Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Suddenly my inner grizzly bear came out

B & E at soccer
Brenna has a best friend, let's call her E. Not only is E Brenna's BFF but she is also her tormenter and worst enemy. Sometimes concurrently. But B and E adore each other. They have been friends since the day they laid eyes on each other at the age of 10 months. E is big for her age. B is tiny. Together they are like Mutt & Jeff. They scrap. They make up. They scrap. They make up. They are in the same class at school and their teachers are constantly telling me how they fight like sisters but then turn around and are best friends again.

E out weighs B by close to 20 lbs and is a head taller.
Where as B is generally laid back, E is in-your-face  do-it-my-way-or-else. B's response to frustration is generally to shrug her shoulders and walk away - although B did once get so angry at another child that she bit....herself. E's response to frustration is to hit, pinch, push, or grab.

Because they are such good friends, B is often the target of E's behavior. Since B does not have a sibling who is close in age, I figure that E is her opportunity to learn to stand up for herself and I generally let the two girls sort out their spats on their own with reminders to both to use their words not hands.

So there we are on the playground after school. B is playing with a group of other kids and E comes out. B has climbed up to hang from the monkey bars and is precariously perched with both hands over her head grasping the bar above and her feet on the top rung of the ladder. Given her lack of stature, this is a precarious feat indeed.

I am chatting with another mom. Kids are all over the play structure. Parents are milling about chatting and making sure no one does anything that is sure to result in a quick trip to the ER and the need for cosmetic surgery. Then I hear B loudly say "No! Stop!" and I look over to see E pushing B's feet and legs as she stands stretched to swing. Keep in mind, E outweighs B by 20 lbs and E appears to be putting some effort into pushing B off the ladder. I say, "Carefull E! No pushing please!"

In response E looks directly at me, pauses, and then gives a good, hard shove to B's legs.

Suddenly, my inner mama grizzly bear appeared
Angry Grizzly Bear
and I covered the 5 or so feet of space between myself and E in nano-seconds, got down to E's level, grabbed her and moved her away from the ladder and virtually growled, "You do NOT push another child on a ladder. That is DANGEROUS!" E immediately flopped backwards and started to scream that she wanted to go on the monkey bars. I tride to pick her up but 40+ lbs of screaming squirming child was more than I could handle.

I am certain that my tone of voice scared the hell out of E, and my voice must have carried because suddenly all eyes, child and adult, were on the two of us and you could hear the crickets chirping. E's babysitter came running over and immediately extracted her from the playground.

There was another 10 seconds of silence and then the activity and volume level returned to normal.

In the end, everyone was fine, but now that I have met my inner grizzly mama, I will be aware of her existance in the future.

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