When I was little I had a biting problem. Perhaps it was because I was the youngest, and being smaller and weaker I resorted to biting as a reliable defense. In any case, after a few too many shouts of  “Mom! Tracy bit me!” my mother sat me down and told me I was not to bite anyone anymore. End o’ chat.

When my dad gave you an order, you followed it out of fear. His hands were very big. But when my mom gave you an order, you followed it out of love and respect. She worked hard for us kids didn’t ask for much. It was almost your pleasure to did as she asked. So, I stopped biting.

I’m not sure how long after the “anti-biting bill” went into affect, I was at Wood Park in my home town. Mom was at the library and my sister and I were hanging out at the park. I was sitting on the top riser of the bleachers by the softball field when my sister approached with a girl who was notoriously mean.

She began teasing me, and I may have been kicking/blocking her with my dangling foot – that part is fuzzy. But the next thing I knew she grabbed my foot and ankle and pulled.

I fell the full 6 feet to the ground hard. I landed right on my ass and back and it fucking hurt. I was filled with rage and did the first thing that came natural to me. I got to my knees, grabbed her leg and sunk my teeth into her thigh. Take that you bitch!

This resulted in her screaming and my sister running to tell my mom. I’m thinking, “Fine! Go get mom. Let’s see her make mincemeat out of this playground bully!”

But when mom approached she yanked me off the ground by my arm, smacked me and dragged me away. It was a WTF moment, 70’s style.

Here I was, throbbing, dirty, disheveled and crying, and I was the one getting punished? Could she not see that totally justified in my actions? That it was self-defense?

Remember the episode of The Brady Bunch where Cindy is told to stop tattling? And Alice’s prize winning letter is stolen by Tiger the dog? And Cindy knows this but refuses to tattle? Her parents understood that there are always extenuating circumstances.

Apparently my mother had missed that informative episode.

She chose to overlook the fact that her child had been viciously bullied, and it’s one of those things I never forgave her for. Don’t get me wrong, I adored my mom. I wish I were 1/4 the parent she was to my two girls.

But she let me down that day. As she dragged me across Wood Park by the arm yelling at me, I knew she was wrong and no amount of explaining or reasoning would persuade me to think otherwise.

Maybe she didn’t realize what had happened to me. Or, she might have been pissed that her afternoon at the library had been spoiled because I couldn’t keep my teeth in my mouth. I’ll never know. I hate parents who stick up for their children no matter what. Sometimes your precious little baby fucks up and needs to be told so.

But that day? My mom should’ve looked that girl square in the eye and told her to keep her fucking hands off her kid.

And then she should’ve bought me ice cream.