Aka: Someone called me a "badass" and this is why:
There are a few things in this world that really make my blood boil. One of those things is bullying. I feel this way partly because I was bullied for almost all my years in elementary school. To this day I still remember the little girls that bullied me by name even though it's been a good twenty years since I left that school. Although I no longer feel threatened by these girls, my heart still goes out to children who are teased, left out, and bullied.
Especially when bullying happens to my own children.
So you can bet how livid I was yesterday when an older kid slapped my Kindergartner in the face right in front of me after school.
My middle son, the Kindergartner, has always been sort of an awkward kid. He's slightly immature for his age, but has come a long way since he first started school. My son is just now coming out of his shell and starting to make friends, but still sometimes he runs up to kids and yells something silly to child strangers which I am sure comes off as being weird to other kids.
Which is what happened yesterday afternoon.
Everything was going great after school. My middle son was giving me no problems walking to the crosswalk for the first time in two weeks. The crosswalk guard then told us it was time to cross the street. When we got out to the middle, my middle son ran up to an older kid (who happens to look like Dennis the Menace) and screams something unintelligible to the boy. Dennis the Menace then slaps my son in the face. My son just stared at him like what the heck just happened.
I don't know what overcame me, but in almost a split second I grabbed Dennis the Menace by the backpack, turned him around in the middle of the street, raised my hand, and came this close to slapping the little brat across his own face. In fact, the only thing that kept me from slapping him was that he flinched as he watched my hand get two inches from his face. So I asked Dennis,
"What the hell just happened? Why did you just slap him?" (We were now on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.)
He replies, "I don't know...um...he cussed at me."
"What did he say?"
"I don't know."
"Well you live on *** Street, right?" (I'm still holding onto his backpack; I'm not letting him go anywhere.)
"Well, let's go. We're going to your house and telling your dad that you just slapped my kid."
By now my blood is beginning to cool off. In fact, I didn't even notice at that point that I was still grabbing the kid's backpack while walking him over to his street. Once we got to his street, I let go of his backpack and I told him that the better thing for him to have done if he thought my kid was cussing at him was to tell me instead of hitting my kid. I told him that discipline is the parent's responsibility and not his because he is a kid. I told him that under no circumstances should he ever hit another kid, especially not a younger, smaller kid.
Then I had him point his dad out who was sitting on his front porch waiting for his sons to get home. Dennis dragged his feet behind me.
Now to set the stage here: Dennis the Menace lives in the same 1970s neighborhood as me with large front yards and smaller backyards. His particular home has hardly any grass and the front yard is covered in children's toys and bicycles. Dad is a much older man, probably somewhere in his late 60s. Before yesterday I even thought this older man was the grandpa. Dad is scruffy looking and very unkempt with a beer-belly stretching out like a ten month pregnant woman. Lucky me, at least he had a shirt on yesterday.
So, I tell dad what happened.
Dad turns to his boy and asks, "What did he say to you?"
Dennis the Menace says, "He called me an Effing A-Hole." (Except he said the real words.)
Honestly, I still don't think that's what my kid said, but since I saw with my own eyes my kid say something to Dennis, I at least admitted that whatever my kid said that it was enough to upset the brat.
Then the dad thanked me for telling him what happened and that he would discipline his boy. I thanked him for listening and told him I'd do likewise. I then grabbed my three sons and told them it was time to walk home. We proceeded to walk off his front porch when the old man tries to bring up casual conversation with me:
"So, how old are your children?"
"Five, six, and seven," I reply.
"Oh wow! You just popped out those kids...POP POP POP!!!"
And I'm telling you I came this close to slapping that old man across his face and calling him an effing a-hole myself.
PS: For explanation of the above photo, please refer to Out of Context Morons.