A Field Trip Gone Awry

This past Friday I was on a field trip with my girls. My oldest was participating with her pre-school friends at the local music school. In the dance portion of the visit I noticed a new face in the crowd. I introduced myself. The mom reciprocated. I asked her what she did as I have never seen her before. She replied that she stays at home so she can make sure the housekeeper does her job. The nanny always had taken the boy to school.I nodded trying to absorb it all. The room was done and going to move to the music portion.
One mom pulled me aside from the others to say that mom has never been around. She does not show up at play dates. I asked if there was maybe an illness as to her full time help at home. The answer was no. I felt sad for the situation. She seemed to not want to be here. She was not taking any pictures or giving words of encouragement. The mom was glued to her phone.
My youngest was running to me to be picked up. The class had been mixing up instruments. It looked like my oldest was having a great time. I saw on the outer corner one of the pre-schoolers wandering from the circle looking for his mom. She bellowed at him to get back in line. He did until the circle moved into his mom’s corner, and he stepped out to stand in front of his mom.
What happened next still rings in my ears and my heart.
When the boy broke off from the circle, his mom yelled at him to listen to the teacher. She then reached behind him and gave him a fast and hard spank. The room came alive with parents and kids running around. I crouched in front of my girls to give them a big hug. My shaky nerves and hot cheeks advertised my shock. The teacher dismissed us. I got the girls settled into their car seats with snacks in hand. I stood outside the car wiping tears off my cheeks. For the first time my girls saw a child get hit. That makes me feel sick.
Growing up I was subjected to many horrors of discipline for things that in hindsight were not my fault. The anger from my dad and the emotional and physical abuse made me protect my children even harder. I don’t know anyone who would have spanked their child so publicly in front of their kid’s peers. In fact, I don’t know many who do spank.
I realize that I am not judging what other parents do in the own homes. My heart aches still as I write this for that little boy who was publicly humiliated in front of his peers.
That night, the situation still bothered me. Something was not right. I called RCMP and was told they already knew of the situation. I have since heard from the other parents in class. The venue where we had the trip had called as per their policy and two other parents called the cops. There is much more to this story sadly. The kids are at their grandparents.
It was hard to witness two examples of extreme parenting: one not into their kid and one who felt nothing to spank in the classroom.
My instincts are never wrong. I wish I knew much earlier if there was a problem. I hope the family can heal and repair from the toxic environment that had become their home.
I originally posted on Facebook when I was in the heat of the moment. It caused a lot of uproar. For those who really know me know that it must take a lot for me to speak up. Just as those who read this have a voice, I do too. That boy needed someone to speak up for them.
I have not had a mom break in four and a half years. I am with my kids 24/7. I do not have any help due to finances and small family. I know I am not supermom. I also want to be here for them as much as I can. I work-at-home which adds to the already filled to-do list. My housework always comes last or forgotten. Sure I wish I had a sitter or a cleaner occasionally. I have had my anger times with my kids. I have locked myself in a bathroom to cry or scream into a pillow. I count to ten. I go online to vent.
When my anger has cleared, I realize that what made me angry was not my child but me.
Our motto is hands are for hugs and high-fives only. For me and my kids. Now I am going to go deliver a hug.