So, I had a comment on my post about DevilChild:
i need to be perfectly honest here...i usually love your posts but this one bothers me a little....
Anon, I respect that it bothered you, and I hope to bits that I don’t offend you to the point of no return, but I feel the need to get all defensive just now. If D. had spit on almost anyone else who frequents our park, I would have reprimanded him. If he had spit on DevilChild entirely unprovoked, I would have reprimanded him. If he had started beating DevilChild mercilessly, I would have reprimanded him. But in this situation, it was, frankly, a completely appropriate response.
Consider: You and I enter Target at the same moment on a Sunday afternoon, and only one cart remains. You are carrying your six toddlers, and I am carrying a Prada bag and chatting on my iPhone. (Shut up. My scenario, I can choose my own accessories.) You are reaching for the cart when one of your children distracts you for a crucial instant. Oblivious to you, I grab the cart, while announcing to my friend on the phone that I am dashing into Target to get some nail polish.
You politely tap me on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, but I was about to take that cart. Would you mind please letting me have it?”
I roll my eyes at the phone and complain loudly about the interruption and then tell you, “I was here first.”
Summoning grace the likes of which I personally am not privy to, you bite back your expletives, smile winningly and say, “I do realize you were here first, and I understand that it must be difficult for you to carry both the purse and the iPhone, not to mention the nail polish you’re planning to grab, but I have SIX TODDLERS and I am here to do my GROCERY SHOPPING and I would REALLY LIKE to use this cart. PLEASE.”
And I toss my hair, which in this scenario is fabulous, and I say, “No, you can’t have the cart.”
At which point, you realize that I am basically a cold-hearted bitch, and you daintily cover your childrens’ ears and tell me to go perform explicit acts on myself.
D. approached an abandoned skateboard, and DevilChild immediately raced over to make sure D. didn’t use it. D. asked for a turn, which is akin to you or me giving a 5-minute public oration – to get all those words in the right order and ask in a socially appropriate setting is hard work for my kid. DevilChild said no, WHICH HE HAD NO RIGHT TO DO, because it wasn’t even his. And because that second level of reasoning is something D. just can’t do, I stepped in, and DevilChild STILL wasn’t going to give D. a turn. And so D. responded in the only way he could.
Think about it objectively for a minute. Kids resolve playground disputes every day, all day long. Sometimes they hit or throw sand or have tantrums or grab shovels. Sometimes they argue. Sometimes they spit. Generally, their mothers do not overtly applaud them when they do so, but I am not most mothers. And I challenge anyone who thinks I am wrong to walk in my shoes for an hour at the park.