Friday, 9 June 2017

Momster: Stranger Danger and Mama Bear Defcon 5000

I am very grateful I live in Finland - a parenting paradise when it comes to raising children.
Giving birth here is simple, to the point, health care is excellent and the focus of this country is on the children and raising a family.
Finns keep to themselves and I've never had someone try to get too close to me (aka rub the belly) unless they asked first and actually knew me...

Once in a blue moon - I experience Momster rage.
I'm lying - I experience Momster rage all the f*cking time with my kids - but today was different.

Again, who am I kidding?
This morning was f*cking horrible.
  1. I was taking a poo (don't laugh - you do it too) while my bread machine was doing its thang and making our yummy croissant dough (for the first time may I add).
    While I was doing my thang - my lovely M-Girl decided to chop up 2½ pages of price tags I needed to get rid of my junk for the second-hand store.
  2. Once I noticed she had been getting all crafty/artsy fartsy with my Fiskars adult-sized scissors and price tags (at 50 cents a sheet - no big deal - but I obviously can't use them when they look more like Happy Birthday ruffled banners can I?)...I noticed she had been colouring on herself again.  With a Copic marker - aka PERMANENT.
  3. What's wrong with that?  Well, she had coloured lovely tattoos and her own interpretations of us as a family (aka squiggly stick drawings)  ALL OVER HER BODY yesterday.  Issue was that it didn't come off.  At all.  So I used a homemade chia seed lavender soap and got half of it off the following day.
  4. She was now a dark blue speckled Smurfette and I was livid.  She hated the scrubby soap - but tough luck.  I tossed her back in the shower scrubbed the heck out of her again and it thankfully came off because it was fresh ink.  (Lord help me if she gets tattoos as frequently as she draws on herself...)
    So, I take a look at the living room - walls are fine - but sofa...not so much.  Because she drew with that very royal blue permanent marker on a piece of paper with the sofa as the back drop.

    THANKFULLY - the sofa is dark grey.  With dark blue blotches on it...
So my nerves were already shot - safe to say.  This all happened before 8:20am too.

But we had things to do and damn it - we were doing it.

So I rented a table at the local second-hand shop and had some things ready to go.  I packed what I could and we hauled butt (me, V-Man and her) to catch our connecting bus downtown.

Guess what? They don't connect because the one we needed to the shop  - left five minutes prior to our arrival.  Next one was in 30 minutes.

Fine.  We'll sit there and avoid the frustrating grunting demands that the V-Man had (from wanting to eat out) - and just chill.
Thankfully (sadly) there was a fire truck nearby with lights flashing - so that occupied my kids for a bit.

Then the stranger danger occurred.

Remember, I live in Finland.  Parents let their kids nap in a stroller outside without fear of their kid being kidnapped because - common sense! - who wants to steal someone else's kid that you'd have to feed/clothe/bathe etc?!

This woman came stumbling nearby and while I didn't smell alcohol on her (it wasn't even 10am yet and yes there are drunks in our town at that time of the day) - she was clearly "on something".
I had seen her before running about and figured maybe she had places to go and also needed a toilet.

Well, she sidled up to us and sat down beside us - which is fine - everyone is entitled to sit where they want.
My issue right away was that she was blowing cigarette smoke in our faces and I would prefer to avoid that.

So I quietly moved my kids away from her and the massive Ikea bag of stuff I was bringing to my table - and what did she do?
She struck up a conversation in Finnish - which I politely ignored (primarily because it was just babble) and then realized at the end she muttered she was going to stick with us.
I was on automatic alert then - because I simply don't know what she was on and she really did stick with us.

She finished her cigarette while talking to M-Girl (who is the friendliest little thing and clueless with strangers) and once she put it out - she asked me where to go via a certain bus.
She didn't understand my Finnish and thought I said I was going to a hardware store...fine - I don't care.

Then she grabbed V-Man's ball cap on his head - and he started making threatening grunting and moaning sounds.
This amused her and while his hat was still on his head - he was pulling away from her and clearly stressing out as he was gripping his fists closed, hitting his chest and groaning "UM!" (In Finnish it's "en" - "I don't want") and looking at me with a "WTF?!" look on his face.

I put my bag down (and a set of kid skis) and told her in Finnish loud and clear to not touch him.

An elderly woman came nearby and she was also sticking her hand in between my son and this woman's hand because she began to grip my son's shoulder and M-Girl was close enough for her to grab as well.
This kinder stranger warned her that the police were on their way - a million thanks super hero elderly lady!

I have never experienced Mama Bear rage (aka Defcon level 5000) until that moment.

I yelled at her to go away and while she stopped touching his hat - her hand was still on his shoulder. Her eyes were wide and a little out of it - and that's when I suspected it was something stronger than cheap booze and I was ready to lay a beating down on her if she didn't let go of my kid.

I pushed her hand away and waited for her to touch him again, my daughter or me and I was ready.

Thankfully, the cops in an un-marked van pulled up and pulled her away and she went fairly peacefully into the back of their van.

I smiled at the elderly lady in thanks and as the way of the Finns - we didn't say anything more and continued to wait for the buses we needed.

It's only afterward when I realized what could've happened - some ideas more ridiculous than others:
  • She could've hurt my kids.
  • She could've tried to hurt me.
  • I could've seriously hurt her and gone to jail.
  • She could've pushed my kids in front of a bus. (This was the more ridiculous idea.)
I was a shaking mess afterward.  Drunks here are typically quite friendly and I am sure her intent was harmless.  Typically they keep their hands to themselves though - which is why I got all Mama Bear Defcon 5000...and after the first time saying to leave your kid alone - they usually stumble off.

M-Girl was confused (V-Man acted like nothing happened) and asked why the police took that woman away.
I explained that she wasn't feeling well and drank too much grown-up juice and had to see a doctor. She seemed to accept that and then our bus came ten minutes later.

I'm sure the fact that V-Man didn't answer any of her mumbling questions was a very interesting thing for her and probably she was fascinated and thought even briefly we didn't understand Finnish - very intriguing indeed.

I guess this is was one of those situations that is a true nightmare for parents/guardians of non-verbal children.  That they cannot help themselves.  They can't fight back necessarily.
They can't yell for help perhaps.

It makes me more aware of what it's like to be helpless and not have your wishes understood and to not have a voice.

And I can truly sympathize with the non-verbal community that it f*cking sucks at times.


PS I am not the violent type at all - and haven't been in a fist fight - ever... but when push comes to shove - that adrenaline rush of fear, anger and frustration can really come in handy sometime.

No comments:

Post a Comment