This afternoon was a strange one.
My Big Girl came home from school in a MOOD. She let me have it about every little thing she could think of. She discovered that she left her stuffed unicorn (which she had smuggled into her backpack this morning, btw) in the carpool car, and after yelling at me about it (odd, since if she had listened to me it would have stayed home in the first place), broke down into sobs.
Then, at gymnastics class, there was a girl (about third grade) in the waiting area yelling and crying that she didn't understand the homework she was working on, and a little girl in the class crying because she had to try running up to the springboard more than once before she got it right.
I thought to myself, "huh. what do you know. must be something in the air today." It just struck me as kind of amusing, actually, that these girls were losing their shit on the same day, when things are usually smooth 'n' happy at the gymnastics place. And I mean, frustration with one's own mistakes and limitations happens to everyone and I do sympathize but I know things will get better for these girls, and probably pretty soon.
But then my bemused attitude about it changed. Because something really ugly happened.
The homework girl came back from an attempt to "cool off outside" and really laid into her babysitter (an adult woman). She was sobbing and hysterically screaming "why don't you understand me when I say that I don't understand this homework?" OVER and OVER and OVER and the poor babysitter was doing a great job of remaining calm and saying "I am trying to explain it to you if you will just sit down and listen a bit" but boy, was she ever being screamed at. I was impressed with her calm approach, letting this child's anger bubble over but reiterating quietly that she is ready to work on the assignment with her whenever she is ready to listen.
But the screaming and yelling and sobbing would not subside. So the babysitter suggested that they skip gymnastics for the day and just go home, I assume because the babysitter had decided that the girl was in no shape for gymnastics class today. Then the girl only yelled at her more. And then we heard (because there was no way not to hear it) this: "Why are you the meanest babysitter in the world? Why do you never think about anybody else but only yourself? I am going to tell my mom to FIRE YOU!!!!"
Ugh. This poor babysitter. It's hard enough dealing with your own child acting this way, when you just deal with it and don't have to answer to anybody else's opinion about it. But this woman was going to have to explain it all to the mom, and then you know the child was going to tell the mom her own version of events, and who knows how the babysitter will come out in the mom's eyes? Even though she handled this in the best way, she really did.
They left, and everyone in the waiting area had to kind of shake the whole thing out of our heads. As you can tell, it's still rattling around in mine.