I am 75% Irish and 100% Mama Bear. Despite my unfortunate DNA, I am a rather calm person. My middle child-avoid confrontation-must have peace at all cost side, usually wins out.
Yesterday a man came to my door and hit my Irish, Mama Bear nerve. Actually, he didn’t just hit it; he did a little jig on it.
My doorbell rang at about 5 pm and there was my neighbor with his sobbing 8 year old daughter. He began to tell me how one of my children had done something to his child. He was using a very forceful, gruff, just-this-side-of-yelling voice.
I replied by telling him that was strange and did not sound like my child but I would definitely investigate the matter. Apparently this was not sufficient for this man, and he proceeded to tell me exactly how I needed to handle the matter and what restitution needed to be made and what punishment should be meted out to the offending child.
It was at this point that the steam started building. I then told him that when my husband gets home, I will discuss the matter with him, thankyouverymuch!
At this point in the story, I must tell you where we live. We live in a neighborhood across from a missionary base. It is a small neighborhood (5 streets) and most of its inhabitants are Missionaries. So this type of thing is rare. Usually we can handle minor neighborhood squabbles easily.
Back to the story; after he stomped off with his sobbing daughter I went and found the offending child for an explanation.
Here’s what happened, Girl 1 (his daughter) Girl 2 (my daughter) and Girl 3 (not so innocent bystander) were playing some sort of Evil Queen/Princess game, and the Evil Queen (Girl 1) captured the two Princesses (Girls 2 & 3). In order to keep her captives, well, captive, she devised an intricate system; she tied them to the tree in my yard, with her jump ropes. The Evil Queen then ran off to her castle to decide what types of torture to inflict on her hostages. When the Queen left, the two captives began screaming for help.
Now enter 16 year old boy who is not so much into fantasy play by 8 year old girls. His bedroom window is right next to said tree which now has the screaming captives attached to it. So he went outside to find out what all the ruckus was about.
(And if you’re wondering where the parental unit was during this time of screaming, she was in the laundry room with two running machines, giddy with the success of the day, unaware of the storm brewing just outside the window.)
When B got to the tree, girl 2 & girl 3 begged him to untie them. Since Girl 2 is his sister, he did what any good big brother would do, he began to untie them.
Sadly, the ropes that were used to tie up the captive princesses were of the beaded variety, with the string running through the middle of the beads. There was no untying these ropes. So he did what any good 16 year old boy faced with two screaming 8 year old girls would do. He got them loose in the fastest way possible; he whipped out his pocket knife and cut them loose.
Girl 2 & Girl 3 ran off yelling thank you’s to their knight in shining armor, and the knight went back into his bedroom to finish his schoolwork in peace.
It was about this time Girl 1 (the Evil Queen) came to check on her captives and found them no longer there. What she did find were her only 3 jump ropes cut up on the ground. The Evil Queen quickly morphed back into an 8 year old girl and ran home to tell her daddy how Girl 2’s mean teenage brother cut up her jump ropes.
Next thing I know there is an irate father and a sobbing 8 year old girl on my porch.
Now I have heard the story, I’m even angrier. This man’s daughter tied MY daughter to a tree, then he comes to MY house and yells at ME? HUH? Idon’tthinkso!
I began pacing my house like a good Mama Bear, muttering under my breath about the GALLOFTHATMAN! etcetera, etcetera. Then I called my husband. He did not answer. I called him again and he did not answer. I think I called him 5 times and he did not answer. The steam was starting to cause an eruption. I had a GOOD MAD going, let me tell you!
(And just in case you are wondering, I was not angry at the kids. While I don’t think tying each other up is something I want to encourage, for the kids it was all in fun. I like to encourage imaginative play in my kids; although we have since told the kids that tying people up is not a good idea, as a general rule.)
I was just about to go and give that man a piece of my mind! How DARE he come to MY house and shoot daggers out of his eyes at me and tell me how to discipline MY child? Who did he think he is? You don’t just go yelling at someone’s wife! And Furthermore…and I would have gone further and said more. But providentially, D called before I stomped down the street to do and say things I would have later regretted.
I explained the situation, in some detail, to D. D listened, then began to chuckle. Not wise. I accused him of not understanding the seriousness of the situation. Was he going to let some man come and talk to his wife like that? To which he replied, “Honey, I’ll handle it. Honey, I’ll handle it. Honey, really, I’ll handle it. Honey, I’ll stop over there on my way home and handle it, I promise. HONEY! Calm down! I. WILL. HANDLE. IT.”
So I decided I’d better let him handle it.
He went and spoke to the neighbor and kindly suggested that perhaps he should have used a calmer voice when speaking to me. The man was calmer and did not speak to D in the tone he used with me. He did however suggest to D how he should punish B. D responded by reminding the man that we had not suggested how he should discipline his daughter for tying our daughter to a tree. That quieted him. Also D said he would not have come over and spoken to that mans wife in the tone and manner that the man used on me.
D then gave the neighbor man his business card and strongly suggested to the man that if there are any more neighborhood issues that need to be dealt with in the future, he should call D and leave me out of it. It will be better for everyone that way.
Ahhh, this Mama Bear has her very own night and shining armor.