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