a little pushy

We went to the Children’s Museum in Boston yesterday with friends and had a blast.  We had only been to one other Children’s museum and that was in Providence and Ian was so young he wasn’t yet walking.  Although he seemed to have fun at the Providence one, yesterday he was in his glory to be able to really let loose and enjoy the various activities and exhibits. 

One of the things I find fascinating as a mother is watching my baby interact with other kids.  It’s fun to see him interact with kids he’s friends with, whether they are his classmates or kids of friends of ours, and it’s also interesting to see him interact with complete strangers’ kids.

I remember when we had a first playdate and Ian and the other babies were really just that: babies.  Play time was really just tummy time and practicing sitting and holding toys.  But I just about felt my skin crawl the first time I witnessed another baby mouth one of Ian’s toys.  One of Ian’s. Precious. Toys.  Gross! Oh yeah, I got over it.  You have to.  My God.  But I laugh when I think about how crazy I felt about it the first time it happened.

So now that Ian is older, we are in the midst of real life discipline.  The parents are the ones who are usually apologizing for their kid who steals a toy, acts out, or doesn’t know how to be polite. 

Picture being in a museum where kids outnumber adults and since it’s a weekend, it’s a busy, busy time there.  We are in a playspace where there are rubber tunnels, trucks galore, and bridges for kids big and small to travel over. 

Ian starts to play with this truck that is on this pulley.  This girl comes over who has at least a head and a half on him.  She looks aggressive and she is.  She starts declaring what SHE is going to do.  I AM GOING TO BRING THE TRUCK UP HIGHER.  I AM GOING TO DO THIS.  I AM GOING TO DO THAT.  I have certified her a brat already.  The trouble with reacting aloud and immediate in regards to this behavior is that you don’t know where the parent of this kid is and you don’t want to be called out for disciplining their child (not that I would say anything).  The issue here was that Ian was playing with the very thing she decided to become all grabby about.  So instead of telling her to piss off (for obvious reasons, I, of course, did not), I wanted to see how this was going to play out a bit.  And perhaps see if this kid’s parent was going to come out of the woodwork? Well, Ian had enough of this girl.  She took his truck.  She was bossy.  She was rude.  So he pushed her.  He is strong and that was apparent because she was not so small.  But the thing is, I did nothing.  Do I want him to push anyone? No.  Do I want him pushing girls of all people? No.  But a kid has to stick up for himself. And that might be a little badass.  And yes, there are better ways to do this like with talking and not with physical contact.  Am I proud of him? No.  Do I regret not scolding him for pushing her? Maybe.  I decided enough is enough and walked away since I thought we had enough of this girl.  I realized who the mother was–a woman who had been squatting near me for the duration of this incident! And what did she say to her daughter as we walked away? “Look cute so I can take your picture!” It might be me who will want to push some of these parents soon.  Instead, I gave her a glare.  What would you have done? 

Here are some pictures from our day:

Future Red Sox Star

Watching everything

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4 thoughts on “a little pushy

  1. Glad you guys had fun…other than the bratty little girl of course. Jack is in a hitting phase, not really out of anger, but more because he LIKES it, and sometimes I feel at a loss of how to discipline him. I don’t want him to be the bully (or perceived as one) but I also see that he trying to interact with other kids and he has to figure out how to do that on his own…tough call for mamas on when is the right time to intervene.

  2. Kudos to you for your exemplary behavior! Part of me would’ve wanted to wait it out and see how my child responded, but deep inside I would’ve wanted to rip that mean bully-girl a new one! And I’m astonished her mom had the audacity to sit there and watch her child be mean and grab toys away from other children. Ugh. On another note, your post has inspired me to take LO to our local Children’s Museum. It looks like your little guy had a lot of fun!

  3. He is adorable!

    I don’t know what I would have done, but I think I wouldn’t have minded him sticking up for himself. That girl needs to know she can’t have whatever she wants whenever she wants and if her mom’s not going to teach it to her, then welcome to the real world.

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review « itsy bitsy mama

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