Monday, February 20th, 2012
Fia has been unusually fussy since her fever last week. Maybe she is still fighting a little something. Or maybe it’s just the whole transition with new baby coinciding with terrible two’s. At any rate, Phil and I find that if we take her off on her own to do something she seems to get less fussy and more focused on having fun–a welcome relief to all of us.
This morning I took her to a playground with a friend. She was playing well within my sight on a little foot bridge–those kind that sway when you run across it. There were two older boys–probably 6 years old–playing on it as well. Whenever older kids are around I like to pay extra attention so she doesn’t get hurt. The one boy was straddling the foot bridge, the other was beckoning Fia to walk underneath the straddling boy. She sat on her butt and scooted under him. She was laughing and so were they. She typically loves older kids.
By now I was right there with them, watching. The boy sitting next to her started to push on her chest. She tried to get up and he was holding her down. I immediately went into mama bear mode, telling him to stop it and grabbing Fia in my arms. You ready for this? He says, “We were trying to kill her!” I almost simultaneously slapped him and threw up. Who the f-ck says that? I know, it’s maybe the old adage “boys being boys.” I don’t give a sh-t. You don’t say that kind of stuff.
I looked at him (of course his parents are nowhere around) and said, “Listen: you don’t say that to anyone. And you don’t hold a child down either. Ever.” Then marched off.
I know, it’s just verbiage on his part. But it really threw me. Fia just looked bewildered. My friend told me to figure out which set of parents had these kids and tell them. And being a direct person who doesn’t shy away from confrontation, I should have. But by then Fia was in meltdown mode again (I don’t think because of that) and I was tending to her and just felt really weary by the whole thing.
My friend Cassandra wrote about a parent who does the “RIE” method–and about what complete b.s. it is. I don’t know if these kids were raised to “do and say whatever they want and work it out on their own” or if their parents would have been equally aghast. I should have said something.
About 20 minutes later, I looked across the playground and saw the two boys plus another one. They were rough housing and the mom of the third boy walked over and told them to stop it. They clearly all knew each other.
That’s where my story basically ends. Fia continued to fuss, I brought her home and she’s napping now. And I continue to stew. Is this just part of parenthood or was this scenario a bit of an extreme? Let me know your thoughts.