When Confrontation Gets Scary
So, it was just a normal play date at the park with me and some mom friends and our 9.5 kids (I'm counting Amelia).
The day was sunny and cool and the playground had a spray park and a regular park. I dropped the big kids off at VBS met my friends and Micah played with all of their kids til it was time to pick up Julia and Mark.
Since the church was close to the park I came back and the big kids got to play too. It was really a perfect day and all of our kids were laughing and playing in the water and just having a great time. As we started to head over to the playground to pack up our stuff and let the kids play some more and dry off before heading home we had a little "incident".
I was glued to watching Micah, who is only 16 months old and quite the little climber, while my two mommy friends were packing their bags and watching the big kids. All of the sudden I hear one of my friends telling a little boy not to splash water into Mark's face. That caught my attention and I turned around to see what was going on.
The little boy who threw the cup full of water on my son's face at this point ran over to his mother and said another mom yelled at him. This mom became irate and yelled, "Which MOM yelled at my son???" very loudly. At this point the entire park was engaged and looking on and wondering what indeed was the matter.
My friend calmly walks over and said, "I'm that mom and I didn't yell at your son, I told him not to splash water on Mark's face." She really did not yell at this little boy. She talked to him in an even toned sing songy voice but she was firm. And if some random kid threw water on your kid wouldn't you say something?
Well, at this point it gets tricky. We don't know who was telling the truth or what was left out. But the little boys story was that my son Mark (who barely talks to people he doesn't know) was making fun of his older sister. (I highly doubt that, not because my son is perfect, because he isn't, but because Mark doesn't talk to kids he doesn't know...especially not girls...and especially not older girls...this girl was at least 8 or 9 years old and very tall...way too intimidating for mark...and mark doesn't make fun of people). Then the boy switched his story to his mom and said that Mark threw shreds from the ground at her (this part I think could've happened...and just a few minutes before this he was playing with Micah like that...so it's totally possible, although still a bit suspicious). So the boy's story was that Mark did this so he deserved the cup of water in his face.
Now, I got involved and walked over to Mark and said, "Mark, did you make fun of this girl?" He shook his head no. "Mark, did you throw stuff at this girl?" He shook his head no. "Mark, are you telling the truth?" To which he completely broke down and started crying. So I kind of felt like he was guilty but because I didn't see what happened I guess I will never know.
I said, "Mark you need to apologize to her. Stop crying and say you are sorry." The girl wouldn't even look at mark or come down off of the monkey bars. She just kept climbing. So Mark apologized.
Then the Mom just kept attacking all of us. Yelling at us and saying we shouldn't have confronted her son. At this point we decided to leave because she was just a lunatic and was so loud and it was ridiculous.
As we packed our kids in the minivan and they all were settled, me and my friends tried to make sense of it all. First of all, if Mark threw something, he was wrong and I was glad we apologized. Second of all I was glad my friend saw what happened to Mark and confronted the little boy. And third of all I was glad that my friend was brave enough to speak up to the irate mom because she was very intimidating and all I wanted to do at that point was crawl under a rock.
My friend brought up a good point...notice that the mom never made her son apologize to mark...her answer was, "Well he shouldn't have to." That spoke volumes to me. Two wrongs don't make a right. Just because mark did something wrong doesn't mean it gave her son the right to do what he did. As adults I think the best thing was for everyone to apologize and move on.
On the car ride home yesterday, right after the incident it was totally over for my kids, they were not mad or sad or angry. In fact Mark goes, "Mom, can we go again tomorrow?" In Mark's mind the situation had been handled and no harm had been done. I was glad for that. Although I don't see us going back to that particular park any time soon...unless my hero friend comes with me!
The scary mom at the park ruined the park adventure for me. I was a tiny bit sad driving home because I was just like, "What went wrong there?" I wished I had seen the whole event play out in front of me. I hope we did the right thing. Sometimes people can be so unpredictable. And it wasn't helpful that this lady kept ranting and raving when we were all being calm and trying to handle the situation properly.
What would you have done?