purple fish guts

Friday, August 12, 2005

The dilemma

Okay.... so the kids and I were at the Burger King playland this afternoon. There were two future football player types running wildly through the place. Climbing UP the slide. Karate kicking the mesh walls. You know.... normal boy stuff.

Now Z and A are pretty wussy..... even by girl standards. So they kept coming and hunkering down my me saying the boys were chasing them and not letting them go down the slide and stuff. I tried to explain that they were probably just playing their own game and that I didn't think they were really chasing them. I'd encourage them to go try again and if the boys were bugging them to ask them to please leave them alone.

That didn't work. And after hearing a few "Gotcha's" from the boys I realized that they actually were chasing my kids.

About this time the mom realized what was going on and had a talk with the boys. I told the girls that I didn't think they'd bug them anymore and that if they did I'd talk to them.

Well.... the mom-talk did nothing..... and the mom realized it. She called the kids down to leave. I sent Z and A back in.

The boys started begging to go back in. The mom said yes. --groan--

Thirty seconds later..... Z and A are shrieking at the top of their lungs. Not just play shrieking..... really shrieking. I get up to see what's going on and find the girls at the top of the stairs (shrieking) and a boy who is writhing like a demon-possessed pit-bull roaring at them from the other end of a tube.

So..... here's where the dilemma sets in. What do you do in a situation like this?

Do you tell your kids to stop yelling and come down?

"I'm sorry girls..... we're going to have to go home now. This playland has obviously fallen into the hands of thugs.... and well..... you know..... thugs always get their way. Not to mention, we wouldn't want to cause any trouble or anything, would we?"

Do you leave your kids to fend for themselves?

"Sorry girls. Not really much I can do. Yeah.... I know I said I'd talk to them and all. But it's probably best if you work it out yourself. I'm not always going to be around to watch out for you, you know."

Do you leave the girls screaming and the boy roaring and quietly walk over to the mom?

"Ummm..... excuse me...... I realize that they don't actually listen to you and all...... but would you mind asking your demon-possessed pit-bull sons to please stop scaring the crap out of my kids.... just one more time? Thanks."

Or..... do you do what I did.... and go with the "daddy instinct."

"Hey! Guys! Leave my kids alone! Leave them alone or I'm gonna come up there!"

This didn't make mom happy. She started going off on me about how I had no right to correct her kids and that if I had a problem I should talk to her.

I apologized for yelling and explained that I'd heard her talking to her kids.... BUT that it was still inappropriate for them to be scaring the crap out of my kids.

She continued..... saying her kids weren't even near my kids and my kids were lying about it. And then she started saying something about being in the "wrong neighborhood" and that Ankeny is too ritzy for people like her to be welcome. Not sure what that was all about.

They left (angrily) and the girls (my 2 and 1 other) got back to playing (peacefully).

Now you've got to understand..... I'm a pretty easy-going guy. It takes a good bit to upset me, and when I do get upset, I feel bad about it for quite a while. So here I am, trying to figure out what I should have done.

To be honest.... I really don't know. Yeah..... I may have broken the my-kid's-my-kid - your-kid's-your-kid parenting rule..... AND made half the people in Burger King think I'm a total butt-head.

But hey...... DON'T mess with my kids!