Thursday, April 23, 2015

The "Mean Dad"

The big kids are playing on the structure, and continues playing a game the rest of our visit.
While I sat close the twins climbed in and out of the log and then on and off of the kiddie structure.
That was until a very aggressive dad of Summer and April decided to yell at the twins.  I write this days later but the sting of that moment is still there.  The twins were climbing up and down and being twins.  If you have a set you will understand.  They help each other climb by offering a body part, any part to assist each other.  Adorable had just helped Beautiful up onto the platform by offering her foot out, Beautiful grabbed her foot and pulled herself up.  When this other young child of the overprotective parent saw Adorable offer her foot out to Summer - a timid girl of about 2 1/2 (think she was just months younger than the girls) all calm was gone.  I saw this as it was happening and didn't react because I knew what Adorable was trying to do; she was trying to help Summer up the same way she had helped Beautiful.  The dad was standing at a different angle and assumed Adorable was going to kick his daughter off, even though they had been playing nicely together for 20 minutes.  He screamed at the top of his lungs and charged at Adorable, "NO, NO, NO!  STOP THAT NOW! YOU DON'T DO THAT! SHE CAN CLIMB UP TOO! YOU DON'T GET TO BE IN CHARGE! . . (and other things that I can't remember." I understand he was afraid for his daughter but to say he over reacted is a MAJOR UNDERSTATEMENT.  Parents especially moms came running from all over the park to offer assistance to what they must have assumed was an adult hurting a child.  They were all as stunned as I was to see this grown man hovering over the twins and yelling at them with all his might.  I sat still for a minute trying not over react myself.  I dismissed calling the police for help because I really didn't want to traumatize the twins more but I instantly felt so sorry for Summer and April (the 15 month old baby sister). Princess and Bagel got the girls before the man was done yelling and just grabbed them away from him.  The boys were right there as well, ready for action if needed.  I think dad realized how obnoxious he was right away but the moment was still very awkward.  Then Beautiful came running at me telling me about "The mean dad." and then Adorable, once safely in my arms, let out a loud cry and then whimpered non stop for about 10 minutes.  The dad told me from a distance (probably good on his part - Momma Bear was holding a crying baby) that she was probably upset because he raised his voice at her.  I calmly told him that I was well aware of his yelling as were all of the bystanders.  I felt so protected actually.  I think all those other parents would have defended any kid from that dad if needed.  I tried to calm Beautiful while holding a sobbing Adorable by telling her that I knew that Adorable didn't do anything wrong but that Summer's dad must have misunderstood because of where he was standing.  I said it loud enough for all those watching to hear, including the "mean dad".  I told her that I was sure that "Summer's daddy just over reacted because he thought Summer might have been killed by a kick and fall of one foot."  Yes I was being obnoxious but it was better than the other side of momma bear coming out.  The dad knew it too.  I think he wanted to stand his ground and let Summer and April play on the playhouse but they were too embarrassed and quietly walked over to the bike contraption and climbed in.  The dad got on the bike and as he left said,  "I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here." (I couldn't help but think - where is your apology to this little girl who has not yet caught her breathe from sobbing.)  I said, "Thank you but for now we are just in damage control, you have good night."  When he road off Beautiful stood up and waved saying, "BYE BYE MEAN DAD!"  It might be wrong of me but I didn't correct her.

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