This is insane. I can’t even imagine what my reaction would have been! What are your thoughts on this?
originally published on yahoo.com
I wasn’t sure whether or not to write about this. I generally prefer not to write about my son, out of respect for his privacy, and I don’t want to put myself in a legally questionable situation by writing about what happened. But it’s been several days since the incident and I’ve still got a crazy cocktail of rage, panic, and sadness churning inside my chest and I don’t know how else to get it out.
Here’s the short version: A mother called the police after my son and her daughter collided in a playground accident. That really happened. He’s 3.
The longer version is this: I was sitting on a bench, in a spot where I could see the entire circular track the kids scoot and ride their bikes around. When my son didn’t complete his lap in a timely manner, I stood up to look for him and saw him standing with a family including several children. He’s extremely social and often stops to talk and make friends, so I assumed he was just chatting with them.
A minute or so later I heard him yelling “Mommy, Mommy.” I ran over to find two children sobbing hysterically, a little girl and my son.
A woman sitting nearby volunteered, “I saw the whole thing! They ran into each other. They’re both just scared.” I gathered my son into my arms and comforted him, telling him it was OK, that it was an accident.
“I didn’t mean to knock her over,” he sobbed. He then repeatedly tried to apologize to the little girl and her mother, who ignored him. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he sputtered over and over.
“Is she OK?” I asked the little girl’s mother. She told me her tooth was wiggly and bleeding. My son was still hysterical, so I picked him up and started to move to another corner to continue calming him down.
The other mother motioned to me not to leave.
“What do you want from me?” I asked her. “It was an accident.”
I didn’t mean it in a sarcastic way at all – I wasn’t sure if she wanted money, or my contact info, or in what way she expected me to help. I was (probably stupidly) prepared to do what she asked for. The last thing I expected was what she said next.
“I called the police.”
“YOU CALLED THE POLICE?” This is the point at which I have been mentally punching this woman for days now.
“Your son hit my daughter,” she said. “I called the police.”
At that moment, my internal Mama Bear rose up to her hind legs and bared her claws. “He’s 3 YEARS OLD. It was an accident,” I snarl/yelled. I have never in my life felt a sense of assertiveness so strong for my own self, but when it came to my kid, I felt an unprecedented sense of agency and strength. I knew I would stand up for my child in absolutely any way needed to protect him.
“She’s crazy,” shouted the witness. “I saw the whole thing. They ran into each other. It was a total accident.”
I asked the witness if she would stay until the police arrived, then scooped up my hysterical 3-year-old and marched to the other end of the playground, where I stewed as he asked questions like “Why did she call the police? Am I going to jail? Is the little girl OK? Is SHE going to jail?”
When the police car rolled up outside the gate of the playground area, I let the woman tell her side of the story before walking over to talk to them.