It’s hard for me as a parent to see my children in any type of pain, whether it’s pain caused by a small scratch on the knee, pain caused by hurtful words, pain caused by something internal, and especially pain caused at the hands of another person.
Excuse me if I might sound ignorant, but it is within my belief
that the only two people who are allowed to put their hands on a child are the parents. After all it’s the parents who brought the child into the world and it’s the parents who are solely responsible for grooming their child so that when they are ready to flee the nest, they would do so gracefully. With that said, no one and I mean no one is allowed to put their hands on my children.
It is within my motherly nature to protect my children in any way possible now that they are so young and it kills me inside knowing that I wouldn’t be able to protect them from everything harmful in life; I can only teach them how to recogonize and avoid danger from afar and hope for the best.
It kills me inside knowing that there are some very horrible people in this world and I wouldn’t be able to throw an invisibility cloak over my children so that those bad people wouldn’t be able to see them and therefore harm my children; I can only teach them how to defend themselves and hope for the best.
It also kills me inside knowing that if pain is inflicted upon my children by the hands or mouth of another person, as a mother, I cannot react the way I instinctively want to react because I know that my children are watching me and how I behave and react will someday be how they behave and react. And I wouldn’t want them to one day snap and end up in a world a trouble. So I have to think, not twice, but four times before I act. All. Of. The. Time.
Can you imagine how exhasting that is coupled with constant worry and other things mother’s are faced with?
At times I may seem calm as if things don’t bother me or as if I don’t see what’s going on around me, but please know that I am well aware of my surroundings; I’m deaf but I hear everything, I may be looking one way but I see everything. My children are the only reasons why I remain seemingly calm in situations where people would otherwise raise hell. It’s called self-control and I want my children to have it.
Afterall, children don’t do as they’re told, they do as they see.
Unfortunately, there has been a time where someone, who should have been able to be trusted, put their hands on my daughter. Though this incident took place months ago, even now it still angers me. From the night that it happened up until this very moment as I am sitting here typing this out, I’ve replayed the incident over and over again in my head and each time I get even more upset. I always ask myself why–after all of this time–does that incident still piss me off?
Well, on the night that it happened I was pissed because it was unexpected and the person who put their hands on my child was honestly the last person I would have expected to do so.
Remembering the fear and confusion on my child’s face sent me to a very dark place and it took everything for me to come out of that dark place.
I had just given birth at the time; my youngest was just shy of four weeks old, everything was all happiness and smiles as my family adapted to having a new addition.
On this particular night I called my daughter to my room to let her know that it was bed time. I was fully prepared for her to put up a fight and whine and complain about how she wasn’t sleepy yet and she wanted a few more minutes of playtime, but to my surprise she did the exact opposite. Before I could even say my usual “it’s time to clean up and brush your teeth, grab a book so I can read you a bed time story” she beat me to it. I was thorougly impressed with how much of a big girl she was being that night. To my announcement that it was bedtime, she simply said, “Okay, I’m going to quickly clean up my toys, then I’ll go brush my teeth and then can you read me a bed time story?” I was damned near moved to tears. My four year old wasn’t going to give me a hard way to go? That was certainly a first.
However, thirty minutes later when my daughter didn’t report to me that she was finished cleaning up her mess, I didn’t see her go into the bathroom or come into my bedroom and get a book from the book shelf, I started to think that she fooled me and snagged an extra thirty minutes of playtime. But as I walked past her bedroom to make my way to the living room with my three week old in tow, I was stopped dead in my tracks.
My usual lively four year old was trembling, rocking side to side, holding her thigh with her face burried in her pillow. A closer look told me she was crying; the side of her face was red. Now, she’s already dark in complexion so if her face turned red that should tell you something.
I simply asked her, “what’s wrong?” and she shot up, eyes wide showing obvious fear. She held her hands to the sides of her face and shook her head quite violently “I’m so sorry, mommy! It was by my accident! I didn’t mean to!” I didn’t even try to hide my confusion as she breathlessly tried to tell me what had happened. I tried to get her calm down thinking she thought she would be in trouble for falling–because that’s what I thought happened. I thought she fell and hurt herself or at most fell and broke something in the living room. But by the same token, I didn’t remember hearing a thudding sound so that just added to all of my confusion. With the help of some deep breathing on her part, I was finally able to understand what had transpired.
It’s possible, and I never knew that it was, for someone to see fire and have steam to shoot out of their ears.
Straight from her mouth my daughter told me that she and this person was playing as they always used to and my child playfully tapped the other persons face by way of playful affection. (think of a grandparent caressing their grandchilds face and giving it three taps) Now, to me, I knew this was all done in play because I know my child–I even had her demonstrate on me what she did and it only cemented what I already knew. She’s four and very heavyhanded like her father.
To the other person it may have felt like a purposeful full-force smack to the face but had they have used words instead of retaliation they would have gained the knowledge that it wasn’t meant to come out the way it felt.
However, when the other person was asked to tell their side, they only told what my four year old did to them. They was mum about what what they did in return. Which threw up red flags in my mind. Why couldn’t they admit their part? Is this not the first time something like this happened? Has something ever happened while I was asleep or in the shower–two times when my hearing aids aren’t in my ears?
It took me a good fifteen minutes to calm my daughter down enough for her to breathe normally again. I let my daughter know that I knew she made a mistake and her “hit” wasn’t intended to be interpreted as it ultimately was. As I would later learn that this person likes to initiate roughhousing but would only stop if something breaks, someone gets hurt physically or someone’s feelings get hurt. I’ll have you know that this person is old enough–in fact way older than my child and a member of the oposite sex and therefore should have known better than to react the way that they did.
Now, when I think back on that day, I realize that it still pisses me off because I can no longer trust that person and when my trust in someone is broken it upsets me because I start to feel like my judgement in character should have been better. It makes me feel like I not only endangered myself but worst–I have put my children in danger as well. All because I thought a person could be trusted. It makes me feel like a terrible mother; like I’m not doing a good enough job to protect my children the way I should. In short, I feel like shit.
I’m no longer wired to be able to forgive, forget and give another chance. I can only forgive, but you will never be given another chance to mess with my family–especially my kids, ever again.
Naturally, since I became a mother almost five years ago, something in me disallows me to give people more than once chance. Shockingly the transition from being a person who handed out chances like water to being a person who cuts people off if they so much as move a fraction of an inch in the wrong direction was pretty easy. After becoming a mom, I no longer felt like I needed a lot of people in my life; my main and only focus became the caring and well-being of my family (Husband, children and myself) everyone else could get dropped with the quickness and I cannot and will not apologize for that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that people are still learning and growing throughout their lifetime but I cannot subject my family to bullshit if I can help it. They are not test objects to be used at anyone’s disposal in their journey to finding themselves or learning right from wrong. That’s what your parents/ guardians are for. And if they failed to teach you what they should have taught you, stay away from my family.
Just to be clear I am not talking about children here. Children will inevitably make mistakes and over time learn from them. I am talking about people who are of age. And by “of age” I mean, people who are legally allowed to drive, legally allowed to smoke, legally allowed to drink, legally allowed to go out clubbing and will legally be placed in the big house instead of Juvenile if they were to ever break the law.
I don’t know, it might just be me. But me personally, I would never put my hands on another person’s child–and I never have even when I was a teenager, even when I was a child myself (yep, that’s right, I never had a fight before). Why? Because I’ve always known that other people’s children aren’t mine and I therefore I didn’t and still don’t have the right to put my hands on their child and for the bonus reason…..wait for it, now…..I knew better. As someone who is clearly no longer a child (and I haven’t felt like a child since I entered High School back in 2005 when I was going on 15 years old) hitting someone younger than me not only seemed cowardice but it also seems predatory in my eyes.
In my eyes, if someone of age thinks that it’s okay to hit a small child, then what else do they think is okay to do to a child? I’ll leave that to your imagination.
Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think that I am.