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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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Deb's Deep Dark Dismedeanor
LJ Idol
Isn't this Walliteration Week?

Sorry, my mistake. This is my entry for LJ Idol, Topic 11: I Fought the Law

Legally, it never happened. I mean, I *think* that's what expunged means. And hey, I've actually successfully passed a police background check. I came back clean, when the school ran a background check for me to be a parent-chaperone.

I've never written about it in my journal. I'm not sure I've ever written about it. I've talked about it, face to face, with maybe two people? I couldn't even tell you exactly when it happened, except I'm pretty sure it was before 1994. I mean, I *think* it was before Tigger was born, but maybe we had him along? If so, he was still a baby. It would have been an odd year, since it was a Christmas--in-Kentucky year. I'm thinking it was 1993, which would have made Critter going-on 4 years old.

It happened in Texas.

Mom and I took Critter to one of those indoor playgrounds. A sort of overgrown version of a Mickey D's playland. A big kiddy habit-trail with balls for cedar chips. We sat at the table with pizza and drinks while Critter ran and played.

Then Critter came to me, crying. One of the other children had done something to hurt him, I can't remember what. I think they were preventing him from playing on part of the slides, or something like that. I should have distracted him with pizza, and by the time he got back to playing it would have been fine. But no, someone had hurt my little boy's feelings, and he needed to be taught to behave. Darn that mama bear spirit.

I found the little boy. I asked him to apologize to Critter. He started to run away from me, so I took hold of his wrist.

Never touch another person's child.

Got it. Learned that lesson.

The other little boy's older sister grabbed her brother by the neck to pull him away from me, so I had to let go. Would I have dropped things at this point? We'll never know, as Mom stepped into the fray, protecting HER baby bear (me). She went and found the other mama, and started to read her the riot act about having mean children with no supervision, and whatever. That's when the place decided to call the police.

So the policeman gets there, and interviews everyone. I explain what happened, and then he tells me that the other ladies said I had the little boy in a headlock. Um, no? Here's where a few years of learning to avoid flamewars online got me into trouble. Did I say "what the hell? I never touched him anywhere but the wrist!" Um, no. I said something along the lines of "I can't think of what I could have done that would have appeared that way to them." You know, the weaselly, don't inflame, don't accuse, don't admit stuff that doesn't turn into a shouting match in text exchanges. Seems the officer was looking for innocent indignation, not calmness in the face of authority, not me trying to understand how they could have misunderstood. He actually explained it to me. He wrote me up for a misdemeanor assault on a minor child, and gave me a court date. No cuffs, no booking, no hauled down to the station, he gave me a piece of paper, just like getting a ticket.

Heck, that time I was in the house full of pot smoke that was being searched by police for $20,000 worth of stolen jewelry, they cuffed me. I figured I was getting dragged down to the station fer shur on that one, but I didn't even get written up. It was just procedure, to keep me out of the way while they rifled through the house. No jewelry. No drugs (the bong was broken, all the pot was smoked the night before, and the partakers were long gone). They did find a cache of pictures and toys of a salacious nature. The girls in the pics were underage, but the date-stamps indicated the presumed photographer was underaged at the time, as well. I don't know if the Evil Ted ever in trouble for the toys, but I'm pretty sure the pictures got officially destroyed.

But I digress. My parents knew a lawyer (I think he went to their church), who came and talked to me about my options. He represented me at the arraignment (which took place after I was back in Kentucky), and entered either a guilty plea, or more probably an Alford plea for me. Then, he arranged with the county attorney for me to be given deferred adjudication, with a request to expunge my record if I kept my nose clean in Texas for a period of time. I honestly can't remember how long that was, but I do remember that the circumstances were such that I wasn't IN Texas for the entire period, due to it being a Kentucky Christmas, and possibly due to travel plans for the next year.

I can't really say I Fought the Law on this. On the other hand, my record was expunged, and I'm told that means it's as if it never happened.

But since that date, I'm quite careful to be aware of what I am, and am not allowed to do, with other people's children. When I was a chess mom at TLS, I referred any discipline issues to the teacher sponsor, if talking didn't work. I currently work with 2 year olds at church. We don't do anything stronger than say no, and separate. It's okay to scoop up a crying and sleepy child, to hold and comfort. I play close attention to all the rules.

Not so much the rebel. But a lesson well learned.

The topic for this piece was chosen by popular request. I have included the following as treats for the minority voters.

Who I am in Christ poster Deb falling down Gazebo!
True freedom from the law is found in Christ Deb Takes a Fall Gazebo!
Davy Crack It Illustration of Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Poly/GLBT Marriage
Shiny Steel Squirrel Shellcrackers! Tales of a Misguided Headmistress: the Unctious Umbridge Poly/GLBT Marriage Laws
Toast and Chocolate Milk Radio with No Buttons Milestones of Civil Disobedience

True freedom from the law is found in Christ
For we are free from all condemnation in Christ:
Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.

Tales of a Misguided Headmistress: the Unctious Umbridge
Umbridge was only our nickname for her. She was the temporary headmistress at TLS, where Critter attended Pre-K through 8th grade and Tigger attended Pre-K through 3rd. The 2003-2004 academic year saw Flar and I constantly at odds with the administration, aka Umbridge, over changes to the school uniform, changes to extra-curricular policies which affected the chess team, the abrupt announcement of the cancellation of 9th grade as of the following year, arbitrarily harsh grading policies by Critter's English teacher, and finally, a withdrawal of offer of enrollment for Tigger for the following academic year. When I refer to stresses from school surrounding my emotional/mental/spiritual lowpoint/meltdown, these were the stresses. It's a much longer story and oh, oh, did the law, in the person of Umbridge, win this one.

Poly/GLBT Marriage Laws
I'm fer it. While I worship at a church that teaches that God intended marriage to be a one man/one woman proposition, I don't believe in making laws that govern the nation based on the teachings of the church. If the government is in the business of making marriages, then I believe it should offer them to all. If the government is in the business of differentiating between its citizens based on marital status, then I believe it should honor that status for its citizens of all walks of faith. I do not believe that this should extend to requiring churches to modify their teachings. There are churches that offer their blessings to marriages that do not fit into the one man/one woman mold. I consider that honoring those unions follows the precept of honoring personal choice of religion.

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WTF? People are strange.

(Also, "that government is best which governs least" is Thomas Paine, in 17... something. Thoreau just quoted him.

Thanks, I appreciate the clarification!

What people are strange?

The ones who'd file charges against you for teaching their kid some manners.

(hey, the clarification got me a chance to use my Thoreau icon, so it's not bad...)

My guess is, they got their defensive backs up when my mom tore into them.

A kind word turns away wrath was NOT our theme for the day.

We had an entire conversation over how far you can go with other people's kids just Sunday...

We discovered we are a very diverse group.


Great entry!


I can't believe that! I've always worked in childcare; I mean, I know there are limits. But damn do you have to be careful.

Wonderful post, terrible story! I'm sorry you had to go through that! But awesome entry nonetheless--you got my vote this round.

Yikers! That is so scary to me.

We hang out at the Burger King playground occassionally because they have the best fenced in playground, and a few weeks ago a little boy was climbing the top of a covered slide near my kids so I plucked him off there and placed him on the ground and said "We do not climb on top of the slides - that's dangerous."

He was part of a giant rowdy unsupervised birthday party. Those adults could have cared less. The another kid started throwing wood chips and I went and found an adult with them - and they didn't listen to her either.

Parents who let their kids run like animals and endanger other babies need the slap on the wrist - not you! So, go mama bear. I know the feeling.

Thanks. The main lesson this taught me is to absolutely minimize contact with kids in "stranger" situations like this. In care-giver situations, like working with 2 year olds at church, I pay pretty close attention to any policy information we're given.

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