I was in the pediatrician’s office last week with two of my children. While waiting to be seen by the doctor a soldier came in with her son. She was wearing her fatigues and combat boots and was taller than any woman I’ve ever seen. She had a nice short haircut, pretty face and muscles bulging from under her rolled up sleeves. As the door closed behind her a baby girl slapped the glass and peered into the office. I looked up to see an older lady in fatigue-patterned jeans scoop the baby girl up and take her back to a bench in the lobby. I was like…”Geez, they are all hard core. Even grandma is in army gear?”
Everyone in the office seemed to quiver just looking at the soldier. She was new to the office and already telling them she didn’t have whatever card they had asked her for but she wasn’t about to leave. They would look up her info and serve her. The receptionist, who could at times be very assertive with other parents, went straight into “extra polite mode”. She even came from behind the counter to return her id and pick up the completed paperwork from the mom/solider. In over 4 years, I’ve never seen the receptionist do that. The whole office seemed afraid to breathe.
My kids were quietly playing with an abacus in one corner as I sat near the soldier-mom awaiting our turn. While neither of us were looking, her son went to play with Orion and Lauren . Suddenly, he came back over to her looking distressed. She immediately, put the clipboard down and got serious. She started pleading with the child. “What’s the matter baby? Tell me what’s wrong. What happened, Taz?” I looked up slowly and saw my littlest one staring at the boy. Realization came over me and I could sense there might be trouble afoot. I know my son. He wouldn’t have hit the child but most likely Orion, pushed his hand, shooed him away or somehow discouraged him from playing. I blinked slowly. ” Aw, hell” and I gave a sigh. She was mad and continued pressing the boy for answers as he stood there rubbing his little hand like someone had hurt him. Taz seemed about 2 years old and was unable to communicate with her. I kept focus on my children because I didn’t know what would happen next. This woman was huge! And a legally trained killer! She was practically begging the child to verbalize what happened so she could open up a can of whoop-azz. (I pictured myself sailing through the glass window of the pediatrician’s office). So I got ready. She could have crushed me under her big combat boot. And even though she wanted to fight over her son, and had a right to do so, no matter how petty the crime — there was no way I was going to abandon my children. Right then and there I embraced the fact that sometimes mommies have to take a beating.
Taz didn’t answer his mommy in time and the nurse called our names. If you could have seen me getting my kids and getting out of dodge you would have laughed. I paused to mention to the mom that there was a large playroom in the back of the office. (A he, he, he). She snarled and I said,”Well allrighty then. Let’s go children.”
Once we were in private, I asked little Billy Bad-ass a.k.a Orion why he didn’t share the toy. “What are you trying to do? Get me killed?” I said. My 3 and 5 year olds didn’t understand all of it, but I had to make them understand a little. The moral to them? Play nice and don’t put your mother out there! Never thought I’d say it but, it felt really good to run away.