It's a Tuesday tradition. We go to music class first, then walk over to the library to read books and look for movies of the 'whale,' 'crocodile,' or 'dinosaur' variety, then we go to story/songtime there at the library, then we drive over to McDonalds for lunch. We do this every week and we've rallied quite a group of friends that come along each week too.
Music class is taught by a dear friend who has incredible patience for Buddy, so we rarely have issues with that activity. Library time is usually fine because Buddy is so excited to see his friends -- and the teacher does an outstanding job engaging the kids. Even if she does request that 'all parents sit in the circle with their children because they participate better with a parent nearby.' Come on and give a mom a break! I spend all day, every day playing with Buddy. He's outgoing and would always rather stand next to the teacher than me. If I sit too close or try to interact with him, he yells at me and runs around the room until I walk away. He's independent and I'm proud of that. All the teacher knows, though, is I'm that clueless young mom that sits in the back and gossips with her friends while she engages my son. I have no problem with that.
McDonalds is another story. For some reason, we have issues 'getting along' at McDonalds. We live in a small town with lots of small children and stay-at-home moms. The McDonalds is always very crowded to begin with, then it swells to almost overflowing when our pack of friends arrives every Tuesday around 12:30. We have had more incidents of children fighting than I can even count -- and one way or another, Buddy is often involved. He's aggressive, but not mean. He has an attitude and talks way better than he should. Plus, he's bossy and doesn't let anyone -- big or small -- push him around. I'm proud that he's confident, but I don't tolerate him fighting with other children. We've had incidents where the opposing mom and burst into tears because she was so shocked and sorry for her son's behavior... we've had incidents where Buddy has been drug out to the car by his irate mother because he wouldn't stop bullying a younger boy, not to mention, several of our friends have gotten sick there because they don't exactly keep it clean. And I mean the throw-up, diarrhea kind of sick. Seriously, if it's not one things it's another every time we go.
But today was the worst. And I wonder where my son gets his attitude.
So, today started out fine. I noticed at one point Buddy having an issue with a younger boy, about 2 years old. Buddy's good friend, Noah C., always a good defender, was nearby. I ignored it because it didn't seem like a big deal and I figured no one was yelling or hitting, so they could work it out. A few minutes later, I looked over to see a crazy-rabid mom snatching a McDonalds toy out of Noah C.'s hand. He stood there stunned for a moment, then walked away and layed down on the floor and started to cry. Noah C.'s mom was in the bathroom changing her baby, so I figured I should figure out what was happening. Noah C. was crying hard enough that it was hard to make out what he was saying, but I pieced together that the lady had taken Buddy's toy. So, I asked Buddy what had happened, and he said the same thing. I went to approach the lady to get her side of the story -- and to get Buddy's toy back -- when she unleashed a tirade about 'not watching my child...' I'd never start a fight with a stranger, but I have a terrible temper and will not tolerate ANYONE bullying children. I didn't approach her intending to start a brawl, but I am a strong-willed mama and in an instant I felt that temper swell within me to defend Noah C. and my Buddy. We went back and forth shouting accusations about who's child took who's toy. Meanwhile all the adults and many of the kids had stopped to watch. The argument ended with her and the boy's grandma getting up in a huff and shouting "You are SO immature," as they stormed out of McDonalds.
I'm not proud of my behaviour, but to put the record straight, here's what I argue happened: The little boy took Buddy's toy. Noah C. took the toy back and pushed or hit the boy. Crazy mom sees that and bolts from her seat to take the toy away from Noah C. (How un-cool is that?) Crazy mom wouldn't for a moment entertain the idea that her son started it. In her mind, our boys are older and were picking on him. Whatever lady...
For some twisted reason we keep going back to McDonalds week after week. I can hardly wait to see what next week brings.