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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

That mean mom

Okay, I might have been a bit of a "you know what" today.
Keenan and I walked 20mins to a park that is more toddler friendly, smaller equipment and lower slides. We stayed for quite a while. We were there later than ususal because he had gotten up so early so therefore had a way earlier nap. So mom's come to the park around 3:30pm, I know one of them and start talking. 2 other mom's show up.
It turns out that the elementary school bus drops kids off right next to this park, so the mom's get together and chat and wait for thier older kids to come off the bus.
So Keenan is playing happily with the younger kids.
Then the bus pulls up. 5 or 6 kids get off and come right to the park. They start throwing rocks and rough housing. They start to climb on equipment that is not meant to be climbed on. (oldest maybe 11yrs old). Anyway they are all modeling behaviour that I dont want Keenan to witness.
The mom's do nothing. They just keep talking. Chaos is alround Keenan and he is taking it all in in wide eyed wonder.
One child is throwing gravel in the air and it is hitting all of the children (he is around 7ish). The gravel hits Keenan, and I say to the boy, " We do not throw gravel at babies ". He looks at me like "WTF? Who are you to tell me anything?".
So I decide to remove Keenan from the situation.
I walk over to the mom's and say, " It was nice meeting you ladies, but I am going to have to take Keenan home as the older children are modeling bad, bad, bad dangerous behaviour that I don't want Keenan learning."
The mom I know says, " Oh, that's my son, sorry " I say, " It's all the older children, not just yours."
I was kind of irritated because it is a toddler park and those kids should have gone somewhere else.
What have I become, that mean mom?
My girlfriend with a 4yr old said that I can't shelter Keenan forever and he will witness worse stuff than climbing on eqipment and throwing gravel. I know, but I can lessen the impact, can't I?
Or am I just blowing it out of proportion?


Alisha said...

"Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in a way I think your other friend is right. While I'm not sure it was so horrible to remove him today, eventually you're going to have to give him the tools and the smarts to deal with stuff on his own (though maybe he's still too young??), as you won't always be with him. I don't know if you start explaining so early though. But then again, they do understand more than we think. One day he'll go to school and have to decide for himself how to act and what is proper behaviour. You'll be happy to know that I read a book (Mother Daughter Wisdom) that said that the mother's views and actions have more of an effect on a child than anyone/thing else in the world. So what matters most is the behaviour you model! If you show Keenan how to be safe, confident and respectful, chances are, he will.
It reminds me, I was at the park the other day with Neko, while this 11 year old boy screamed at his sister or friend, around the same age. The things he was saying pretty much made me think that his father must abuse his mother. He said awful, horrible things but refrained from swearing, I think because there was a baby in the vicinity. I told Neko, "We never, ever talk to people that way." I would have removed her from the situation but she didn't seem to notice them and stayed focused on me. "
- From Lindsay

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