So there's this area at the Commisary where they have a bench and a TV that's always playing kids' movies. Brandon begged to sit down and watch the show today, so I let him. As always, I reminded him to STAY ON THE BENCH. On my way past him to get in line to checkout, I leaned over and told him to sit up instead of lying across the bench. Like 3 minutes later I went back to pick him up...and he wasn't there. I couldn't see him anywhere. I called out and he didn't answer. I looked up and saw the big inflatable Halloween display rocking, so I climbed over the divider (leaving Jackie behind in the stroller, mind you) and turned the corner, where I saw Brandon running away from the Halloween display and towards one of the chest freezers at the edge of the frozen section. I ran over and picked him up around the waist and said, "you are in BIG trouble."
When I got back to the stroller, there was a 7 or 8-year old girl with us, she had apparently followed us over from where I had grabbed Brandon. "Hey!" she said, "You aren't being very nice to him."
Let me pause for a moment to let that sink in.
My almost-4-year-old DISAPPEARED IN A PUBLIC PLACE, because he decided to do something that he knew damn well he wasn't supposed to do. So I picked him up, carried him back to the stroller, and told him he was in trouble. I didn't hit him, hurt him in any way, or shout in an overly loud voice. I think I kept extremely calm, given how panicked I felt. I did raise my voice, obviously, but in my "I am talking loudly so you know I'm serious" voice, not my "OH MY GOD I'M SO ANGRY I'M GOING TO EXPLODE!" voice.
And an 8-year-old girl decided to take me to task for being mean.
I hope that my response sunk in. That it was absolutely none of her business. That he ran away from where he was supposed to be and I didn't know where he was - what he did was very very bad. And it's very disrespectful of her to tell an adult what to do with their child.
I'm still dumbfounded. I mean, really.
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