The One Where My Mom Claws Come Out

*update* I returned to the mall today to file a formal complaint and noticed that there was a phone number on the sign in front of the trampolines (where the same girl was working again today, I might add).  I called the number and spoke with the man who owns the trampolines.  He was very kind and extremely apologetic for her behavior.  He told me that this was the second complaint in two weeks he’d gotten on this girl…and she only works two days/week.  Yikes.  Anyway, he apologized profusely and told me he would be calling me in the next couple of days to set up a time for me to bring the kids in and let them bounce for free.  So I just wanted to put that out there – it was the employee, not the establishment and I’m very pleased with the outcome.  Happy New Year everyone!

Tonight I had the privilege of taking Sloan on a date to the movies.  We are not movie folk.  Lee and I don’t love going to the movies (it’s more that we don’t love paying for the movies) and so we rarely go, which means I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve taken Sloan to the theater.

Needless to say, going to see a movie is a HUGE treat.  So huge, in fact, that as we walked through the mall, Sloan grabbed my hand and put it on his cheek and said, “Thanks for taking me to the movie mom.  This is the bestest night of my whole life…AND of my whole year!”

Glad I could finish out 2009 with a bang for you little man.

We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Sloan thought is was HI-LAR-I-OUS.  He slapped his knee, he bent over and gripped his sides, he cackled and I think I even heard a guffaw.  Even I thought it was a funny movie, though I had considerably more fun watching him clutch his sides in hysterics than I did watching the screen.  (The two scenes that had him laughing until I thought he might have an accident? When Alvin gave the football jocks a wedgie and when Theodore got trapped beneath the sheets after Toby passed gas. Ugh – is he all boy or what?)

After the movie, Sloan wanted to walk around the mall for a bit and since it was date night, I decided to give in and let him pick one more special thing to do.  He chose to jump on the inflated trampolines in the center of the mall.  Lucky for me, I still had Tia’s wallet in my purse from a trip to the store the other day and I was able to borrow the cash needed from her to allow him to do that. 

Remind me to replace that before she starts looking for her wallet!

We approached the gates of the trampoline area and Sloan asked if he could jump.  The girl in charge looked up from her soup in a bread bowl long enough to roll her eyes then slid off her chair and stomped over to us and flung the gate open.

“Take off your shoes,” she barked at Sloan.


*eyeroll* “Take. off. your. shoes,” she said all slow and snotty like.  At this point my blood reached a simmering point.  I took a deep breath and told myself that maybe, just maybe, she had low blood sugar and our interuppting her dinner was causing an adverse reaction in her body.  Benefit of the doubt.  I was working hard on it.

Once Sloan had his shoes and jacket off, he climbed up on the trampoline all giggly and smily – oblivious to the snotty girl yanking the belt around his waist.  She jerked the straps up then gave him a little shove backwards to the center of the tramp.  And my blood reached boiling point.  I literally had to grip the sides of the gate to keep myself from lunging over.

At this point, another family walked up and their daughter headed in to the other trampoline, receiving the same rude and rough treatment.  The other mom and I made eye contact.  I could see that her blood was at the same temperature mine was.  Her knuckles were white too.

Our kids commensed to jumping.  Sloan wooped and hollered and had the time of his life.  I tried to enjoy his glee, but I was too busy watching the girl, making sure that she was doing her job and keeping an eye on the jumpers.  She wasn’t.  She was busy pouring her soup into her bread bowl and taking a bite.

After a few minutes, she lowered the kids down and without a word motioned for Sloan to step forward so she could remove his harness.  He wasn’t looking at her so he didn’t see her.  She motioned again.  He still didn’t see.  So she kicked at the tramp with her knee to get his attention and when he looked at her she motioned vigorously and rudely for him to step forward…still not talking and asking him politely.  Then she yanked – and I mean literally yanked – his harness off and stomped over to the other tramp.

When she came to me for the money, I was taking very deep breaths.  My face was so hot I feared it might spontaneously combust into a flaming inferno.  I leaned way forward and put my nose about an inch from her and began speaking through clenched teeth.

I said, “I understand that it’s late and you’ve probably had a long day, and I see that you are trying to eat some dinner so I’m assuming you’re hungry, but the way that you just treated my son is unacceptable.  You’ve been nothing but a snot from the moment we stepped up here and I want you to know that I was watching you and I don’t appreciate it.”

At this point, she rolled her eyes at me.  She ROLLED HER EYES AT ME.  Perhaps I misjudged her earlier.  She didn’t have low blood suger, she had a freaking death wish.

To my credit, I kept my cool and never raised my voice, although my hands began shaking with fury.

“Nobody pushes my kid around, do you understand?  That’s my kid right there and he deserves your respect and you will respect him.  I don’t care if you like your job or not – you have no right to push my kid around and think you can get away with it.”

I then handed her the money and said, “I will pay you this money, but I want you to know that I am going to the Information desk where I will be filling out a complaint and recommending that you be removed from a job that requires you working with children since you clearly don’t want to be around them.  And I sincerely hope that you shape up your attitude and treat the children standing in line behind me better than you’ve treated my son.”

She stared at me and did not respond.  Not even a nod.  Oh my Lord, you guys, it is by the grace of God I was able to step away I was so furious.

I grabbed Sloan’s hand and as calmly as I could walked away.  As I stopped to put his shoes on him, the dad of the other little girl that was jumping with Sloan walked by and gave me two thumbs up.  I also noticed a mom who had been standing in line behind me leave the line. 


When I got to the Information desk, they told me they were out of complaint forms (!) but I could come back tomorrow and fill one out in the main mall office.  And you better believe I’ll be doing that.  That girl has no business working that job.

As we left, Sloan asked me why I told that girl to change her attitude – I decided to use it as a teaching moment and explained to him that that girl was rude and disrespectful not only to me, but more so to him. 

“We’re a family, kiddo, and if someone isn’t treating your family right, you need to defend your family.”

He nodded and I think he got the message.  He’s a perceptive kid and he knew that she wasn’t acting kind.  (Kind!  She wasn’t acting human…she was a little monster.)  For my part, I’m actually pretty proud of how I handled the situation.  I have a tendency to, ahem, fly off the handle and when she rolled her eyes at me I had to fight H-A-R-D not to raise my voice and use a few choice words.  Seriously – just thinking about it right now I’m biting my lip with such force that I may pierce it. 

But I knew little eyes were watching and I kept my cool.  And I think she got the message.  I don’t think she cared, but she got the message.

Yay me! *deep breath*

Now I’m off to go release on the punching bag in the basement…