Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Little Miss (L.M) has taken a real liking to other children lately, which should be a fun and exciting phase for her and me both. However I am finding rather than it being pleasant it is much more stressful than I had imagined. Little Miss is not a perfect angel I will admit that here and now before I gripe about other peoples kids, we have tantrums and meltdowns and stubborn refusal to listen it all comes with toddler territory. But despite her limited interaction with kids before our move she is very good around other children.
At times she gets all up on the toys the other kids are playing with not to be greedy but in an attempt to join them. If another child is using the item we steer her to something similar, sometimes the exact same thing to join in and play together. But she doesn't grab things to steal them, or do the "MINE!" thing to other kids, she doesn't hit or push or bully. She is gentle around smaller kids she at times says "nice" and tries to pet them. She gets in front of other kids with smiles and a big laugh to try to engage them in play and interacts always in a friendly and gentle manner.
I am so proud of her when I see how nicely she tries to reach out to other children and I am also so scared for her at the same time. I have seen other children react to her sweetness with nothing but anger and violence. She has been pushed a few times now when trying to introduce herself to other kids. This week we had an older girl take her balloon and torment her with it, she is still to little to understand that she was being picked on. She chased the girl trying to get it back she thought the two of them were playing, but had the girls mother and I not intervened she would have outright stolen it on her.
I have seen a gang of little girls at the playground get rude to her and tell her to "move out of their way" while she was playing on the equipment. One cocky little brat even looked at me and tried to tell me that the slide was just for her and her friend I had to explain to her that was not the case and they had to take turns. I make a point of staying close to her to help her figure out situations like sharing and turns which at 20 months is not something she understands yet but she is learning.
I at first kept my mouth shut, no one wants to tell off another parents child. But when its your child its hard to stay neutral especially when these kids are not being properly supervised. I'm not going to stand around and let my baby get victimized because little Tommy happy fists mom is more interested in talking on her cell phone, than making sure her kid is not climbing up the slide the wrong way and getting mad/ violent towards children attempting to use it properly.
Its frustrating because she is not really interested in the kids her own age, who seem to play nicer from our experience. She really likes the older kids who of course dont want a baby to play with them, or dont understand that she is still a baby. Little miss is very tall for her age she is not yet 2 years old and she is so near the same size of some 3-4 year olds that they dont understand that she doesn't know what they are saying to her. Some little girls ran up behind her and tagged her into a game of tag and she had no idea what had happened, they also didn't know why she ignored them. I have seen her watch older girls run by laughing and she trails after them laughing away and they look at her funny, they dont understand that she is a baby and thinks they are playing with her.
It makes me sad to think that she will lose her sweetness and become more guarded the more time she spends with other kids. How many times do you get pushed or yelled at before you think that's how children play and you stop greeting them with smiles and giggles and decide to push first?. How long before you realize your being excluded and wonder why?. I think of all the times I excluded my little sister when we were kids, it makes me feel so guilty and it breaks my heart to think of my baby going through the same thing. I try not to be "that" parent the hover mom, but how can I not be when so many parents are on the opposite end of the spectrum and let their kids run wild.
Its not all bad we have had good interactions, Little Miss loves my friends little girl, she gave her about a dozen big kisses on the cheek and let out big giggles after each one. Some of the older children have been taught to be gentle and treat her kindly and want to try to show her how to do things, understanding that she is just a baby still learning. Little ones closer to her age, if not her size usually approach gently and have the same pleasant smiley greetings she gives. It gives me a grain of hope that she will learn the proper way to play and not learn bad habits that need to be broken.