Okay--for starters I was on my last nerve.
Mate had worked very hard to round up 20 people to go to a King's game--including our entire famndamily--and I had worked very hard to whip up some enthusiasm. The thought of our two smaller children at a King's Game without the luxury of leaving in the 4th quarter gave me a serious case of "eeeeennnngggs" but I didn't want to kill his buzz, so away we all went.
And a lot of it was fun. We cheered which was hard to do, since they, uhm, lost by 45 points. (Yes, you read that right. I'm starting to think there needs to be a 'debacle rule' in the NBA--when a team gets behind by more than thirty points they have the right to beat the living shit out of their opponents without fouls until the score gets closer and the game gets more like a game and less like clubbing baby seals on the top of the head.) The kids danced and got warned off the step behind us more than once. (What was up with that by the way? There was nobody there, nobody trying to get out, and all they wanted to do was sit their bottoms on it and watch the game next to me. I was getting close to getting pissed off in public, but I held it in. For that moment, anyway.) The Cave Troll looked forward to trying a basket at the end of the game. (Okay--he sobbed on me for the entire excruciating fourth quarter, begging to go do that RIGHT THIS MINUTE.) I took the kids for ice cream. (Walking back was fun--I couldn't hold their hands because they were holding their ice cream and the floor was crowded and I lived in fear of losing either one of them in a nanosecond and ending up on the news as one of those sobbing women saying "I just took my eyes off of him for a second!") And Ladybug went for lots of walks up and down the stairs. (She was so tired--I just watched as the older kids took her on those walks with my heart in my throat, hoping she didn't stumble--the stairs at Arco Arena SUCK!)
And then it was over and we were ready to wade through the crowd, around the arena, and get the kids in line to go throw the basketball on the court. Ladybug had a hold of my hand and a hold of Chicken's hand, and suddenly, she decided to play the 'drop game'--you know, she drops her weight and we swing her high? I told her no, and tried to pick her up, but she was fifty pounds of wiggly, floppy Ladybug, kicking and thrashing because SHE WANTED TO WALK. I put her down again and she tried the drop game again and Chicken and I ended up dragging her for a couple of feet before I grabbed her ear, and was about to lean down and have a heart to heart with her about the goddamned 'drop game', when it happened.
A couple of complete strangers told me to stop pulling my daughter's hair.
I turned around, annoyed. "I'm pulling her ear," I told them dumbly, wondering who in the fuck they were.
"Well stop it..."
"I'm trying not to drag her..."
"Well why don't you pick her up and she won't dislocate her arms."
"Is she your kid, bitch?" (Yes. I said that.)
"WELL THEN BACK OFF!!!" Because abruptly this complete stranger had triggered my temper when my children had not. I wasn't angry, my kid wasn't screaming, I wasn't bruising her or hurting her, I was trying to exact a measure of control over an over-tired, over-stimulated toddler in an insane situation, and this bitch was TELLING ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY CHILD?
Chicken picked up Ladybug (kicking, wriggling, and screeching) and ran to Dad, because she was afraid he was going to have to step in and pull me off this heifer, and I abruptly remembered where I was.
And that my husband had friends here.
And that this shit-for-brains moocow was not worth humiliating him or my older children in public.
I turned around and stalked off, ignoring her half-hearted, "Well it takes a village to raise a child!" without any of the comebacks I actually had ready at my disposal. 'Lady, if you were in my village I would have sacrificed you to the FUCKING DRAGONS' was my first choice, followed by, 'Bitch, you'd actually have to LIVE ON THIS PLANET to live in my village' as my second, with 'My village already has enough idiots, heifer!!!' as a close third. For once, I really did have the perfect thing to say when I wanted it... I just seriously needed to get out of there because I was going to get ugly in a bad place to get ugly, and I know better than to do that. I'm an educated, reasonable woman, and I would not let this sanctimonious cow make me tussle like a six-year old in a playground.
But I could have taken her. I have two nearly grown kids who seem to be turning out just fine, and that was my fourth comeback, but that's not what I was thinking as I stalked away. I was thinking that they turned out just fine because in spite of my mouth and in spite of the fact that I REALLY COULD HAVE taken her out (she was small--hell, all I would have had to do was sit on her and bang her head against the floor) that one of the reasons they have turned out to be decent people who respect (most) authority and treat other people well is because even though I had it in me to seriously let my temper out and perpetrate violence...
Big thanks for small mercies.