Sunday, April 22, 2007

Play Nice!

Toddler Moment
by Bella

Yesterday when doing yardwork, hubby threw out a plastic cup of floating weeds. Bella saw this and gasped, "Daddy! Why did you fow those fowers away?! Those fowers are for Mommy to be married!"



All you moms who've ventured into the world of playgrounds, I think I need some rules of etiquette cuz some moms annoy and baffle me.

I believe in letting Bella go play and interact with other kids as long as she is sweet and not bothersome. By bothersome, I mean, when she sees preteen girls hanging out being "cool" it is NOT cool for a 2 1/2 yr old to hang out too.

Not that Bella knows. She just saunters up to them, leans back like they do and says "hey, guhls" casually. Don't worry, I rescued the girls from further embarrassment.

So when my daughter (who does stare) hangs around kids of any age, I let her do her thing. Some Moms who are with their friend(s) appear to only want their kids to play together. Bella will sometimes linger, awaiting an invite to play only to have the moms ignore her curly cuteness and shuffle their kids off somewhere else. Let me tell you. THAT ANNOYS ME.

What baffles me? When I have my infant in her carrier next to me and some snot-nosed 4 yr old goes sticking his head in her carrier in an attempt to give her kisses. I first kindly tell him no and we don't need to get so close to the baby. When he shoves his head in again, I haven't a choice but to pull him back. When he goes in AGAIN and snot is running down his nose onto her blanket, I pushed his forehead out of her carrier.

Was that wrong?

Most of my life I've had few relationships with women because they get on my last ever-lovin nerve. Since becoming a mother, I've made a couple of friends with other moms through playgroups or little gym class. I just don't dig mothers who think their kids' poo don't stink. Or those who allow their children to be rude to other kids. I'm really trying to be a good playground mom. Really.


Stories of your own?


tallulah said...

I have no qualms about telling kids to do or not do stuff. If their parents aren't going to say anything, I will. The only person that feels shame is the Mom of the offending child.....and she should!

I'm Just a Girl said...

Oh geez - just read my previous blog posts about my neighbors. I love 'em but their kids' poo doesn't stink either and I get a wee bit tired of that! As far as playground etiquette, it bugs me when parents are clueless to their child's inappropriate behavior, say nothing, and then I am forced to intervene. (Sort of like your snot-nosed kid story). I hate the "Oh isn't my child precious" parenting style. What's really interesting though is that the vast majority of mothers I TALK to agree with me. So WHERE ARE THEY ALL when I'm at the park??? LOL There was a little boy at soccer last week who was running up to The Boy and hitting him, deliberately throwing the soccer ball at him, and generally annoying him. I saw the whole thing and even the other mothers around me were like, "Oh my gosh," and giving me sympathy looks. Now this little guy was younger and smaller than The Boy, and The Boy tried with all his might to resist but finally gave in and swatted the kid back. He missed, but finally the coach realized something was up and intervened. After class I looked around to see who this boy belonged to and he was with his DAD, a very clueless, spacy looking person who happened to be on the other side of the bleachers from where the Moms were, and so he clearly witnessed the entire thing and did nothing. I almost said something to him on the way out but held my tongue. Maybe next week...

MeesheMama said...

I'm so glad you asked about this. I really wonder about this too. I live in a pretty big city, and city folks don't interact at all on the street, so it's hard to know how to act on the playground. I don't know if I can even reach out to help a kid who's falling or give another kid a push on the swing next to me let alone "discipline" another child for being rude or overbearing with my kid. This is not a turf I tread regularly. I'll let you know if I get any revelations though.

Katrina said...

Good questions! And tough, too, because so much depends on the parenting "lens" you're looking through.

For example, the mother of a handful of rambunctious boys might not blink an eye when one of them playfully headbutts a playmate in the sandbox--her day is more or less composed of headbutts and wrestling contests and simply making sure that no one sustains grave bodily injury. But to me, with my firstborn the girliest of girly-girls, and my son, who probably could use a bit more rough housing practice, this headbutt takes on the social significance of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and I jump to my feet, ready to neutralize an all-out brawl.

For my part, I always let my kids play with whatever other kids are around. I love it, because that's less time for me to spend deflecting requests to do "underdogs" on the swings. Plus, the things kids talk about to each other make great blogging material!

I also try not to let my kids get too close to other people's babies and/or kids. This is more challenging that it might seem, because Caleb is a dyed-in-the-wool hugger. I have to remind him sometimes that not everybody likes hugs from someone they just!

I think, as moms go, I probably hover more than most, and do a fair amount of interfering to ensure fair play. That's going to be a hard habit to break when they get older!

louann said...

A lot of times, my older one always gets ganged up on or bullied around by other boys. THat's when I come into the picture. That annoys me. Especially if the parent of the bully kid finds it cute that her does that to other kids. I do not allow boys as such to do that to my kid. And yes I know that he will have to defend himself later on, I just can't help but squeeze myself into the picture.

angie said...

Amen! I've had other kids push my Ava out of their way & when I saw their moms weren't doing anything about, scolded them myself! I'm not going to let my child get pushed around. I don't care whose kid they are!

Chaos Control said...

I'm afraid I have no suggestions because, unfortunately, I don't play well with other mothers for many of the same reasons that you shared in this post! At least you were able to find a playgroup with a few moms you can tolerate. Me? No such luck. The only place I've been able to meet moms I like is via blogs! :-)