It started out as Belle’s night. She had her first volleyball game. She practically begged Tommy to go and begged me to bring Gia. She couldn’t wait to show off all her hard work. Finally her game was on a night that Leo could go. She was so excited. Leo dropped Belle, Gia and me off at the door and went to park.
It was at the park district and a complete zoo. I don’t know how Leo and Tommy split up but they did. When I met up with Tommy, he was really upset about something. He told me he’d tell me later. I thought for sure it was about a girl since there are three girls that are on Belle’s team that he has crushes on. It wasn’t.
Tommy then told me this story:
He walked up to the door wearing his headphones and a man who was holding a guitar was holding it open for him. He said that it would have been hard for him to hold it open for the man because he would have awkwardly had to move around him and the guitar and he was already holding it open. I don’t even think that Tommy realized until after that the man had special needs.
Once through the door a woman grabbed Tommy and yelled at him for walking through the door. She felt that Tommy should have held it for the man because he had special needs.
She grabbed him, yelled and demanded that he apologize to the kid.
I was livid. I’m still livid. I felt my blood begin to boil and told Tommy to show me where she was. I planned on going right up to her and letting her have it for touching my kid (or anyone’s kid).
Leo didn’t want me to say anything. He kept saying to let it go. He argued that she was some crazy lady and it wasn’t worth it. I asked two of the moms whether they would say anything and both said they would. One of them said to not get into it with her but stress that she scared my son. I thought that sounded like a good plan so after the game, I went and found her. This is what followed:
“Excuse me, I think you yelled at my son and might have misunderstood what happened.”
She interrupted me and said, “I certainly did! Do you know that he looked right at me and ignored me three times?!” (She was behind Tommy the whole time so he might not have heard her since he had his headphones on but he certainly didn’t look at her and ignore her.)
I said, “That does not give you the right to touch my child.”
She started to deny that she did and I interrupted her and said, “Did you touch my son? Did you put your hands on my son?”
She said yes and I said, “You grabbed him and you scared him. Don’t ever do that again.”
She replied in a huff, “I didn’t grab him, I did this (she pulled on my jacket) and I did not scare him.”
I said, “Don’t touch me. You did grab him and you did scare him.”
She then went up to Tommy, got in his face and pointed and yelled, “Did you lie to your mom and tell her I grabbed you?”
Tommy looking scared said, “You did grab me.”
She started yelling, “You are lying! I did not scare you or grab you!” I then got blinding anger. You know when the room goes fuzzy and you know you are about to do or say something you are going to regret. With Tommy, Belle and Gia standing there, I didn’t want that to happen.
I stepped in front of her and said, “I’m going to stop you right there. You are way out of line. We are going to walk away and hope we never have to see you again.”
And we walked away with me saying very loudly, “Don’t ever touch my kid!”
I was shaking. I walked outside and looked at Belle and said, “Go get your father and tell him we are out here waiting for him.” She did without arguing and I looked at Tommy.
“Are you okay?” I asked him. I was really afraid that I did more damage by embarrassing him.
“I am now. Thanks, Mom.” I let out all the breath that I didn’t even know I had been holding and luckily a friend of mine walked in and I unloaded the whole thing on her while I waited for Leo.
Leo stood by his stance on just letting it go. “You weren’t going to get anywhere dealing with her. She’s crazy. You can’t reason with crazy.”
There was some discussion on whether Tommy was really scared or was he just embarrassed and he said, “I was scared. She freaked me out. I wasn’t embarrassed because I knew I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Could you have done anything differently?”
“Maybe talked to the man and asked him if he needed help.” And while that might have helped the situation from happening in the first place, NOTHING gives that woman the right to touch my son (or anyone’s) or force him to apologize to that man. Tommy said the man looked at him like he had five heads and had no idea what he was apologizing for.
I think I am most surprised at how I hate confrontation and the Mama Bear in me came out in full force. I was ready to tear her a new one. Who in the Hell made her judge and jury? She doesn’t even know my kid and if you ask anyone that knows him, he isn’t the kind of kid that would disrespect an adult.
I have to believe that I accomplished two things by confronting her. The first is that maybe she’ll think before she ever puts her hands on another child. The second was showing my kids that I have their back. Knowing I made Tommy feel better was the best feeling. It was one of those moments I felt like I got it right.
I’m still mad about the whole thing because I cannot believe someone really thought it was okay to behave that way. The worst part is that I’m pretty sure I am going to have to see her every week because her daughter or son is in the same league as Belle.
I am dying to know…how would you have handled that situation?