinchillaBoy fat," the best friend informed me.
Oh, is that how it was? Well, guess what, if you call my kid fat, then tough shit – it's on, buddy!
"Oh, okay then," I say. "I guess you still shouldn't have called him four-eyes, but I guess it's okay. But why did you guys even start?"
"He started it," they both say together.
"He was being annoying. I asked him to stop but he just kept being annoying. And, and, he asked me: "Am I being annoying?" And I said, "Yes". And he was like, "Yay!"
We say good-bye to the best friend and get in the car. Time for a motherly lecture.
"Listen, ChinchillaBoy, you should have still ignored that kid. Take me, for example. That mom? She pissed me off something fierce. But did I get into a fight with her? No! I nodded and smiled and told you to say sorry."
I think for a minute about what I just said.
"Then again, with guys, it may be different. I mean, with kids. I mean, with guy kids."
"Those are called boys, Mom."
"Oh yeah, that's the word - boys. Thanks, ChinchillaBoy."
Now allow me to use my blog space to say a few choice words about the mother that came to me.
It just kills me when the parents try to fight their kids' fights for them. It kills me even more when a parent tries to pick a fight with another parent on the sole basis that their kids didn't get along.
Guess what? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the kids will work things out on their own. There is no need to come to their rescue like some sort of suburban female Superman in mom jeans. I will tell you more - ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the kids will come up with just the right way to resolve their conflict, while the parents, if they step in, will mess it up pathetically, kind of like John Kerry messed up that speech of his. You should really trust your kids more.
I have two boys that were born two and a half years apart. That sure helped me put things in perspective. If, each time they got into an argument, I had made a federal case of it, I would have had to hire a lawyer just to keep things running smoothly in my own house. Unless it was really blatantly obvious, I did not waste my time trying to find out whose fault it was and who had started it. What I did, though, was tell them both to stop fighting. They get along great now.
Unless my kids are being raped, bones are being broken, or they are being attacked by a mob, I trust them to be able to resolve their conflicts on their own. Correction, I trust ChinchillaBoy to be able to do that. I will probably interfere sooner if LilProgrammer is involved, as he has Aspergers and his social skills are next to nonexistent. That said, I haven't had to interfere for any of them this far.
People should get their own lives, and stop trying to live vicariously through their kids. To those that feel they do not have enough conflict in their lives and need to leech off their children's, I strongly recommend getting an office job.