I admit it. I have had very few incidences so far in my little boys' lives where I had to go into Mama Bear Mode. You mommies all know what I'm talking about -- you see your child in a threatening situation, and you do whatever it takes to protect him or her. I had been pretty lucky, and Mama Bear had been hibernating.
We received a wonderful gift of four tickets to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia from one of Eric's lovely aunts, and we were all very excited to go. The museum is designed specifically for little kids and is an amazing combination of play, experimentation, and education. The boys loved each exhibit better than the last, and they were truly in kid heaven.
Statue of Liberty Torch made out of toys
Drs. Peanut and Pumpkin, at your service
Playing, exploring, learning...
Peanut using a pulley to raise his plane creation
to the ceiling in order to watch it fly
Pumpkin's favorite part hands down: the pretend grocery store. Watching my little man with such determination in his eyes as soon as we got him his own cart was both unbelievably sweet and hilarious at the same time. He was in the zone!
Both boys really enjoyed the water area. We saved this part for last. The kids could experiment with the water toys, and they had all types of contraptions the kids could maneuver to experiment with water energy. Peanut was a pro in no time!
I had to pull out all of the mommy tricks I know to get Pumpkin to leave the special three and under play area. He loved this tree slide and the lilypads that made frog noises when he jumped on them to hop across the pretend pond.
Looks like the best day ever, right? I mean, nothing could put a damper on this day!
Oh. Except maybe this:
So, both boys were completely excited to play in the McDonald's area. Most of the kids were lined up along the back wall, busy using various assortments of play food to make all types of hamburgers and Happy Meals. Then, this sweet little girl walked up to the counter and just stood there, looking around. So, compassionate mommy that I am, I asked Peanut to be the cashier and ring up her order. Why can't I learn to just leave well enough alone?!?
Peanut happily obliged, and he skipped over to take the little girl's order. He was announcing each item into the microphone as he pressed the buttons on the register to announce her total. It was so cute that I had to take a picture. The above shot is now known as Exhibit A.
See the bigger brunette boy to the left of Peanut who was easily at least a year older? Yeah, the one in the green jacket. Well, he may or may not be the kid I am referring to in this story. If that was the same kid, I would know his name since I did hear it; however, since I am certainly not saying that was the kid, we will just call him "B.B." (for "Bully Boy").
B.B. was playing nicely beside Peanut for a few minutes until he decided that he had to have the microphone. Unfortunately, Peanut was still wrapping up the little girl's order, and he told B.B., "Hey! It's still my turn." But B.B. wasn't really interested in the whole taking turns concept. No, instead, he put all of his weight into pulling that microphone away from my son while -- compassionate mommy that I am -- I tried to intervene from my booth a few feet away and tell Peanut to allow Bully Boy to have a turn for a minute.
Bully Boy -- and I am not using that name lightly -- decided he had a better solution.
After he pulled the microphone completely away from Peanut, he then focused all of his force on my son (who, by the way, morphed into my firstborn helpless infant in my brain), and Bully Boy pushed Peanut to the floor. Please congratulate me right now for resisting my motherly urge to demonstrate what happens to bullies who dare to touch my children. It was not easy to suppress the Mama Bear in me who wanted so desperately to give him my own Quarter Pounder. Anyway, Peanut was wailing at this point, and when I flew over to him, he said, "Mommy, he's so mean!" to which B.B. responded, "And you're so dumb!"
No, I am actually not writing this post from a prison cell, so please offer me congratulations yet again. First you dare to harm my child, and now you insult his intelligence?!? This kid had a guardian angel looking over him, for sure. I quickly swept up Peanut in my arms and consoled him in the booth. I felt guilty doing it, but I told Peanut that unfortunately there are a few mean people in the world, and that I was sorry that he had to meet one.
What? You are wondering where B.B.'s parent was in this equation? Yeah, me, too. A few minutes after "the incident," a mousy man brought B.B. over "to apologize."
Yeah, I put that in quotes. Because this is the masterpiece of an apology he offered my son:
"Sorry, piggy eye."
Yes, I did have to remind myself to breathe in and out repeatedly.
But B.B. had some audacity calling Peanut "dumb," because when he went back over to his dad, his father obviously sensed my disapproval and asked what he said in his apology. And then B.B. told his dad exactly what he said. Good job, Genius.
So, Mousy Dad begrudgingly brought B.B. back over to us. Again. At this point, I had seen enough of this kid's face to last a lifetime, and his presence was making Peanut's state of mind worse with every encounter. He finally mumbled something that sounded like "sar-RAY" with an attitude that somehow pleased his father enough. Thank goodness; they were finally gone.
It really took a while, but Peanut eventually got over it.
Mama Bear, on the other hand? She had nightmares for weeks about people hurting her children. Retelling the experience still brings tears to my eyes. And I cannot with any sincerity guarantee that any future children with a penchant for bullying will get off so easily.
But for now, Mama Bear is going back into hibernation. And I hope she doesn't have to awaken that growl again for many, many winters to come.