Saturday morning is my time to take Charlotte out to play. I tell her we are going to go play and she shrieks back "PLAY?" The anticipation is priceless.
We must be in a routine because every Saturday I pull everything together by 10am - meaning both kids fed, diapers changed twice, Sam fed twice since 5am, both kids dressed and off to Chick Fil A we go to get my breakfast burrito before they stop serving at 10:30. Depending on the weather we do drive through or eat in.
Today's a rainy day so we decide to eat in and upon entering I spot 'the 2 girls who don't like Charlotte' eating breakfast - uggg, it's too late to turn back, my daughter was excited even before we parked as she now recognizes the building.
Charlotte bolts for the play room and has it all to herself for 2 minutes until the other girls come in and then it was the same as the last 3 times they had all encountered each other. Charlotte screams her welcoming banshee cry of BAJAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII, they turn and run out the door to tell their mom that a girl is screaming at them. They come back and I get distracted as Sam cries and while attending to him their mother goes into the playroom and quickly comes out with both girls, stops to tell me in a very abrupt short tone that my daughter pushed her daughter. I apologize and go into the room with Sam to monitor my child, leaving breakfast behind.
The other girls finish breakfast and come in with their dad. I apologize to him and he's friendly, says don't worry about it that his youngest girl is very shy, timid and easily upset. We talk about the girls ages, his are 3 and 5, mine is 2 and he tells me about some classes in the area that his kids have enjoyed. Somehow, with both of us in there, the kids suddenly become friends, share toys and play nicely. The girls realize Charlotte was just screaming in friendly anticipation of play and they all scream together. Fun is had by all until the other girls get hurt going down the slide and the younger throws a tantrum. She starts to improve until her mom comes into the room and then she gets worse. Charlotte sits on the slide mournfully watching her new friend howl for her mother who fawns over her.
Finally the girl starts to play again but reverts back to cringing every time Charlotte gets excited, running from her and generally freaking out. I don't see Charlotte touch her or challenge her in anyway but since the girl keeps freaking out I finally just grab Charlotte and leave.
I realize that Charlotte needs to learn how to play with other kids but I think I need practice too! This mediation thing with other peoples fragile kids is hard!!! I never would have dreamed my tiny 2 year old would intimidate an older much bigger child.
So...I know I wasn't there, but I'm thinking it wasn't Charlotte!
i wish i could say something helpful! she is learning, all the time, and dealing with the reactions, anticipations and concerns of other adults is a big part of that learning experience. don't feel too bad about it; how you react guides her.
... and as you can see, i have one daughter refusing to come out the house and crawling up the walls all at the same time, so i'm just the perfect mother to give advice, huh?!
It's hard not to be the playground mediator but sometimes we have to watch them and let them work it out for themselves.
My daughter likes to get in kids' faces all the time. Babies are her main magnet. But girls and boys her age get her attention too. (4 yrs) It's hard to keep pulling her away, I think she need to interact with other people. So, what's that fine line?
I agree with Amy S. How you described it, it sounds like the little girl was fine unless her mom was around. Her mom probably coddles her and she runs to mom with the least bit infraction. The dad moved onto the scene and it sounds like she was fine. Mom comes back and she reverts. Don't panic. I would find a new playroom to go to. Seems like these little girls and their mother are bad company. :(
I had to end playdates completely because I didn't feel that the company was the best or even good for my kids. These girls and their mother aren't playdates, really, but the interaction isn't good and I would find better kids to hang with. Just a thought.
I can hear the whirring of the helicopter blades at that mom approaches.
It's pretty clear that Little Other Girl (LOG) is (a) playing her mom for all the attention she can get (b) responding to mommy's pavlonian training to get hystrionic or (c) is the one who needs to learn to deal with other kids.
I'm all for classes/activities to interact with others, but it doesn't sound like the blame lays with Charlotte.
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