I took the girls to a new indoor play facility on Saturday. It was just the antidote for a cold and dreary day. There is a nifty large sand box area that the girls gravitated to immediately. I talked Miss C out of hitting the sand first and she happily trotted over to the artwork zone, but it didn’t take Miss A long to meander over to the sand. She is, after all, still 2, and 2-year-olds will willingly roll around in a bed of sand like frisky puppies they love the stuff so much.
I was trying to keep an eye on both girls amidst a large crowd of playing children and their parents milling about, when I heard a child start crying and realized my child was the culprit. I practically swung on a vine over kids to get to the sandbox and scold Miss A for rudely taking a toy truck away from a smaller child and making her cry. All was well and Miss A and the other girls went back to playing happily. Then a few minutes later another sandbox kid picks up a plastic scoop full of sand and slings it toward the other kids (and thankfully it just missed hitting everyone squarely in the eyes.) His mom was sitting on the edge of the sandbox and not only doesn’t say anything, but practically starts laughing. I was horrified! He started to pick up the plastic scoop to sling more sand and she casually tells him to stop. Later on I saw a little boy sitting at a play picnic table with that mischievous look on his face that says, “I’m about to trash this freaking place!” Sure enough he started raking toy food off the table with his arm as hard as he could and then, because that wasn’t getting a reaction from anyone, picking things up and throwing them off the table. I could tell he was about to have a major tantrum. And then he picked up the biggest toy on the table and slung it as far as he could. “Hey buddy, we don’t throw toys!” I said to him. His mom finally rushed over to politely shush him as if she was afraid he might break if she raised her voice.
I’m one of those moms, gasp, who will publicly scold her children. I have picked my kids up and toted them out of stores kicking and screaming.
I tend to believe that the parents who chuckle amusingly when their kids act like brats in public will be crying in their wine glasses when those same kids are teenagers. And no, my kids are definitely not perfect and I am most definitely not a perfect mom. Most of the time I battle with being an overly impatient parent. So the discipline imbalance can go both ways. But if my child should sling sand toward other kids’ faces? I’m not going to chuckle into my Starbucks cup and trip off into la la la suburban mommy “my kids are so amusing” land.