Friday, August 16, 2013

The Take Down

At church last Sunday in the nursery (kids range from 18 months to 3) a string of interesting events took place that culminated to the take down of a life time. This is what happened- only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In said nursery theres a boy, lets call him "A" who is a little bit of a trouble maker- cute as a button, but he's a biter. He has chomped right down on an innocent child's face who was standing a bit to close to a toy he was eyeing or biting someone's arm when he's out of animal crackers, now I have heard of biters, but this was my first experience with one and it was interesting to say the least. Most of the time"A" let's out a blood curdling war cry- his method of warning that an imminent bitting session is about to go down and I have been grateful for that warning on numerous occasions because I have stopped a couple bites from happening mainly on the meaty thighs of a pig tail clad girl that we will call "M". Now "M" is no easy walk in the park either. She's still working on furthering her sharing and listening skills, but she does really well with other kids (she is beyond social). She also has a type A personality. She's a bonafide rule follower so long as it's governed by time or schedule. "M" understands clean up time. She knows that after clean up time, is arts and crafts and then time for snacks (her favorite times of the day). So sometimes she helps persuade the kids to clean a little faster by constant reminding or by starting a work chanty. 

Now I don't know what happened this particular day but "A" was not happy with "M" at all. Right before clean up time "A" tried to bite "M's" leg, but the leader (who also happens to be M's grandma) stopped him before things got bloody. "M" seemed unaware of the attempt so grandma talked to another leader about possibly taking "A" to his mom who was in another room for sunday school, but "A" seemed to be doing a little better. He happily made a fort of toys around himself and was lost in play. Not 5 minutes later the start of clean up began. "M" went into clean mode and made her way to "A's" corner. "It's clean up time A!" "M" said in a chipper voice. That's when we heard the war cry. THE war cry and we all know what happens after the war cry. We all looked and on the other side there was curly pig tailed "M" and "A" baring his teeth simultaneously pulling "M's" dress toward his mouth snare. All of the leaders and myself included were on the far side of the room and knew it was too late for an intervention. Right as I was about to yell " M! Run!" M took matters into her own hands and with the force of a kraken took her palm and shoved it into "A's" face. It was hard. REALLY hard. "A" flew back onto the ground and grabbed his cheek in shock. The other leader bursts into laughter while I stood there trying to process what has just happened. Did my child just HIT another child!? "M's" face said it all. She seemed shocked herself. She didn't seem sorry or smug. She looked like she protected herself-like she thought about the different scenarios and that this was the only one. I was filled with pride "nobody puts (my) baby in a corner" but also embarrassment- dude my child just man slapped another kid. I used it as a teaching moment, explaining that I understood why she did it and that I knew she was scared in that moment so that's why she's not in trouble, but that next time she should try yelling "No biting!" and run away. "A" was then taken to his mom who admitted "good! he deserved it!". All was well.

On the way home and after a retelling of events Austin beamed with pride. I think he realizes we don't have to be so scared for our growing daughter. Not that we are ok with hitting, but we are happy that she knows to protect herself and hopefully when she's 16 she wont be afraid to slap a boy who tries to get a little too fresh. :)

I think I am still a little traumatized over the events of that day, but I still giggle replaying the take down in my head.