And Mommies with Bad Judgment
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
Sometimes mommies just do really stupid things that will ensure that their little boys are either going to grow up to be fascinated by Alpha women or terrified of them.
A few weeks ago, I set aside several hours to do some particularly strenuous yard work. The girls were with their dad and I had the run of the yard to myself. New iPod, new JBL speakers for outdoors, new power-edger. In other words, a lot of cutting, reshaping, sweating…and some good Nine Inch Nails and Abney Park keeping me entertained while I wielded various power tools. Life is good, eh?
Throughout the day, I’d seen various neighborhood sights. Drunk golfers careening along the jogging path. The neighbor’s cat in my garage. Crows soaring over- heard. A woman with a uniformed Cub Scout and two younger children walking between two houses.
Hmmm. Okay, so she was a stranger. A visitor to our neighborhood, I decided. Then I went back to work.
At one point, I was trimming a particular bush, perspiration dripping from my cheeks, one foot propped against the house for leverage, and running a loud power- trimmer.
Then I saw a shadow on the ground at my other foot and looked up, thankfully without swinging the tool in my hands. The mom was standing at the edge of my flowerbed, on my property, with her two smaller children hiding behind her as she urged the Cub Scout to “Go on, honey, and ask her.”
He stood about two feet in front of me, and all he could do was look at the snarling, metal teeth of my trim- mer. In total horror.
I shut it off as quickly as I could but he was already scared. He wanted to get away from me as fast as he could. Even with his mom idiotically repeating, “Ask her, honey.”
I didn’t buy whatever he was selling, which was some- thing I truly hate. When I told him no, he looked relieved because he could leave.
So many things could have avoided scaring that child.
– “No soliciting” means don’t come into the neighborhood by way of a discreet path from another neighborhood and go door to door. For anything. I didn’t allow my kids to do it on their own street and I never buy from anyone who comes to my door. Ever. This was al- most as bad as the time in college when my roommate left the front door open while she went outside to smoke and I was cutting something with a butcher knife and turned around, knife in hand, to see a woman and her son in my house, asking me to buy a magazine for school
– Don’t trespass. I don’t carry guns but I come from a
background where coming onto someone’s property can get your butt full of a shotgun blast. Just the way it was in South Georgia.
– Don’t interrupt someone who’s hot and sweaty and doing yard work…unless you’ve got lemonade.
– Don’t sneak up on someone using sharp motorized implements. Enough said.
– Don’t keep pushing a scared little boy to get closer to the person with sharp motorized implements while they’re still running.
I felt bad about the incident. The mom didn’t seem to care and turned and walked off without the little boy. When he realized she’d left him, he ran after her, asking, “Can we go home now?”