We’re always on the lookout for new playgrounds in the ‘hood, and The Spitfire of The Devil-Ettes tipped me off to a fantastic playground just across the street from her. It’s big, gated, dog-free, and packed to the gills with obstacles, slides, rubber walkways and sand pits. Best of all, it’s only three blocks from our grocery store.
As we were about to leave, a slew of preschoolers poured in, and while my little one’s not too keen on heights–”Help” is her favorite word when she climbs around–she does love big kids. She ran off to chase a group of three-to-four-year-olds, and I followed behind. A little boy came around a corner, saw Eliza, planted his hand in the middle of her chest, and shoved her down.
She didn’t even flinch, but a Mama Bear I didn’t know existed went all frothy-mouth on the wide-eyed lad. I spewed something like “That is NOT nice and you do NOT push ANYONE, especially if they’re smaller than you, and she’s SMALLER than you! That is NOT NICE!”
I set Eliza back on her feet and she ran off without blinking, but the boy was fixed to his spot as though I’d turned into Medusa. I supposed I must have been, as far as he knew. And I wondered: was it OK to go Gorgon on a little boy just because he bullied my daughter? After all, she’s got to learn to defend herself… and what the hell am I thinking? He’s a head taller than her, at least two years older. She’s not even two. She has plenty of time to girl up and defend herself.
As I collected her to head to the grocery store, my decision was fully justified by the three girls who he’d been playing with. The girls were shouting, “No, you can NOT come to the princess castle! You can NOT!” in an eerie imitation of my Medusa. He still stood fixed to the spot, now staring at them, not me, and I cheered for the future of my gender.
Stick that in your pudding pie and eat it, Georgie Porgie.