Monday, July 12, 2010
But today I felt sorry for her. We were at a park where there is a large sand pit. There were about 5 six year old girls building a castle (basically a giant mound of sand). Cate tried to play with them but they were not interested in her help, or her artistic flair when she shouted, 'Flag!' and put a stick at the top, or when she tried to scoop sand onto the mound with them. They complained to her, throwing her sticks away and I kept asking her to leave it alone. My friend tried to distract her by telling her to build her own castle. But Cate wanted to play with the big girls. They were mean - ignoring her little attempts to chip in, telling her to leave and to stop it because she wasn't doing it right, etc. Cate can be a troublemaker but this time she was just wanting to join in. She kept trying and was visibly taken aback by their meanness.
There were no parents in sight and I didn't feel right telling the older girls to place nicely - I just said, 'She's only three, she just wants to play.' Then they were rude!
Poor Cate - she didn't have a clue. So I asked her if she wanted to go and get ice cream. She seemed keen on it. When she climbed out of the sand pit the other girls cheered stating, 'Yay,' 'She's leaving,' 'Thank God' (Thank GOD - from a 6 year old? The mouths on them. OY!).
Now, I know they are only six or so but I wanted to smack them all (except my friends daughter who is a sweetie pie)! How dare they be mean to my little angel? She only wanted to be included. But as the 'adult' I ignored their glee and wheeled my two chickadees out of the park. We had ice cream and Cate was completely unscathed.
It makes me wonder what was the right way to handle the children who are not mine. Earlier today we were at a toddler's playgroup and Cate snatched a hula hoop out of another child's hands - as three year olds are wont to do. Her mother snatched it from Cate and yelled, 'We do not grab!' I said to her, 'Then practice what you preach.' She's pregnant so I let it go - plus it would be right ugly if two mommies started a brawl in the middle of Toddler's World! But don't be yelling at my kid!
Both situations irritated me (plus I'm tired with only four hours sleep last night). Surely there is a good way to diffuse these situations - anyone have any tips, thoughts or ideas? Quick - before my mug shot ends up on the cover of the Daily Mail with the headline: Smackdown in Sand Pit