Sometimes we have to rescind a thing or two. If you read this menstrual, emotionally charged, politically incorrect rant about kicking a kid in the face at an earlier time, please accept my heartfelt apologies. Please read my new struck-through and PC-proofread version. Revisions are in RED and strike-through.
Once upon a time, I
had to kick accidentally kicked a kid in the face in the church nursery. I was filling in for someone who was sick and took my little, sweet, barely walking 14 month old in with me. There was an enormous 2 year old beast (who shall remain nameless and if you go to church with me, it wasn’t your kid because this happened a really long time ago), who insisted on coming after my itty-bitty baby, ripping things out of her tiny fist only to throw it in his wake as he pressed forward, teeth bared, (he really was baring his teeth and clacking them at us like the zombie on World War Z) ready to make a vest out of my innocent baby’s pelt.
I was doing my best to protect us both along with a pink, plastic toy purse which was apparently his next conquest. I struggled to hold on to the baby and the purse while holding back the ruthless, tiny dictator. He was strong and determined and kept coming. As a last resort, I thought I would be industrious and use all my available limbs to fend off the attack and gently placed my bare foot on his chest. (Hey, at least my high heels were kicked off)
This caused him to become even angrier and he pushed with renewed effort. Appendages were flailing everywhere and I wasn’t sure what was happening. Before I knew it, I had raised my foot to his red, sweaty face in self-defense and gave a little one, two kick to the nose and cheek. (It really was an accident and a reflex, kinda. I was under the impression that this was implied, through my sarcastic humor, but apparently it was not…) He recoiled in terror and surprise and ran to the other helper. I, of course feigned innocence and said I had no idea what was wrong with him. (I really did do this, I’m sorry to say) But hey, the little dude left us alone the rest of nursery-time. Problem solved.
What does this have to do with McDonald’s? I promised myself I’d never kick another toddler in the face, but it almost happened again today. Twice. Let’s get a few details straight before you get judgy.
- Aunt Flow is visiting me. I hate it when people say that, but in this instance it just feels right.
- Before the incidents I’m about to describe transpired, my 16 month old had fallen off a bench directly onto her little face and twisted into some grotesque gymnastical move and it kinda made me sad and put me in a bad mood. (but also caused me to laugh sadistically to the point of tears)
- I hate McDonald’s. It’s gross, the food is terrible and scary and some of the patrons are right on par with the “People of Walmart”. But sometimes, you just need to set your kids free in a body-fluid infested playground while you surf the net and zone out. Also, it’s Texas and hotter than a monkey’s uncle and you can’t just go to the park.
- Harleigh (my 16 month old) is obsessed with shoes. She likes to steal them and wear them on her hands while she crab-walks. McDonald’s Playland is like a Nasty-Shoe Wonderland for her. She was boosting shoes the whole time we were there and getting scolded unmercifully by a bossy 4 year old with a bad bob. She had also licked someone’s flip flop. I wasn’t feeling happy about it.
Now, on to the good stuff. The first child who almost got his face kicked was a loud little boy who had been skittering around the playland like a squirrel on crack. I was busy taking away another pair of jacked shoes from Harleigh when he ran over and tugged on my pants. I knelt down to wipe Harleigh’s face and see what the squirrel wanted from me.
With his mouth so full he couldn’t even close his teeth, he yelled about 2 inches from my face, “Your baby is stealin’ mines shoes.” Yeah, yeah, kid. I know about the shoe thief. Go talk to Bossy bob over there for the play by play.
As I picked Harleigh up to walk away, he somehow got closer to my face and BURPED. Really loud. With the food still blocking his blow-hole. I’m not even sure how he accomplished this and if his Mom hadn’t been a mere 10 feet away, that kid would have gotten a flip-flop to the face. (obviously, I’m not going to make a habit of assaulting kids for burping in my face. I just thought it sounded good and I really did feel like doing it.)
Moving on…Hope (my 4 year old) had taken Harleigh up into the tubes of the Playland when suddenly the shrill, terrified screams of a baby being tortured filled the thick air. My baby’s screams. Every parent in the Playland visibly stiffened. You know the scream. The one a kid makes when they’ve broken their arm or chopped half their finger off. Yeah, that’s the noise she was making.
Mexican Hispanic family (I’m told I was politically incorrect to refer to them as “Mexican” because I don’t, in fact, know they were “Mexican”. But in my un-pc defense, they were speaking Spanish. Now that I think about it, their ethnicity is really an irrelevant detail anyway, except that I was extra confused during the whole thing because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying except “Junior”.) across from me popped up, looked horrifyingly into one another’s eyes and yelled in unison, “Junior!” It was like that scene in Home Alone where they jump out of bed and realize they’ve slept in. The whole family made a beeline for the hole to enter the tubes. Mom, Dad, Grandma and Auntie all clamored to get to Junior. Holy Balls. (I’ll just take that one out for obvious reasons, even though it is my new favorite expression.)What was Junior going to do to Harleigh? The Auntie sprinted and literally dove like Babe Ruth like Ricky Henderson (I’m also told to brush up on my sports trivia because Babe Ruth wouldn’t have been sprinting and diving into anything with his chunky butt. I actually intended on fact-checking this detail with my husband, but forgot.) into the hole at the bottom of the playground. I paced around and hollered for Hope to bring Harleigh down.
Hope and Bossy bob began squealing, “That boy is ripping out her hair!”
I continued to tell Hope firmly to bring Harleigh down. My eyes darted nervously around the dining area because I was sure I was about to have to hurt someone or at least yell obscenities like a psycho. Suddenly, Harleigh’s screams intensified. I yelled for Hope and demanded to know what was going on. She wasn’t answering.
Bossy bob replied loudly, “That boy is pulling her hair out!” At this point, I was foaming at the mouth and my face had turned three shades of purple. The
Mexican Hispanic family was still blocking the hole, so I couldn’t get in there without throwing them aside.
After a couple moments of relentless screaming, Harleigh and Auntie emerged from the hole with Junior close behind. Harleigh’s head was red and on her face she wore the terrified expression of a baby who had been mauled by a ruthless animal. She was breathing rapidly and shallow like hysterical babies do, slobber trailing down her chin with tears and sweat plastering her hair to her face.
Junior wore a look of pure victory when he rose out of that hole as his family quickly went about clearing their table and gathering their things. I stood comforting Harleigh while Junior smiled sheepishly at me. Everyone in the Playland was awkwardly trying to mind their business and crickets chirped in the background.
I had a more-than-fleeting urge to boot this kid square in the head, Van Damme style. (Which I would never act upon, of course.) His family was busy trying to make a clean getaway and I had one tiny moment to get my revenge. I pictured myself giving Junior a little tap-tap with my shoe and a sheepish grin all my own. In 30 seconds flat, Junior was being summoned by Grandma and was on his way. He tore toward her with open arms – I think he saw his fate in my seething eyes. (I’m really not as violent and deranged as I sound. When Mama Bear mode kicks in, my mind wanders into dangerous territory. It’s really unlikely that I’d REALLY kick a kid in the head on purpose, or in front of others)
I missed my moment, but that’s okay. I promised myself I wouldn’t kick a kid in the face ever again. And I won’t. Unless somebody holds my baby down and tries to scalp her in McDonald’s again.
Tune in on Funny Friday for Hope’s rendition of what happened on this fateful day in the McDonald’s Playland.