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.

Life Coaching Tips

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  overheard. 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 powertrimmer.

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 trimmer. 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 something 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 almost 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?”


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