I like to think I am a very reasonable person. If one of my kids is acting crazy or disrupting others, I'm the first person to speak to them and ask them to stop. As a parent it is my responsibility to ensure my children are behaving appropriately and to model for them how to behave in public.
Last Saturday night we took the kids to see the Mooseheads play in round 3 of the playoffs. Ozzy was beyond excited! He loves going to the games. Even though my friend and I were online for tickets at 10am sharp we ended up in the nosebleed section. Thankfully the kids didn't seem to mind. They could see the ice and spent the whole game cheering, playing with their "Go Moose Go" clappers and chatting with the folks around us.
In the row in front of us sat three grown women. It appeared to me to be a mother and get older daughters (mid to late teen and one in her early 20s). The mother kept putting her arm around her daughter's seat and letting it fall behind into Ozzy's foot space. During the last period he was getting a bit restless and at one point put his feet up to push himself back into his seat. When he did this he did accidentally touch the back of the girl in front of him. Before my husband or I could ask him to move his feet and apologize for his actions (which were totally unintentional), the mother turned and proceeded to hit Oz's feet, slapping them down off the edge of the chair! I'm sure my jaw hit the floor. My boy started crying, saying she hurt his foot and I looked at her in amazement. My husband and I exchanged words with her and then I asked him to switch seats with me.
Once I was sitting behind the lady (and I use the term loosely) I explained to her that she had no right to touch my child and that if she had an issue with him she should have spoken to either my husband of I. Anyone who knows me knows that I watch my kids and try to correct behavior before it becomes an issue and I am the first to say if my kid is out of line. In this case I can honestly say that he was on his best behavior that night. When said that he had been kicking her arm during the game, I told her that if that was the case then she should not have been draping her arm into his foot space AND again that she should have mentioned it to us. She had no right what so ever to lay a hand on my child. She never apologized...if she did I didn't hear it.
We're blessed to have very healthy kids, but what if he had a condition that his bones easily broke or that he bruised easily. She hit his feat with enough force that had he had anything like that she could have caused injury. What if he had a behavior condition or developmental delay? Her actions could have caused much more aggravation and disruption then they did.
It is absolutely, positively NEVER okay to use physical force on someone...including someone else's kid. If you are seating in front of a family, keep your body in your own space and if you are bothered by something, speak to the parents. Especially at an event like a hockey game where there is a lot of excitement and energy. Had she spoken to my husband or I, we could have addressed the issue, asked our son to be a little more careful and asked her to keep her arm out of his leg space. She didn't afford us the opportunity to address the issue- we weren't even aware there was one.
I'm really proud of how my son behaved at the game. He listened well, used good manners and didn't go all crazy. He had a great time chatting with the folks behind us and dancing to the music. And then the lady is Section 41, Seat 4, Row P ruined our night. My husband and I kept our cool but it absolutely took the fun out of the evening for us and for our son who is a major hockey fan. My blood is still boiling over the incident. I didn't speak to the usher because I didn't want there to be anymore disruption. The woman did shift her family over three seats so they weren't in front of us anymore. Oh and those three seats had been empty all game...if she was that bothered by our son she could have moved earlier and the whole scene she caused would not have occurred.
I hope that the woman doesn't touch another child like that again...I have my doubts as she didn't take any responsibility for her actions....if we're lucky enough get to another home game this series and we are even luckier to get tickets I certainly hope that we don't have the same folks in front of us.