Not my kid... that would hardly be news, would it? My kids cry when I tell them they've got to put shoes on. No, this was a kid that I've never met before, and until I made the poor kid cry, hadn't even noticed.
Why, you may ask, have I started terrorizing random kids on the playground? Well, let me tell you.
Okay. I have started volunteering at the school again, once a week, which actually has nothing to do with this story. So I'll just say that Kee is behaving (mostly) with the aplomb* of a kindergartner, ie. sitting on the carpet when she's supposed to and not getting too pissed off when snack time's over.
Anyhoo, back to being evil.
After school, on any given day, there are a bunch of kids who hang out and play on the playground. I tend not to, just because it's hard to keep track of both kids at the same time, and while I'm not too worried about Beege scarpering**, Kee is a runner. (One time, she got all the way to the parking lot before I caught up to her; I need to sign her up for sports.) Occasionally, though, they manage to talk me into it.
There is a certain slide on the playground that has been dedicated as the "Bey blade slide". For the record, I hate bey blades. I think they're stupid and should not be allowed at school. However, there is a contingent of boys who like to play with them, and there are three other slides, so it doesn't seem a big deal to let them play there.
Beege, having been told that she couldn't slide down that particular slide, figured it was okay to sit at the top and just hang out and look at clouds. And really, it should have been.
Unfortunately, for everyone involved, this other kid decided to climb up the slide where she was sitting. (Climbing up the slide is, in itself, against school rules.) So. He ran most of the way up the slide and started hauling himself up the rest of the way by her clothing.
She was upset, to say the least. Not nearly as upset though as when he climbed over her, then turned around, peeled my crying child's hands off the sides of the slide and hurled her down to the bottom.
This occurred as I was looking on and making my way across the playground. I made it over at just about the time he shoved her.
I am proud to say that I did not (entirely) lose it. While I did raise my voice, it wasn't that crazy person shrieking that sometimes happens when you're scared and angry at the same time. I said "NO. You do NOT treat other children that way. It is NOT okay to run up the slide. YOU WILL APOLOGISE." Then I went to the bottom of the slide, picked up my weeping daughter, brushed her off, made sure she was okay and then brought her to the boy and let him stammer an apology. This all happened in a matter of a minute or so.
I didn't feel too badly about it until I looked over a bit later, and the kid was still sitting there with his knees pulled up to his chest, rocking, like he'd seen a monster. Me, I guess. Then I felt kind of bad.
So here's the question: What would you have done? Would you discipline someone else's child if their behaviour is out of line?
*Yet another word that looks like nonsense if you stare at it too long. I wiki'ed it to make sure it really was a word, and not only is it a word, but it means exactly what I thought it did. Yay, me!
**Me mam's bri-ish an' I like foony wurds.