Today I made a kid cry. Not my child. Not even a child I know. A stranger. Who was about 7. And here it is. I do NOT feel bad about it at all. Not one iota. Not even a itsy bitsy bit. He was a jerk and a brat. I wouldn’t change one thing of our encounter. I also hope Jackson NEVER behaves like he did. I also know that I won’t allow Jack to treat people the way this little brat was treating other kids.

We were at our Children’s Museum. Jack is 18 months old. One of the younger ones in the crowd. There were some younger kids, but they were mostly in baby carriers or wraps. So he is definitely in the youngest age group that attends this place. A Toddler!

He was being pushed around here or there. Kids trying to take things from him. I always intervene. Especially at this age. I also never take my eye off of him and never leave him out of arms reach. I actually play with him a great deal. I notice a lot of parents sit back and kind of let their kids run a muck. I don’t. The museum isn’t my babysitter. I am there to engage my child’s growing mind.

I politely had to tell a few kids that he was playing with something and they can’t take it from him. They moved on. It annoyed me but what can you do? I use these trips as parenting classes for myself. How I DON’T want to raise my son. He will never think it is ok to take things out of other people’s hands. If he does, there are repercussions. There already are at this age. Maybe I am strict. But I love him fiercely. I want him to be a good, honest, well mannered, kind, empathetic, generous, and understanding member of society. I don’t want him to be a crappy sharer who bullies other kids. Bottom line. We have been consistent in this approach in our parenting. Like I said I love him fiercely. So if he is honestly in the right I will fight to the death to protect him and correct a wrong done to him. If he is wrong, he will have to deal with the consequence. We have left activities because he wasn’t in a sharing or listening mood. I don’t put up with it. I often say I don’t negotiate with terrorists. When he acts like that he is being a very tiny cute cherub faced terrorist 😉

So when he is honestly the innocent victim momma bear comes out. I expect him to be treated with as much respect as I want him to treat others.

This kid was something else. There was this play house area. It was a home under construction. You could pretend to roll paint on the walls, check blueprints, lay carpeting, and even place these magnetic tiles on the wall. They had funky ugly wall paper patterns. You could rearrange them over three wall spaces! Jack LOVES magnets. He spends a lot of time playing with magnets on our fridge. He was fascinated by the carpeting initially. Then I showed him the walls. Oh he lit up! So we started moving things around. Another mom started taking some down to put back in this bin so the kids could pick out what they wanted and put them up. Suddenly I hear this kid start screaming at her. HE WAS PLAYING WITH THIS AREA AND HE DIDN’T WANT ANYONE TOUCHING THEM. He cried too. The mom felt bad. I was busy with Jack. I ignored the situation other than a sympathetic smile at this mom who made some strange kid upset. He was old enough to know better and know right from wrong. His parents? Not anywhere in that little room….

I kept helping Jack move these tiles. Suddenly out of my left side this kid comes up and rips the big tile Jack has out of his little 18 month old hands. “I AM PLAYING HERE. I DID THIS. STOP MOVING THEM”

Uh oh kid…..uh oh….

I took it out of this kid’s hands and gave it back to Jack. I turned to him and said “He is a baby. You do not take things out of a baby’s hands. He is playing here too”

He argued with me some more. I kept trying to help Jack. Then he tried again to take it from Jack. REALLY kid? He then demanded that we go away. He was playing here and Jack couldn’t play here. He wanted these tiles just how he put them up. ALL OF THEM.

I turned to him and calmly said “Well I am sorry but you have to share. This isn’t just for you. You have to share”

Jack looked up at me and repeated what I just said “share?”

“Yes Jack everyone has to share these things”

The kid ran off bawling hysterically. As if he had never been taught that he isn’t the only person in the world. As if we were in his personal playroom stealing his belongings. I could hear him wailing from across the little open area outside of the house. I caught him out of the corner of my eye on his mom’s lap screaming about what a mean lady I am. I heard “and then that lady…ajdksdfhsdfhds” I couldn’t make out the rest and Jack was talking to me anyway.

Yup. That is me. A mean lady who was probably the first person in the world who said the word share to that child. I was ready for that mom to come storming over and confront me. She never did. Maybe she knows she has a brat for a kid? I don’t know. But I wasn’t going to back down. He was out of line repeatedly. It wasn’t isolated and he was treating my kid like crap. I would be appalled if I found out Jack treated another child, especially a toddler that way. We would have left. That is that. If you can’t be a nice HUMAN BEING you cannot continue our treat of a trip to the museum.

Am I the only mom out there that thinks we have to raise good members of society? Sometimes I really feel that way. Another kid there today was a little old than Jack. Still a toddler. Any time Jack got close to him and the car he had in the car area he SCREAMED in Jack’s face “MINE”  I had my eye on him. Poor Jack just looked at him like WTH? What is wrong with you? Well one time it happened right in front of his mom. SHE FREAKING LAUGHED. LAUGHED like that behavior is funny. It isn’t. I could feel her try to make eye contact with me so we could be comrades in arms “ohhh toddlers, so silly!” No. not silly not ok. That is unruly behavior.

I did learn something though. I have a pretty awesome kid. He just kind of sat back a lot watching the chaos ensue. Content in his own world. Didn’t bully anyone else. He was able to adapt quickly and move on if someone else was being crappy.

I only had one incident where he got upset about sharing. At this point we had been there nearly 2 hours. I immediately corrected him. Gave the little girl the frog back and distracted him with something else. He moved on quickly. He knows I don’t put up with that. I explained to him that he can share and we don’t act that way. I am not going to stop that. If I get looks from other parents oh well.

Recently at a store he threw his cars in a fit of rage. Followed by a scream/growl at me. I got close to him and reprimanded him. “we do NOT throw cars” Picked up the cars and didn’t give them back. He started to cry. The cashier kept giving him this sympathetic look, like poor baby. Not poor baby. We do not throw things out of anger. We don’t. I let it go after that. I didn’t mention it again to him. He calmed down. I finished what I was doing, paying, and we left. I told him I loved him when we got in the car. Gave him a snack and we ran our next errand it total peace and happiness. We finished our errands without incident.

I guess I am a mean mom. I have rules. I do not spank him. We are big time out givers. He already sits on his stool. We remove him from the situation if he is being totally out of control. We do not negotiate. We let him know something was wrong firmly. We also always always let him know we love him and that is why we are trying to teach him something. And truly, these incidents are few and far between. He hasn’t had a time out in almost a month. He does get things taken away if he is throwing them out of anger. That is very effective currently. But like I said it doesn’t happen every day even. He had a bad tantrum phase a couple months back. In June. That was a rough month but we were consistent with handling it and things have improved. He understands every word we say.

But I will tell you one thing, that child loves me dearly. He is my shadow. He kisses me without asking. He hugs me, snuggles me. Our pediatrician begged me to have another baby because she loves how I am with him and that I am doing such a great job. She literally told me she hopes I change my mind because of the kind of mom she has seen me become. I don’t want another, but I am taking that compliment with grace. I appreciate it coming from a medical professional who has been with us since Jack was born!

I hope I am not alone in this quest to raise a kid who is nice. I really truly do. I hope that someone would correct Jack being that nasty. I know I wont be sitting in another area while he is playing by himself at a very packed museum. I hope I have mommy comrades that also believe in correcting inappropriate behavior of their own child. You’re out there right? Right?????