I took my boys to the mall playground yesterday.
They love that stupid place.
For one thing, it's inside. For another, it's got a cookie store and a candy store right around the corner.
The area is really designed for littles 5 & under. I figured we were OK because #2 is 6 and #3 is almost 4. (#1 is on a camping trip with his dad).
I warned the kids that they had to be careful of little kids. I reminded them that I would be watching.
Then I watched.
I watched them jump. I watched them run. I watched them climb.
I watched the other kids too. For some reason, every boy in there was named Luke & every girl was Nevaeh. (Plus Paul.)
I know that because every time I told Luke to be careful, six or seven little boys looked at me for a minute before determining that I was not admonishing them.
Also, one mom spent her time between sucking on her grande moacchino, checking her iPhone and occasionally screeching "Nevaeh! Stop it! Nevaeh. Niv-E-YAH!"
All the other Nevaehs looked up, while the targeted Nevaeh continued to pound on the fish tank or pull on some Luke's hoodie or climb on the potted plants.
She was a little hyper. Whaddya gonna do? Kids are hyper.
I try not to be Judgy McJudgermom. I try SO HARD.
Because my kids aren't perfect.
But the more I watched Nevaeh, the judgier I got.
She was wearing a spaghetti strap top. It's Texas, and pretty warm here, but not spaghetti-strap top warm. Yes, my son was in shorts, but that's completely different. Nevaeh is starting to develop, and spaghetti strap tops are not her friend.
She was mean to the other kids. Not just pushy - she was mean. She frequently pushed her way to the front of the slide line, and knocked kids out of the way at the fish tank. She stuck her tongue out at one of the Lukes.
Every now & then, she ran to her mother to get a pull off the grande moacchino.
I wouldn't have been surprised to see her mother give her a drag off a cigarette.
I noticed another mom eyeing Nevaeh as well. Every time Nevaeh did something obnoxious, other mom & I would exchange eye rolls.
Finally, Nevaeh pushed Paul.
As he tearfully came to me for comfort, I looked at Nevaeh's mom to see if she noticed. She was too involved in her pinterest account to notice that her kid was being a bully.
I hugged and consoled Paul and looked for Luke. It was time to go.
Luke -- my Luke, not the other Lukes -- was chasing Nevaeh.
"Hey!" he yelled "Hey! You PUSHED my brother!". He maneuvered himself in front of her and forced her to acknowledge him.
"You PUSHED him" Luke reiterated.
"Sorry" said Nevaeh.
"You need to tell him," insisted Luke, and he steered Nevaeh over to us.
"Sorry," said Nevaeh to Paul. She patted him on the shoulder and then tore off to do more terror.
I didn't say anything to Nevaeh or to her mother. Nothing I said was going to make any difference, and I am pretty sure that had I said something, I would have gotten a very aggressive retort. I didn't need to get into a mom-brawl in front of my kids.
I figured Luke did a pretty good job of handling it.
Playground Justice was served.