Monday, May 18, 2015

Parenthood: Week 101 – Daddy Bear

“No.”

I didn’t like the way that boy was talking to Ollie and I wasn’t going to let him get away with his nonsense.

We were in a local play space last weekend. For those of you who aren’t parents, a play space is a big indoor playground. You pay a fee and you can let your kid run around. It’s great for rainy days and to give your kid the opportunity to play with different toys. Also it help keep parents sane by having a place that they can visit and keep their kids entertained.

When we come to a play space or a park, Diana and I take turns watching Ollie and most of the time we do this from the distance. So I didn’t really see the beginning of the interaction Ollie was having with that kid, but what I did see was a boy at least 5 years of age take a play piece of fruit out of Ollie hands and then immediately take another piece of fruit from the net that Ollie was carrying around play food in (for some reason Ollie was having a blast carrying around play fruit in a net, welcome to toddler logic).

I quickly walked across the large room and looked down at the 5 year old.
“No.” 
“But these are my special fruit.” 
“No, they are not.” 
“I need all of them.” 
“No, you do not.” 
“He is taking them from me.” 
“No, he did not.”

“I’m going to put them all on a high shelf so the baby cannot get them.” 
“No, you will not.”
At this point I had full teacher look on. He started trying to take all of the play food and put it on the top shelf. I let him do this for a minute and then took it all down and placed it back down. That’s when he said “no” to me, I turned and give him an even harsher teacher look and he backed away.

A couple things to note: There was tons of play food around on multiple shelves. So it wasn’t asking this kid a lot to share. He clearly had no intention of playing nice with Ollie and with the way he had taken the play food out of Ollie’s hand had never been taught how to deal with younger children.

If Ollie was being grabby, which he can be at times, I would have stopped him and also if this was a kid Ollie’s age, I would have been more likely to let it play out and see what happened. But this was different it was a kid who was much older than Ollie, and he should have known better.

There’s this feeling that wells up inside of you when you see someone doing wrong by your child. We have to be careful to temper these feelings with rationality, but it’s hard. Sometimes you don’t have time to think it through. Because when it’s your kid, you don’t have a choice, you have to act.

If this boy’s father hadn’t been across the room buried in his laptop and saw the way I talked to his son, he may not have been happy about it. Like that would be a surprise, his kid is a jerk, where do you think he learned that from?

I'm a teacher, I love kids and I understand kids.  But in that moment, I hated that kid.  Later when I saw him in a cozy coupe, I was imagining him getting involved in a massive flaming 5-cozy coupe pile-up, with him on the bottom as Barber's "Adagio For String" played in the background.

Yeah, being a dad brings out a little crazy sometimes.  I'm not going to deny that fact.  Even though we need to keep the crazy at bay, it's all part of parenthood and even more reason not to mess with my boy.

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