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Saturday, May 21, 2005

what a bitch

yesterday i took nate and jack to the gymboree open house downtown. there were a ton of babies and toddlers there sitting on their parents'/caregivers' laps, bewildered at being bounced around and thrown in the air and having to listen to the hideous sing-songy crap all the adults were singing. but there were also stuffed toys, balls and climbing apparatuses (why did i think it was apparati??) so the lee boys were happy. while we sat on the outskirts of the group circle, dave called my cellphone to confirm our meeting time and place. i was juggling the phone and natey falling all over a ball and kids crawling by and keeping an eye out on jack, so i was pretty distracted. as i finished up the call, a baby about nate's age crawled over and took the ball that nate was playing with. so i -- still on the phone, trying to decipher what dave is saying over the din -- reach out, grab the ball from the kid and give it back to nate. HA! even replaying it in my mind is hilarious, but i'm actually quite horrified that i did it! immediately after, the kid's mother appeared out of the crowd, scooped up her son and moved to another area.

now i'm not even sure the mother saw me do it. the kid didn't cry or anything, there was so much other shit going on to distract him! but for the rest of the time we were there, i felt like she was avoiding me or the space we occupied. i know this is totally ridiculous, seeing as how there were a ton of people there -- you could barely walk without tripping over a baby or bumping into an adult -- but i still felt embarrassed at my faux pas. i mean, one-year-olds don't know shit about sharing! they don't even usually care if someone takes something from them, they just move on to the next thing. but i feel like i broke some unwritten rule about interfering in the social interaction of babies or something. heh. if someone had done that to nate i probably would've been pissed, but i'm a hothead like that. heh.

so am i a bitch or just overprotective? i dunno. my only rationalization for my behavior is that since nate has been able to get into jack's toys, i am constantly having to remind jack that he's a big boy and to take turns and share and give back toys that he's taken out of nate's hands. more often than not, i have to take the toy from jack to give back to nate. see! it was just a totally unconscious move! i wasn't trying to be mean to that other baby or make him cry or upset! so why do i still feel like a jerk?

addendum: after this visit i think i understand the bad rep gymboree has -- it's almost like entering a cult!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an 18-month-old, and I do that ALL THE TIME. Hey, if I'm sitting right there I fight injustice like the superhero I am. "We don't grab shit away from our friends!" I declare loudly(yeah, I usually phrase it a little differently for them). If my son Max grabs something from a friend, I take it out of his hands (if he doesn't respond to a request to hand it back, which he never does), and say, "No, Max. Your friend was playing with that." And if another baby takes something from Max, I do the same to him/her (unless the mom is right there, in which case I hope she will do so and if she doesn't I stew and wish I had the cajones to step in).

The other day I was at a playgroup and the son of a woman I know well just ripped a toy from Max's grasp. She just sat there and when Max cried out in anger and then stood there and frowned, and finally just walked off (her kid just grasping the toy to his chest and staring Max down), she said "Oh well, I guess he didn't really want it." Bitch. I spent the rest of the time totally lording my age and strength over her little dickhead kid.


7:24 PM

Blogger debbie said...

heh, thanks for making me feel like slightly less of a jerk, julia. that reminds me of a story my friend told me about her husband taking their then infant daughter to the park. i guess she fell down or something and the older kids were laughing at her, so her husband (usually spiky haired and wearing crazy sunglasses) turned around and sneered, "SHUT UP." heh. i guess when it comes to our kids a little lording of our age and strength isn's such a bad thing.

9:24 AM

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