This weekend we attended a wedding reception for Nelson's aunt and her new husband. They've been together for many years and decided to get married last month while on vacation in Hawaii.
It was a lovely afternoon reception, and kids were invited so that was fantastic. There were tons of cousins and other kids for the boys to play with, and they had a great time. Mostly a great time.
At one point, my sister-in-law Suzi and I were standing underneath the dining tent chatting and casually watching our kids, who were playing about 50 yards away being (kind of) supervised by our husbands. They were back there with them. There was a large play structure and also a small bounce house - the kind that fits two or three small kids. Oscar was on play structure and Miles and my niece, Ella, were in the bounce house with another cousin. There were probably 8 or 10 kids total playing, our husbands and two or three other parents back there.
So, Suzi and I were casually chatting but also watching the bounce house from a distance (those thing are death traps), and I noticed a bigger kid getting into the bounce house. My mommy-sense went off. I said to Suzi, "Hey, who is this big kid getting in the bounce house?"
"In the white shirt? I'm not sure."
Then, the biggish kid shoved my niece. He was at least a head taller. She stumbled, but was fine, completely unfazed. It's a bounce house, after all.
After the shove, though, I was on high alert because Miles was in there, and he was the smallest kid inside the house and the biggish kid was clearly a bully.
Sure enough, he I saw him turn his attention to Miles and my heart started racing. Miles was on all fours and the kid cocked his leg and kick him square in the face.
HE KICKED MILES IN THE FACE.
There is no mistaking what happened for an accident. He pulled back his leg and unleashed it underneath Mile's jaw. Miles William's head snapped back and I took off at a run, calling to Suzi, "That kid just kicked Miles in the face!"
"What?!" and she took off as well.
The bully hightailed it out of the bounce house, SMIRKING while the parents by the bounce house were trying to figure out what happened. I passed the bully on my way to Miles and I stopped.
"HEY!" I shouted and pointed at him. (I should be clear, I was not screaming, it was more very loud, stern shouting.) He started and dropped the smirk.
"HEY! I SAW YOU KICK MY KID IN THE FACE! I WATCHED YOU DO IT!"
"YOU KICKED MY TWO-YEAR-OLD IN THE FACE! YOU CANNOT DO THAT! YOU CANNOT KICK PEOPLE IN THE FACE!"
He mumbled something, that Suzi (who was right behind me) reported to be, "What? I didn't anything."
I ran back to Miles and everyone was still baffled, but having heard me yell at the bully, they figured out why Miles was sobbing on the bounce house floor. My brother-in-law went in and got him (I was in a dress) and passed him over to me. He jaw was red. He clung to me, sobbing.
Another of the parents asked what had happened and I told her the bigger kid had intentionally kicked Miles in the face. I pointed the kid out and she went running after him and brought him to his mom.
As I was consoling Miles, who I am sure was as scared and shocked as he was hurt, the mom came over and apologized profusely, asking exactly what happened, and if there had been any provocation.
"No," I told her, "He went in the bounce house, shoved my nice, and kicked Miles in the face. He was in there less than a minute."
She was apologetic, but not surprised. He has ADHD and behavioral issues. I know the mom, I like the mom, and I know it is embarrassing and upsetting when your kids misbehave, particularly when they hurt another child. She took him home immediately.
And that was that. I think I was visibly shaking for an hour, I was so angry that Miles had been bullied by a kid that was nearly twice his size. That this kid went into the bounce house intending to hurt someone, and that Miles was the victim. Because I have no doubt that if he'd actually hurt my nice, he would have stopped his assaults. He was trying to provoke a reaction. My easy-going niece was not a good target (though I suspect he chose her because she was the next smallest, and a girl); Miles, a toddler on all fours, was an excellent target.
Miles recovered much more quickly. He was back in the bounce house in less than 10 minutes.
I definitely felt guilty after the fact for yelling at someonelse's kid, but I wanted to get a good look at him, and I wanted to make sure he knew he was not getting away with kicking my kid in the face.
KICKING MY KID IN THE FACE. ON PURPOSE.
I get all upset again just thinking about it, my sweet Miles, maliciously kicked in the face. I think if it had just been a slap I would not have been so upset. I deal with conflict between children all day long and I rarely raise my voice. But just knowing that this kid's intention was to hurt, to injure, sent me over the top.
So, anyways, I will yell at a child. Oh, yes, I will.