My second child is naughty.
There I said it.
Lets make no bones about it.
I have two sons aged 5 and 2. The first was always a 'busy' child who didn't sit still for a second, he still likes to explore and question...pretty much everything. However he also would fall asleep standing up, is extremely relaxed in nature and kind. He was the child that always seemed to get hit, bit, scratched, you name it he's had the red mark. I was often told its because he is tall for his age and kids will see it as a threat. Discovering Toddlers are more like animals than human beings I could well believe that maybe his height was going to stir the adrenalin in rug rats. I rarely got involved in soft play scuffles or play group brawls though believing its the law of the jungle and they will sort it out themselves; hopefully becoming more normal pre schoolers after 3. I often told Archie to "just brush the crumbs off" i.e. get on with it, similarly he hardly ever seemed to flinch, even when once coming back to our table bleeding with a profusely apologetic mother of a son with over zealous teeth. "It's fine" "They are just kids" "Don't be silly" were my catchphrases and I meant them. Why should an already frazzled mother feel even worse when her child does something out of her control or something the child hasn't become mature enough to learn not to do?! It would be similar to bollocking someone when their dog pee's on a lamppost.
I'm glad I had this experience because my second child is the 'Attacker'. He's not much of a biter but he loves hitting, pushing over...like making sure they come off their feet and occasionally a bit of hair pulling. I'm not proud of it. Even in a "boys will be boys" type way Dad's seem to favour, I am embarrassed and wish to god he.would.just.stop. I have tried every punishment under the sun, our "Naughty Step" is almost bald but still it continues. He will also normally go straight over with his white blond curls, baby blue eyes and say "Sowwwweeee" and then give them a big a kiss. This however does not seem enough repentance for a 2 yr old child in the eyes of some mothers who on most occasions their child hasn't even reacted or cried from the shove but they are acting like a chunk of flesh missing from their cherub. This feeling of over reaction has been building for some weeks and has become even more noticeable now his brother has started school and we are back to doing younger activity's with other under 3's. Now not as distracted by having two children, I'm noticing all the disgusting looks I'm getting when my child isn't acting like a doll.
A few weeks back at a soft play he was running around with friends and knocked over a little girl who was about 7, it was a total accident the child didn't even cry so I just let it be. 10 minutes later I hear someone shouting "Is that YOUR son?! He's just smacked my daughter!" Granted I didn't see it but as I said she is nearly double his size and not upset except for the fact that her parents are going mental at me. The soft play went silent and everyone was looking at me. I couldn't believe his reaction, I did apologise and made Oscar do so immediately too but this was obliviously not enough because the cringe worthy rant continued until I snapped (more out of embarrassment that this couple was causing) and said "He has said sorry, he is only 2 what should I do whip him?" The next week we went to the beach and Oscar was actually on best behaviour even asked to pose for some photographs to be featured in a magazine. A little boy turns up with his Mum and a bag of toys, Oscar and his best bud are sharing their diggers etc but when Oscar picks up one of the other toys...from a happy meal the mother takes it off Oscar like it's a family heirloom. Oscar being Oscar preservers and continues to try and play with the toys when other children might have been deterred. This must have irked the mother with an obsession for these plastic pieces of tat and she actually takes one off Oscar and says "Dont touch *xyzs* toys" I couldn't believe it and neither could Oscar because he promptly shoved the little boy when he tried to take his (Oscars) spade off him....Lovely.Not. Last week we went to another soft play and Oscar gets into clash over a motorbike, he hit the little boy and left a tiny mark. I hear the child cry and go over at once, as this was not OK. As I am walking over, the boys mother is going quicker than Usain Bolt to whisk her son into her arms. I explain to Oscar that was naughty and in the time it has taken to do that the Grandmother has joined the full body examination at my side despite that the child isn't even crying any more. Oscar doesn't want to say sorry (obviously) so I do, explain he has a big brother so is often too rough and say "You will now go on the naughty spot". Then the mother and Grandmother pipe in, "You shouldn't have done that, scratching is awful" "That is really bad" on and on and I had already started to walk away with Oscar as if they are going to lecture my 2yr old who doesn't have a worldly possession you could take from him and it matter; so how is this speech going to help?!
It finally came to a head yesterday when we went to a music class that both boys have enjoyed since they were baby's, its a great class with live music, we haven't been for a while but sitting mostly still for nearly an hour now watching someone play the guitar is too much for Oscar. He was over excited from the beginning and started shoving kids in the circle everyone sits in, then he turns the circle into a race track zooming around knocking over some smaller ones. There were some others, not surprisingly also boys who too went on a mission to look at the toilet, tried to escape out the front door and set off the fire extinguisher instead of singing 'Row your Boat' but Oscar was the leader. I can see all the glaring looks of snotty mothers, as if they are watching a grown man flash their child not just a 2yr old over excitedly stroke their hair. They were all watching with fingers ready as if to grab their child out of this monsters way, tutting like their child would NEVER put a foot wrong....how would they know when they can barley walk? As we all dance about in a circle holding hands with each other Oscar grabs onto one of the mothers jumpers and she instantly peels off his hand and snarls "Get off my jumper". There wasn't one kind word or sympathetic look to be seen and I just had to get out of there not even half way through. I have never felt so judged or rejected in my whole life and this is 5yrs and 2 children into being a mother. One of the class teachers must have noticed me leave and came out to the car park to check I was OK... I actually started to cry! I cried. She gave me a hug and said it wasn't even that bad but I was so mortified, frustrated and upset. I wont ever return.
Please don't think for one second that I think it is OK for my child or any child to hurt another one. I can totally understand why some mothers/parents would be upset and are watchful of their children BUT if I am obviously doing all I can to prevent this why do you want to make me feel bad? If my child is still being even 10% as wild when he is 4 I will be taking even more serious action and I will also have some way of actually punishing him because he will care for more than the next nano second and just getting his own way 24/7. He's 2....he is 2. Has your child never done anything wrong? Have they never made you feel like you wish the ground would swallow you up? No. I honestly wish the most toe curling tantrum in.public on you then. I hope your child sinks its teeth into mine one day and maybe then you will see what its like for you and your innocent child to feel like garbage for...nothing really. Only I wont make you feel bad, I will be the one in the supermarket when I see you with tears in your eyes giving you a pat saying "Been there many times, your'e doing great" or when you're beetroot head to toe, sweating in soft play, I will explain that my child once did a poop right there! This whole over protective malarkey is ridiculous, you're the reason children's scooters now say "This product moves when used" and Playdoh have been forced to have the new phrase "Fun to play with but NOT TO EAT" incase they get sued. Just let kids be kids and us all stick together not make the day even worse. Oh and I did I mention I was reeeealy sorry?