I scared the neighbor kid half to death today. And had Z slamming doors and wailing "You ruined everything!" like a teenager. (I am afraid for when she actually is a teenager!) My mama-bear instincts were triggered and the neighbor kid (NK) bore the brunt of it.
The back story: NK is a weenie. He gets all freaked out by our dogs and is a total drama queen about them. He has, on a number of occasions, muttered words like 'sue' and 'lawyer' under his breath as he stomps off. He gets all power trip-y about bossing Z and especially Q around. He once told Z that Q was 'no longer allowed on his property' which is crap because we share a driveway. Why do we let him come around, you ask? Well, a) for some reason Z & Q love him; b) he is the only other kid on our street; and c) we really like his family.
So this afternoon Z invites NK into the yard to play. T was outside working and hustled the dogs into the house to avoid any unnecessary drama. Holly and Blackie watched them longingly and were whining to go out to play with them.
All was well until Q noticed that he was in the yard. As I mentioned, Q loves NK, so he wanted to go outside to play, too. Of course, when Q opened the door Holly and Blackie made a beeline for NK. As Holly alone is three times Q's weight, there was nothing he could do to stop the thundering herd.
As soon as the dogs were out, I could hear NK castigating Q all the way from the kitchen. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I charged out there like an angry rhinoceros all crazy eyed and blowing steam. For the first time since 2004 I used my teacher voice (firm but not yelling and capable of squashing a small miscreant like a bug) on someone other than my own kids. I told NK that he would NOT come into Q's yard and fuss at him about letting his dogs out as he stuttered about Holly being big and jumpy.
I went on to tell him (as I was wrangling the big dogs back into the house) that I know the dogs are obnoxious, but they live here and if he wants to play in our yard (with the cool play fort) he just needed to deal with it. NK's eyes got all round as he looked everywhere but at me and started I'm-sorry-ing before I was even finished. He high tailed it out of the yard before the dogs had even been crammed back inside.
Which broke Z's heart and led to the aforementioned door slamming, hair tearing and teeth gnashing.
So I burst into tears.
Breaking one kid's heart in defense of the other's? Sucks. Being the meanest mama on the block to protect my baby? Worth it.