You looked so comfortable in your cozy chair engrossed in your book, that I didn’t want to bother you. I didn’t want to interrupt your siesta from parenting, as your two little monsters knocked my three-and four-year old in the bounce house. The daggers I was shooting you with from my eyes, must not have made it across the room to grab your attention.

Your two adorable, yet grossly deviant kids, looked a little old to be bouncing around in a Frozen inflatable castle. By my estimate, your daughter dripping in sass that only a tween can pull off, and your son with his ‘keep calm and party on’ T-shirt and baggy pants looked to be about 14ish? 

As I stood outside the bounce house, I heard the scream of my daughter, before I saw the aftermath. I knew it was bad, I had a feeling your kids were involved, I looked at you but you didn’t flinch.

My daughter slid out of the inflatable, feet first, holding her side. Then I saw her face; red, flushed and tears pouring down. As I was consoling my first-born, what appeared to be the first spawn of your brood came over to us. Expecting to hear an apology, I was thrown when your daughter said the following, “big kids one, little kids zero.”

Then your precious little brat sauntered away, leaving my child in tears and me with the impossible decision of who to slug first. Before I could make up my mind, the sounds of my three-year-old son screaming from the same castle of horrors. Oh no, not again. I look over at you mother dearest. My God, that must be some read, being the only two families in this 6,000-square-foot building, and you less than 12 feet away, are oblivious to the bloodbath.

In the same sequence as his older sister, my son slides out feet first crying, explaining to me between sobs that the ‘bad boy’ pushed him down. I picture your tween coming around holding up a sign-big that reads ‘big kids-2, little kids-0.’

After wiping away tears and kissing boo-boos, my kids were ready to get back in the game. I advise them to just stay away from your ingrates, and find somewhere else to play. They make a bee-line for the inflatable obstacle course in the back corner. I find solace there, away from your children, and their neglectful mother. It’s short lived. Soon it becomes a game, your overgrown jumpers following us from the obstacle course, to the jumbo slide and finally the blown-up ride-on dinosaurs that my kids get bucked off of by your heathens. I make it obvious by telling my kids in a loud voice at every stop, that we are changing our locale upon the arrival of your children.

Then it happens. A moment every mother dreams and hopes for her child. They will be independent and stick up for themselves. My daughter had enough of this crap, and she wasn’t going to take it anymore. So as we headed for the pirate ship, with your scamps on our heels, my daughter turns around and gets in your kids’ face, index finger pointed up and out. “Give us space, you bad, bad kids!” Okay, I realize in the history of ‘telling someone off’ that scores maybe a 3 out of a 100, but give my kid a break, she’s only four.

Your kids didn’t know how to react after being told off by a four-year-old. But I will say this, after that your kids gave us our space. While this story has a happy ending for us, I’m not letting you off that easy fellow mama. Where were you? I realize I am breaking ‘mom code’ by judging a fellow mother. But in the world of parenting, sometimes we need to check ourselves, and each other when it comes to the big things in life: neglect, abandonment. Clearly, these kids need attention!

While it was a great day for me as a mom to see my daughter stand up for herself, it was a sad day for you. You missed out on three hours of quality time with your kids. I get the feeling I spent more time with them that day, than you did. I get it, this whole motherhood thing is hard and we need breaks. I’m guilty of going to this same place, and logging on to Facebook or responding to emails between watching my daughter do a somersault in the bounce house for the hundredth time, or taking a picture of my son coming down the slide over and over again.

No one is perfect, but you could at least show some interest. Enough to know when your kid knocked another kid down to the point of making them cry. The best was when your son was on the top of the toddler playhouse, not even five feet away from you, and you were texting on your phone. I’m not in favor of this behavior, but at least take a picture. That’s quite a feat to climb up there!

If I ever see you again at our kid’s favorite playground, I hope you will be more engaged. Your kids need you. I need you to watch your kids. And besides, I have that picture of your kid on top of the playhouse, because I had to share it with my friends.

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson is a writer, wife and mother of two adorable, over-zealous toddlers. She spends her days in yoga pants, pecking away at the keys on her laptop and pulling her kids off of whatever household furniture they climb upon. She has been published on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, The Mighty, and several other publications. Read more of her insights at