Since I get off work early on Fridays during the summer, I typically use those afternoons to have a little rarely-had “Me Time” which usually involves a nap, reading a book, getting a pedicure, or just putzing around the mall. Today I decided that I would pick Monkey Man up from school around 3:00 and take him to the pool, because they were having a Father’s Day “tea” at school and Joey is out of town playing golf with some of his biggest clients and couldn’t cancel out. After almost having a meltdown the day of the Mother’s Day tea when I was 15 minutes late arriving, I really didn’t want Monkey Man stressing out about Joey not being there so the pool seemed like a good trade-off.
In the past, by the time we typically make it to the pool (5 or 6 PM), most of the crowd has cleared out and we have the pool pretty much to ourselves and some of the other families that also go to the same preschool. Today, it was a total madhouse – I guess because it was so darn hot plus the kids are starting to get out of school for the summer. Monkey Man still can’t swim, so we usually stay in the “baby” pool (he hates when I call it that) or I have to carry him around the adult pool which is a total chore. Everyone usually brings a bag of pool toys and all the kids share nicely for the most part.
We had been there for about an hour and things were going extremely well. I met a few new people and Monkey Man was having a blast in the pool.
And then the Hellion came.
Hellion and his little partner in crime came bursting over into the baby pool and began terrorizing all of the other kids. I believe they were probably about 4 or 5 and neither appeared to be able to swim. The weapon of choice was this hard plastic ball that Hellion was whipping around the pool, despite the other parents asking him to stop. The next thing I knew, he turned and saw Monkey Man with his back turned to him, and whipped that ball and intentionally hit MM right in the upper back. It was no accident.
I looked around – no parent in sight. Where the hell were these kids’ parents? So I asked the Hellion nicely to stop. A few more minutes went by and the kid continued whipping the ball in the water, at other kids, and finally I saw Mom of the Year peek over the fence…
“Oh honey,” she whined, “I had no idea that you were over here. You really need to let Mommy know when you come over here, because I couldn’t find you over here…”
Okay. The kid can’t swim. The pool is super crowded. And Mom of the Year is too busy discussing Botox and Brangelina with the other Stepford Wives to even notice her non-swimming child has been missing for 15 minutes now?
So she finally wanders over into the baby pool area to say hi to another mom, and as she watches her little darling, he walks over and intentionally whips the ball at Monkey Man’s back again.
Oh no he didn’t just do that.
My inner Mama Bear came raging out. I walked out into the middle of the pool and said, “You have done that twice now on purpose, so I want you to get out and sit on the side of the pool until you can behave nicely.”
Mom of the Year came simpering over. “Is there a problem?”
“Yes, there is. Your son has been terrorizing the other smaller children in the pool by whipping that hard plastic ball at them, and he has intentionally hit my son twice in the back while his back was turned and then laughed about it.”
“Well,” she laughed, “I had no idea that he was over here.”
“Maybe you should keep a closer eye on your son then.” And I walked away. Walked away right into Pool Mom Legend Status where I will be the mom that nobody screws with at the pool and the other parents whisper about.
To her credit, she made her son get out of the pool, apologize to Monkey Man (this is after he laughed in her face and then got the point that pool time was over for the day) and then removed him to sit in a chair the rest of the time. After the apology, I walked back over to her…
“Look, I really appreciate you having your son apologize, and I’m sorry if I offended you earlier. I just really have a hard time when I see kids doing things like that to other kids, you know what I mean?”
“Sure,” she said with a saccharine sweetness, “and I’m sorry if we ruined your day at the pool.” She then walked over to the other Stepford Wives and eventually all of them started giving me the evil eye. I guess I shit all over their plans to neglect their kids at the pool so they could discuss their personal trainers and stuff without the little darlings bothering them. A drowning would be just a minor inconvenience, I guess.
“Hey, good for you,” said another mom who was sitting by the edge of the pool and watching her three kids play. “You wouldn’t believe how some of the parents here let these kids run berserk even though they can’t swim or aren’t strong swimmers. You know, that’s just flat out dangerous.”
“Not as dangerous as my inner Mama Bear coming out,” I said with a big grin. “And hi, my name is Liz…I think my son is in tae kwon do with your son…”