Saturday, June 30, 2007

Making a Getaway (with a TRA)

Dh and Little Bun were going to go see Ratatouille tonight, and since Miss I can sit through whole princess movies we thought maybe we'd all go, and I'd just plan to spend a good amount of time in the hallway if I had to (Very favorable review with two caveats coming).

She was absorbed in the first half, in both the movie and the popcorn. In the second have she was a bit antsy, so I took her out in the hall, where she proceeded to scream "I BE QUIET!!!!" over and over. I finally held her away from me a bit so she could see my face as I admonished her quietly, but instead she yelled "I need my Daddy, Momma" over and over.

From a child with a same-race parent, a hearer would hear the comma, and understand it as "I need my Daddy, (addressed to) Momma." But if a black child screams "I need my Daddy, Momma" at a white woman in public, did you know that people would hear "I need my Daddy AND Momma"?

Indeed they do.

With many eyes on us, no matter how many times I said "Listen to MOMMA" and "We'll go back in when you settle down" it was clear that we both needed Daddy.
I took her back in, and she behaved for a bit before she decided to bounce on her chair (really pretty good but still disruptive). Daddy took her out this time, having had no communication with me. When they got into the hallway, of course she screamed "I need my Momma, Daddy!" And this time, it was received in the same manner.

After the movie, we shared our horrifying experiences (Dh was less horrified as he always keeps her ID in his pocket when they're out together for just such events). We got into our car, laughing with Little Bun about how crazy his sister is when police cars pulled into the theatre parking lot from different directions.

"I think they're here for us," I said. Dh laughed and pulled out of the parking lot. But then he got to wondering too.
"Can we just stay in the area? I'd rather not have eight police cars pull up in front of our new house."

You'll remember that the first time our new neighbors saw us I was dirty and the kids snotty and sobbing and we were looking for our missing dog, and that the second time I had run onto the porch without my pants completely up terrified that Miss I was in the street (if I didn't blog about that, don't ask. Let's just say it relates to Little Bun's grounding episode).

Dh agreed, and we pulled up to a drivethrough (is it drivethru?) for milkshakes. As dh rolled down his window and "Charlie" greeted us through the speaker, Little Bun said "I get why we're going through the drivethrough instead of going in. So the police don't catch us." Miss I, overtired but for no reason otherwise, began sobbing.

We pulled up to the window with a sobbing black child and the possibility that we were trying to make sure "the police don't catch us." Charlie handed us our shakes and change, and we pulled out, looking behind us.

I'm still waiting for a knock on the door, IR4 and Adoption Decree in hand.


justenjoyhim/judy said...

I can relate somewhat. When Nate has his tantrums in public, I am hoping and praying that people won't think that I'm some evil kidnapper trying to take this kid since he's very obviously not going with me willingly. Oh yay. So far, so good, but it's been at the back of my mind.

One thing that crosses my mind right at this moment -- is it a bit easier for me than for you because he's Asian and she's black? Which would be totally wrong, but I could see people in this country doing that. You know?

Just some food for thought.


abebech said...

I could imagine the "is she kidnapping?" being slightly easier for you depending on region because of both race and frequency.

I know we get far more attention than families with daughters from China and I assume that it is because there are many families with children from China here, because it's still easier for people to accept a mixed race cc/asian family than a cc/aa family, and because many people have assumed we're foster parents and feel free (wrongly) to judge our parenting skill.

Erin said...

I had a similar situation happen with a friends kid once. I was babysitting them while she was in the hospital for a few weeks getting back surgery. They are native american and we were at the commissary on base. The middle one started screaming at me that she wanted drumsticks, and I said no. So she threw herself on the floor and finally I picked her up and carried her screaming out of the store "I want my mommy, I want my mommy" The called a code Adam at the front door and made us sit in the security office for six hours until her dad could get there (he is a marine and was training)

justenjoyhim/judy said...

I'm pretty sure it is easier for us. In fact, whenever I've wondered if people will question us, they never have. And there are enough cc/asian families here that I think people are used to our type of family.

Now, when I see cc/black mix adult and child, I tend to assume that they're family -- they might be, they might not be, but it's interesting that now that's the assumption that I make. :)