Outta the Way Big Kid

Several months ago, while visiting relatives, the Mrs. and I took our little ones to a large indoor playland.

The facility was full of kid-style entertainment: fast and twisting slides, swinging ladders, foam bumpers, and elevated tunnels all provided endless fun for youngsters.



After the other two kids dove into the tunnels haphazardly, I began helping our youngest son up a challenging rope and net set of stairs.

With my ball cap on backwards, we were hand-in-hand slowly climbing when I felt a push from behind.

No, it was definitely a shove--that for an instant threw me off balance.

I regained my footing and turned to see the source of the unwanted contact.

I stood looking at two taller than average 12 or 13 year old boys.

The tallest one with a Mohawk looked at me with an annoyed frown and shouted:

"Outta the way big kid!"

The muscles in my face immediately contorted to form a scowl reminiscent of drill instructors assigned to Parris Island and I slowly replied in a deep-voiced Southern drawl:

"Son, don't put your hands on me again."

My message had the desired effect as I did not see the pushy fellow again that day at the playland.

Upon reflection, I should have offered the young guy a sincere thank you (after first delivering the directive of course), as I doubt that I'll ever be mistaken for a "big kid" again.

So, my belated appreciation goes to the overzealous teen for making me feel young again--if only for a fleeting moment.

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*Note: I did not serve in the Corps, but my father was a Marine drill instructor (DI) for a period of time in California. When necessary, he could morph his face and generate the scariest expressions to better communicate messages to us kids. He later confessed that as a part of the DI preparation, he would practice his frightening faces regularly in the mirror.

The photo was used from here.

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39 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Ha! Thanks for sharing Slamdunk, great story.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

You are a lot nicer than me, I have a feeling I would have flown off the handle at that kid. This is probably why hubs doesn't take me out much...

Herding Cats said...

My first year of teaching I was 25, but I looked younger I guess. I remember walking through my high school's campus and this HUGE student was like, "Hey baby, you new here?" I looked at him with my "teacher face/scary face" and said, "Excuse me...I'm a teacher here. Watch yourself." Oh, the look on his face was priceless!

Those kids were probably so embarrassed! They deserved the surprise!

Meadowlark said...

OOH RAH!!!

Loved how you handled it... heaven forbid if you'd have appeared "threatening" to the little darlings, who knows what trouble they'd have caused.

On a non-related note, YoungSon ships in early June and we keep saying "oh, how sweet... you're going to summer camp". He doesn't laugh nearly as hard as we do. With an evil glint in our eyes. :)

T. Anne said...

It's never a bad day in my book if I'm called a kid. Lord knows I act like one.

Tamika: said...

I practice my face everyday!

Roselinde said...

Hahaha, that made me laugh. That kid must have been scared out of his mind. I enjoyed reading your post ^^

Luisa Doraz said...

Clever little story you have here! lol :) Big kid, huh? :) lol

Nikole Hahn said...

Awesome! I love this post. It's a good lesson for all of us. :o)

Aphrodite's Mortal Friend (ME) said...

I can soooo picture that!! I hope the little turd (can I say that word here??) learns some respect for adults some time before it's too late- soemtimes , that sort of "push back" is all they need ;-)

suzanneme said...

Oh, I love it. Maybe you should have added a growl too. haha!

terri said...

I'm glad you scared him off. I swear. What is with kids that they feel justified in treating other people, especially adults, like that?

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I am laughing pretty hard at this one. If you're going to play with kids, you just have to play! That's the only way!

Anyway, the drill sergeant thing is Very Useful. You'll have to pass that on too.

I am very sorry you didn't get to climb the net. I am always envious of the opportunities like that--and--I think they are better than the pizza!

Love the pizza too,
Ann T.

CL Beck, author said...

Loved this story. I'll bet the two mouthy teens skedaddled out of fear ... your DI voice scared the beejeebers out of em! :)

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all.

@ Meadowlark: I bet your son will be doing lots of late night ceiling staring. It does get a bit hot in SC in the summer, right? Yikes...

@ Herding Cats: Good for you. The Mrs. is in that profession and is still mistaken for a student sometimes.

@Suzanneme: Good point. I'll have to work on a growl for extra emphasis.

@ Ann T.: I have been surprised and saddened at the poor behavior displayed at playlands--sad especially that the parents seem to be clueless.

Lipstick said...

Great story! Do you get carded when you go out? :)

Bill said...

Its always good to feel young isnt it?

MONICA-LnP said...

I probably wouldnt have been so nice,just imagine who else they already did it too!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

haha great spin on some bratty kids :) haha. That's how I feel when I get carded now- how annoying but thank you! :)

Deborah said...

GREAT story - Thank you for sharing these moments!

25BAR said...

I used to love those little cages!

malone8 said...

You probably did the younger kids a favor. Many times I take my granddaughter to the park and there are teens on the slides, etc. who upset the little ones.

This Eclectic Life said...

Thanks for a great laugh for the day! Relish the fact that you are a "big kid." Maybe you need a t-shirt attesting to that?

Your Daddy sounds like mine ... he could morph his face into some very seriously angry expressions, but inside he was soft as jello ... at least with us kids.

Jayne said...

Perfect! I'd love to have seen their faces. :D

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Fantastic story.
Your father was a DI at Pendleton?
(God bless 'ya, son)

There are FOUR ways of doing things in this house:
1) The RIGHT way.
2) The WRONG way.
3) The CORPS way.
4) MY way.

Got a feeling that NUMBER FOUR was the "way of choice" around YOUR house.

D.I.s are like that...lol.

Alexysc said...

I think you handled the situation right. Not threatening but enough to give the kid a second thought of shoveling around.

Wonderful experience to share with us.

Thanks, Slamdunk.

Dan said...

Getting younger all the time are we?

Sort of like getting carded at the liquor store - you kind of want to thank them. It beats the "Do you want the senior discount?" at other stores.

Momma Fargo said...

Ha! Like that story!

imbeingheldhostage said...

That is a hoot! What I would give to be mistaken for just a big kid :-)

Slamdunk said...

@ Lipstick, Miss Caitlin, & Dan: Ha, I think my hairline prevented me from being carded by like 20.

@ Bob G.: Thinking back on it, Dad could have been much tougher on us. I am blessed to have him as my father.

Jenny said...

I totally see the dilemma here. Being called a big kid would definitely make your day...even though it was done by a couple of thugs! ha!

Tony said...

I just happened to come to your blog through a friends and I really enjoyed this story - I could really see this happening like a movie playing in my mind. I'm off to read more of your blog. Take care and keep up the good work.

5 Kids With Disabilities said...

That was a great story! I LOVE those indoor playlands!!!! There used to be one near us, but it went out of business. The kids and I used to spend hours there. You DO have to deal with those kind of kids though...
Lindsey Petersen

makingnew said...

Great story - my dad would love to be mistaken for a "big kid." He was once mistaken for my grandpa - not exactly his idea of fun!

Rowe said...

Your dad passed on a useful tactic in dealing with minors. Men seem to have the advantage of being subtly scary that most women can only replicate with hysteria.

Lisa @ fulfilling my purpose said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great day.

fayezie.com said...

been there!

Anonymous said...

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