Monday, July 7, 2014

A cool day

We had a surprisingly cool day, so I surprised the kids with a trip to Fairy Tale Town.  Ari was big enough to follow Axel and Autumn around on everything this year.  He had so much fun climbing, sliding and running.  It was sweet to see them stick together and have such fun as a little group.  The place seems like nothing has changed since I was little, except that the meandering mote doesn't have water in it anymore.  I was hoping they would love the crooked mile more than they did.  That was my favorite when I was little.  This year, it wasn't much of a hit.  It was overwhelming for Ari to navigate the winding, undulating pathway with bigger kids running by him.  I wanted to see them go without me at least once, but it didn't happen.  But they had their own fun and found their own favorites in the boot slide and the owl's tree house slide.

I had a much needed, pleasant experience with another mom at Fairy Tale Town.  The previous day, I had a run in with a grandmother at the park who yelled at me and left the park after she was disgusted at me for allowing my child to climb up the slide and then how unconcerned I was when my 1 1/2 year old pushed her two year old in the sand pit.  I was handling the situation and was just about ready to get down with the two boys (who were not crying or upset, mind you) when I was berated for not running in to save her grandchild from my bully of a toddler.  She continued to be condescending toward me as she told me to "use my words" with my son.  Anyway, not to dwell on the negative, it ended when her family left inn a huff because they weren't interested in my suggestion to talk it out and make it a learning opportunity for everyone involved.  I'd like to believe that she was just having a bad day, but as she did nothing after her 12 year old yelled at me to "shut up", I just decided to leave the situation alone.
It took me a while to let go of feeling judged by someone who clearly does not know me, but all was made well the next day.... Ari is going through a pushing phase, which is not kind behavior, but we are working on it.  thsi is just how the mom at Fairy Tale Town saw it too.  Once again, Ari pushed her little girl.  I talked with Ari and reminded him that we do not push other people.  I asked him to apologize and to be kind to the girl as they played.  He did just that.  Problem dealt with.  The other mom was just so understanding.  We stood and talked about how all kids push and hit argue with each other.  She was just so nice to me.  Did not blame my parenting for the pushing, and talked about how she knows that kids go through pushing, hitting, biting screaming etc... phases.  They learn it is not acceptable behavior, and they move on.  An incident at the park rarely indicates bad parenting or a bully.  I think, more than not, it shows that we are all people who act selfish and make wrong choices.  What does indicate poor parenting or a bratty kid (if i may be so bold to say it) is an unwillingness to learn from the situation.  We should all be willing to look at the situation as a learning experience for the parent and child.  To get down and help our children talk, if they don't have the words, or to give them space to work it out on their own as long as no one is getting hurt.  So, thank you to that mom at FTT.  Your kindness was so appreciated after being shamed at the park the previous day (and you had really pretty hair!).  And thank you to the grandma who yelled at me.  You have helped me see how very important it is for me to be prepared for encounters such as ours.  I need to be ready to apologize when it is needed and to be kind, even when adults act like children.  To know when to just leave a situation alone instead of trying to make it all okay, if the other person is not interested in doing so.  And, I need to be prepared to do what I know is right, even when I might be standing all alone in a playground of people staring at me.  Especially because more than half of those people are children.

*In choosing the posed photos, I did a lot of back and forth to try to pick the ones with the best faces.  I was just laughing and laughing at how funny the kids are when they are trying to smile (as opposed to actually smiling)  Wide eyed, sometimes scared looking, they have a hard time pulling it all together.  If they are smiling, they are looking away from the camera.  If they look at the camera, they look like they have never relaxed before.  Their actual, true and genuine smiles just melt my heart, yet they are quite hard to capture on camera.  Either way, the posed photos are precious to me too.  They are trying so hard to be sweet for the camera and for me.  I love those three!

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