Friday, July 10, 2009

What to Do

Once in a while, I would take my children to the bookstore for story time. The most interesting stories are the ones the parents tell by their behavior. I don't know if the parents are more self conscious in front of other parents or that's just the way they are but this is where you see a display of different parenting styles; from ridiculous to admirable. I hope I fit in there somewhere in between.

Tonight, something bothered me particularly. Our sort of new friend brought his daughter over who's the same age as my daughter. My children goes to daycare while I'm at work but our friend's daughter is always either with her mom or dad or grandparents. She's not around other kids very often. As much as I would love to spend every waking moment with my children, I am thankful that they are learning social skills at daycare. My daughter, much like my husband is very confident and does great being around people. Mia, our friend's daughter on the other hand is very quiet and kept to herself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I am the same way. However, you can tell how out of her element she is and this is not the first time she's been to our house and played with my daughter and son. We even went camping together. I guess unless you're her daddy, she's never going to warm up to you and believe me, I've tried. My daughter was being her usual playful, bouncy self and wanted to play with Mia when all of a sudden, she tells her daddy that Emma scratched her and pulled on her beautiful dress. My daughter was just trying to play with her. What surprised me was how her dad dealt with the situation. Instead of difusing her reaction and trying to be the grownup, he was instructing her to tell my daughter to STOP if she doesn't like what she's doing. That's ok but you don't have to yell to get the message across and this is something he should be discussing with her in private. I felt like he was indirectly reprimanding me and made me feel like a lousy mother. Just for formality purposes, I talked to my daughter in a calm voice to be gentle with Mia. Mia just acted up some more and started crying as if she was really injured.

I used to feel sorry for her for being a product of divorce and not having any kids around that's why I invited them to come over more often. Now, I don't even want her around my children. It's too much for me to handle. I know when my kids misbehave and I make sure I keep them in line but to witness someone accuse them of a lie is very painful. Part of me wanted to just say it like it is but I had to restrain myself and be the only adult in the room.

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