Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Momma Bear

I am not what anyone would consider a confrontational person. Every personality test I’ve taken has indicated that I am a supportive person who finds consensus more valuable than fighting for my point of view. I am a Libra for crying out loud. My dad simply summed it up at one point by telling me that I am a “pleaser.”

That’s not the case when it comes to my children. We went to a birthday party at a local kids’ party place that is filled with giant bouncer equipment. My kids really enjoy themselves there. All of the children were running around going from one piece of equipment to the other. At one point, Allison was climbing in when a six or seven year old boy climbs right over her to get in first. I can’t be certain that he heard me, but I yelled at him to be careful of the littler children. Allison wasn’t hurt, but I decided to keep my eye on him. Later on, Emma, Allison and I were alone in the basketball bouncer. This child, we’ll call him Zack, came inside. The very first thing he did was try to shoot baskets that just so happened to be aimed at Emma or Allison, not the basket. I told him again that he needed to be careful. When the next shot hit Emma on the top of the head, I started using a tone of voice that the girls instantly recognized. They stood back. I told him to apologize to Emma for hitting her. When he smiled and said that it was just an accident, I told him that if he tossed a basketball anywhere near one of the girls again that I would bring him to one of the staff members personally to tell them what was going on. As it was, I was tempted to drag him out right then and there. I guess that he was smart enough to leave on his own two legs while he still could.

Since I work so closely to the daycare, when I drive to the other building or to Taco Bell to get a late lunch, I often get the pleasure of seeing Emma playing outside. Today, Emma was running away from Lexie and another Emma. I smiled until I realized that there must have been a reason that she was running away. Based on the way she batted them away when she reached the fence, they probably said something to hurt her feelings. Anyone who knows Emma knows that it is not difficult to hurt those feelings. Still, I wanted to stop my car and get out and find out what was going on. If it was something more than that, I would have some heads (extremely figuratively – these are four year olds, not smartass pre-teen boys named Zack).

If either of those things happened to me – and I know that they have many times, I wouldn’t respond at all. I wouldn’t get angry or be assertive to defend myself. But don’t you dare mess with my babies! This is a typical reaction of mothers across many if not most of the species populating this planet. You protect your young because they are your future. It’s a smart and brilliant instinct.

Now that I know that I have it in me to pounce if I have to, I think I’m going to practice it for myself. Those bastards that have been trying to drag me down had better watch their backs! I’d name them here, but I think I’ll keep the element of surprise and enjoy it.


DD said...

I am extremely over-protective of my son. Some of it's typical momma bear attitude; some of it's related to our infertility.

It's hard for me to step back at the right times so he can learn how to cope without my assistance, but I know if I don't do it now, he'll suffer for it more later.

Trista said...

You Go, Momma Bear!

It's funny how we get so defensive on our kids' behalf. Instinctual, for sure. I just hope I don't cross you the wrong way, with all your new-found assertiveness, and all. ;)

Kary said...

You should stick up for you--sounds like you could have cross-posted this to the Jennifer Tree.

I know exactly what you mean. It hurts me 100x more when I hear a child say one cross word to Owen. Yet, I waffle and wane about saying something in my own defense.