Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Mailman

There we were, standing on hot, sticky cement as gigantic machines whizzed and buzzed overhead (it was all I could do not to yell "Duck and cover!" every ten minutes), our children's faces aglow with the reflection of neon and the remnants of yet another batch of pink (or was it blue?) cotton candy.

The boys had just exited a particular carnival ride that rendered them a little topsy-turvy, and were headed our direction to tell us all about it.

Wyatt: I almost puked!

McRae: I couldn't even stop screaming!

Braydon: Dude, that was awesome!

Lily: Let's do it again!

I am always in awe of just how much kids enjoy these carnival rides, as I don't have the fondest memories of being spun like a top at breakneck speeds myself. As I recall, I was more than a bit wobbly after riding The Zipper with my dad at the state fair, and I think he was too (feel free to correct me here, Dad).

Anyway, as we were standing there, waiting for all of our people, a woman started speaking to Wyatt, who was trying to recover from his brush with death behind me.

I had never seen her before and she seemed quite insistent, to say the least, on getting my son's attention.

"Why do you call him the mailman?" she asked. She continued to ask four more times, one after the other after the other . . .

After determining that Wyatt was paying absolutely zero attention to her question, I addressed her myself (I just had to get to the bottom of this whole "mailman" thing - also, I felt kind of bad, I didn't know what she was talking about, if her son had his feelings hurt, or what exactly the nice thing to do was in this situation).

Note to self: the carnival is not the best time to approach the mother of your child's school friend about sensitive name-calling matters.

Leaning over the crowd and trying to drown the sounds of classic rock blasting from the speakers just above my head, I said to her, "Is there some kind of problem?" in the nicest way I could.

"No, no, no," she assured me. "I just wanted to know why they call him "The Mailman." Does he deliver things? It is kind of a funny thing to call someone, don't you think? Why do you think they call him that?"

She was firing off her questions faster than The Zipper above my head. . .

(Maybe because his mom is . . . )

"I haven't a clue ma'am." I responded, noticing that her son, The Mailman in question, was having a giglefest behind her, OBVIOUSLY his feelings were hurt.

Here is the deal, I know my kids aren't perfect. Nobody is. They are at the age where I try (I said try) to encourage them to solve their own problems, especially the minor ones. I have heard about every little playground squabble for the past 4 years. Even though personally, I'd rather lick sandpaper than listen to another story about how "Billy pushed down Sally and made her cry."

So it, quite honestly, baffled me that The Mailman's mother was approaching me, at a carnival, in front of our children, about something I had no knowledge of. I should have handed her a card with my phone number on it and told her to contact me at a later date - that I was enjoying the evening with my family.

Or possibly bought her a funnel cake and called it good.

Then maybe she would take her mailman, whose face was red with laughter at this point and could hardly contain himself (yeah, he looks devastated), back to the post office whence he came.

16 comments:

Susan said...

After nine years of teaching elementary school, I never want to deal with another "playground" squabble again, but sounds like that is going to be out of the question.
Some mothers are too involved with their kids affairs and need to let them learn how to solve their own problems a little more often....or even just once would be good.

Chelle said...

Ugh! I am sorry she ruined your evening. I think that was pretty uncalled for...especially with her son laughing so hard behind her! I bet she felt pretty stupid :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Ugh. I hate that kind of crap.

Every Day Goddess said...

Sorry I can't help but laugh! If that is the least of the "Mailman's" issue she should be happy! Wait till the girl drama starts, that mom is in real trouble then!!

Christy said...

I'm lost...I must be really old, b/c I don't get what "mailman" is supposed to mean, or why he would be so "upset" he was laughing his ass off. Sounds more to me like the mom was reliving some sort of past name calling trama.

Christina_the_wench said...

I hate parents who feel the need to 'fix' all of their kids' problems. Can you imagine when he becomes an adult and someone at his work place offends him? Is he gonna call his mommy to have her address the issue? God help him.

I let my teen daughters cry, bitch and moan and deal with their own stuff. I just have the kleenex and the chocolate ready on stand by.

Ann(ie) said...

um, I think the mailman is just fine. And it all seems so minor. Why would the silly mom need to talk about it there of all places? I've said it before and I'll say it again....you are so sweet and conscience of others feelings. I love you for that! I need you to help me to be more that way. I'd have probably said, um, could you worry about stuff that matters because we're at AN AMUSEMENT PARK RIGHT NOW? But, that's not always the best approach in life. hehe.

followthatdog said...

So why is he the Mailman? That's just funny. Sorry it interrupted you family time

GoteeMan said...

o u must b kidding?! geez... I would have been expecting Jamie Kennedy to jump out and tell me I've been X'd or some crap like that...

Mailman? Maybe your kid is prophetic/psychic and saw the little runt down the road somewhere in a mailtruck... like everything a child says is supposed to make sense - uh, DUH!
So what exactly would she do with this information? Force the little bugger into a future with the U.S. Postal Service? I think not...

Somewhere along the way, perhaps we have gone astray as a society, or perhaps there's just one in every crowd... somebody start "Overprotective Overthinkers Anonymous" - PLEASE! 12 steps to freedom from having to drill others with stupid questions.

J/

LindaJ said...

What was up with that anyway? She was a total freak. Nothing like making all of us feel uncomfortable.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

They called that big bald headed black man that plays basketball the mailman...and he made MILLIONS!

I'm just saying! :)

carrie said...

Yeah, Charles Barkley - I am sure that's why they call this puny little kid that! Love it! :)

carrie said...

Or was it Karl Malone? I can't remember?

Bueller?

Anyone . . .

Team Botanical said...

And why, may I ask, didn't she ask her own kid why he was called the Mailman? If the kid was giggling, and not crying or red from embarassment, I'm going to assume it was a nickname that came from one of those random childhood events. Seriously, they're calling him the Mailman, not Fatty McGee.

Kyla said...

Why DO they call him the Mailman? I'm so curious!!

Mrs. Tantrum said...

Um they call him the mailman because he told everyone about the time that his dad yelled "He's obviously not mine, he's the MAILMAN'S!" that is why she's so freaked out. She thinks that everyone knows her secret!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!