The Chick Fil A indoor playground was the site of my first mom-on-mom altercation. Regrettably, there was no hair pulling. I didn’t even raise my voice.
These playgrounds are cramped, and have a sign that says only kids 3 and under. Plenty of older kids use them, which is totally fine, as long as they don’t act a fool. Pumpkin is closer to four than three, herself. But she plays politely with other kids of all sizes and watches out for littles.
So, on this monumental day, there’s this big girl throwing her weight around, a head taller than Pumpkin, and outweighing her by probably 20 pounds (most of you know that Pumpkin is the size of most five year olds, herself)…this girl is running around like a dervish, pushing other kids that are in her way, including pushing Pumpkin out of the way at the end if the slide AND knocking down Peanut twice (who, unlike her sister, is a wee thing.) I tell my girls quietly to try to stay out of her way, and they manage to do so, though at that point Peanut was too afraid to play at all and was snuggled into my very pregnant lap.
Finally, mom shows up, just as her daughter is pushing some other kid , and mom yells at her to “watch herself” (keep this in mind, as it is relevant later.) I calmly tell her that her daughter may be too big to be in there, as she had knocked my two-year-old down multiple times. Suddenly she forgets that she LITERALLY JUST GOT DONE scolding her daughter for pushing another kid, and turns on me, telling me that she’s only four, and it is really rude of me to say that in front of her. I told her it wasn’t a matter of her size, rather it was the fact that she was pushing other kids around.
The girl starts crying at this point, and Pumpkin is crying because I tell her to get her shoes on so we can leave. Aggro-Mom is telling her daughter it is time to leave too, grumping about how she “can’t even deal with people” like me, and how I’m a “smartass”, as well as assuring her daughter, “you’re fine, you didn’t do anything wrong” (apparently by this point she’d forgotten the part where she walked in on her kid pushing someone else and yelled at her.)
The woman obviously had some temper issues and her daughter had some respect issues. I stayed calm the whole time and spoke in a low tone, but she was obviously really worked up. I usually keep my mouth shut, but I would have wanted to know what my kid(s) were doing that was bad/harmful/antisocial, because it would have been a teachable moment. Instead she probably just confused her poor kid with her scolding then immediate “you didn’t do anything wrong” backpedaling.
So, my first public mama bear moment. I have a feeling it wasn’t this lady’s first.