You would think my biggest concern taking Niall on public outings would be handling a wild temper tantrum; that I would spend more time doing damage control than enjoying the actual activity, itself.
But no, that's never really stopped us from doing anything fun. What I dread most on the car ride to story time at Border's or the kid's museum is interacting with the other moms. I know that sounds horrible, but you just never know what you're gonna get.
I never in a million years would have thought that I would have more trouble interacting socially than my kid, but here I am, stuck in a rut. There are a lot of times when I meet great people, have great conversations and the kids get along just peachy.
But then there are the times when I want to ask some of these moms:
"ARE YOU BLIND????"
It's really been bothering me lately, to the point where I'm working hard to make changes in myself; learning to be assertive, but not emotional or passive aggressive. I'm just not the type to say something to someone else's kid; I don't think it's my place.
So what do you do when you are watching a 5 year old take every train out of the little toddlers' hands who are standing around him trying to play? I'm sitting there, waiting for the mom to come over and tell him he needs to share, but she never comes. I don't even know where or who she was.
Or worse, I witnessed a mom who stood by and did nothing as her 3 year old son got a running start and pushed someone else's 1 year old on a push toy as hard as he possibly could into the wall, causing the little guy to get whiplash (and not to mention scared him out of his mind).
I understand that parents get sidetracked and don't watch their kids all the time. And I also understand that there is a certain amount of independence you need to give your little ones, so they can learn to hash things out themselves.
It's just so hard to find the boundaries, especially when toddlers are at such a crucial stage of learning what's right and wrong. Having to explain to your kid why he has to share but the other kid doesn't; why he can't push, even though he just got shoved down onto the floor.
So I know I need to just get comfortable with the idea of saying things like "Hey, do you think you guys could take turns?" or "Oh, gentle-- he's a lot smaller than you." It's going to be a long process of coming into this character that I've never experimented with before, but I know lies deep within me.
Being a mom forces you to do that; to become a better person, a more confident person so that you will be the best role model you can for this little person whose life you have such a huge part in shaping.
Things are going to make us uncomfortable, angry, and sad all the time. It's how we deal with these situations that makes us who we are. Which is why I would currently classify myself as "ticking time bomb," but I'm working on it-- slowly, but surely :)
...And never to end on a bad note (since this post was such a downer), a pic from St. Paddy's day that didn't make it on the blog last week:
Niall loves your votes!