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 Â JBL Â speakers Â for Â outdoors, Â new Â power-edger. Â In other Â words, Â a lot of cutting, Â reshaping, Â 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, Iâ€™d seen various neighborhood sights. DrunkÂ golfers Â careening Â along the jogging Â path. The neighborâ€™s Â cat Â in my Â garage. Â Crows Â soaring Â over- heard. A woman with a Â uniformed Â 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 Â dripping Â from Â my Â cheeks, Â one Â foot Â 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 Â without Â swinging Â the tool in my hands. Â The Â mom Â was Â standing Â atÂ the Â edge Â of Â my flowerbed, on my property, with her two smaller children hiding behind her as she urged the Cub Scout to â€œGo on, honey, and ask her.â€
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. Â He Â wanted Â to get away Â from Â me as fast as he could. Even with his mom idiotically repeating, â€œAsk her, honey.â€
I didnâ€™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.
– Â â€œNo Â Â solicitingâ€ Â Â Â Â Â means Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â donâ€™t Â Â come Â into Â Â Â Â the neighborhood Â by way Â of a discreet Â path from Â another neighborhood and go door to door. For anything. I didnâ€™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 Â something with a butcher Â knife Â and turned around, knife in hand, to Â see a woman and her son in my house, asking me to buy a magazine for school
– Donâ€™t trespass. I donâ€™t carry guns but I come from a
background where coming onto someoneâ€™sÂ property can get your butt full of a shotgun blast. Just the way it was in South Georgia.
– Donâ€™t interrupt someone whoâ€™s hot and sweaty and doing yard work…unless youâ€™ve got lemonade.
– Donâ€™t sneak up on someone using sharp motorized implements. Enough said.
– Donâ€™t keep pushing a scared little boy to get closer to the Â personÂ Â with Â sharp Â motorizedÂ Â implementsÂ Â while theyâ€™re still running.
I felt bad about the incident. The mom didnâ€™t seem to care and Â turned Â and walked Â off without Â the little Â boy. When he realized sheâ€™d left him, he ran after her, asking, â€œCan we go home now?â€