Monday, January 25, 2010

Scientists on the loose - part II

Today we went to the California Academy of Sciences museum. And it was another fabulous day. I love how when it's just us (Mom + 4 kids) out somewhere, they really step up and stick together. Greyson was soooooo into everything that he kept hanging back looking at everything, but all it took was a quick call and he came running right up. He was such a good boy. I love that. I mean, I love that he was a good boy, but more importantly, I love that he knows when to step up and be agreeable, lol. He spends so much time "fighting the power" that sometimes I'm afraid that he doesn't remember how to just go with the flow and enjoy himself. But he does. :)

We spent the day with my friend and her two boys again. Such a nice time. The kids really seemed to get along and it is so nice to just hang out with someone you've known forever. Yes, we don't speak often and haven't actually seen each other face to face in, oh, um, maybe 5 years, but it was still so comfortable and relaxing. It felt like home. I wish she lived closer.

I had an interesting time people watching in the toddler area in the museum. My friend had taken the bigger kids to the planetarium show and I was hanging out with Grey and Linus in the toddler room. As anyone who has spent much time in a toddler room knows, there isn't exactly a lot of adult stimulation in there so people watching is the main form of entertainment. There was the usual "stand back and let your child wreak havoc without ever noticing" parent and the "hover centimeters away and intervene before your child can even look at something that might cause controversy somehow" parent. There was even a slightly frazzled "yes, I know my child is bigger than everyone else and doesn't really know how to control himself but, really, what can I do but remove him from the situation when he goes too far - so stop looking at me like that!" mom, whom I really felt for and got a kick out of watching.

But I noticed two new types today. There was the "set your child up for failure right off the bat" parent who said to the sweet and quiet one or one-and-a-half year old as he approached the play ship's steering wheel, "Now make sure you share if anyone else comes over!" Now, I know that doesn't really sound bad but there was no one else around him! He hadn't even touched it and she was already warning him that he wasn't really going to be able to enjoy it because someone else might come up and they are obviously more important than he is. OK, maybe I'm reading too much into that one but it really rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. It just seemed so limiting and belittling even to set those limits on his fun right off the bat. Personally, I'd rather see him have a good time with it all to himself first and then if someone else approached throw out the sharing reminder. But then again, my kids think they rule the world so maybe I've given them a little too much leeway there, lol.

The other "interesting" parent I saw was actually quite shocking to me. It may have been a cultural difference but I saw this woman get extremely stern and angry because her toddler took off her socks. The little girl (who couldn't have been much more than one) was so cute and said "Socks off!" in a sweet little sing-song voice as she pulled one off and the mother just about went ballistic. "That is NOT appropriate! Put that back on right now! Do you need to have a time out?!?" as she practically wrestles the little thing down on the ground and forces her to put her sock back on. Now, I don't think that she was a violent or abusive mother or anything, but I do think that that was a pretty severe reaction to taking off your socks in an area where they require you to remove your shoes and half the kids didn't even have socks on! And threatening a time out for such a little thing? I'm sure she had no idea what she did wrong. I'm sure I don't either. Some people are just really hard for me to figure out.

Of course I spent a lot of time explaining to my friend's kids why food dropped on the floor was still ok for my kids to pick up again and eat. I hope no one's writing a blog about what a bad parent I am!


G said...

LOL at psycho-sock parent! Maybe that was the same mom - or at least related somehow - that shoved her kid down on the floor at skating yelling "She said FALL DOWN!" (too bad you missed that day).

Sounds like a good couple of days though!

Vanessa said...

When we were at Borders on Sunday, a little boy about three sat down just inside the exit to the mall, screaming and crying, and refused to leave because his mom wouldn't buy him a board game. I watched her go from "Come on, get up and we'll go have ice cream! Do you want some yummy ice cream?" to the clenched-teeth "Get up right this minute ... don't make me count ... one ... two ..." And in my head I was thinking, He weighs 30 pounds at the most - why don't you just pick him up and carry him out? But then, I'm sure people have thought Why doesn't she just [fill in the blank] about me many, many times!