At soft-play yesterday I, somewhat optimistically, brought a book with me. And I actually managed 2 pages – a new record!
At 1 point Ellie asked to have a look at it. She then thought it very funny to run around the play area with it.
Jake wasn’t too impressed with this. He went after her, took the book from her – gently but firmly – & brought it back to me, saying “There you are, Daddy”, an expression of serious concern on his face.
Less pleasantly, there was a bigger boy there who for some reason seemed to have taken a dislike to me. He actually hit me repeatedly, through the mesh of the ball-pit, & called me silly names. (“Smelly poopy-head” was 1 I remember; Jake & Ellie found this hilarious – thanks for the support, guys!)
He was also being rough with other children. He continued to hit me & call me names, in front of Jake & Ellie, every chance he got & I felt I had to speak to his parent / carer when I figured out who they were.
If it was me I would have been mortified. In fact I had to intervene earlier when Ellie got aggressive with a boy there; Jake actually came over to tell me about it, which I thought was, again, very mature of him. She doesn’t like her stuff being taken!
When I talked to them (a Dad) however instead of “I’m sorry” I just got “He’s 6!”. I made my point, I hope gently but firmly, asked him to speak to his son, & walked off.
A little later I saw him being shouted at; I didn’t see them around again after that so I assume he’d been taken home.
Afterwards I remembered seeing his being spoken to pretty aggressively by his Dad as they came in, & thinking how awful it was to speak to your own child so angrily, & in public. As much as I was relieved to see him go I couldn’t help but feel bad for him; it’s possible I’m just being judgmental but it seemed pretty clear where his bad behaviour came from.
Soon after that we joined in with a brilliant ball-fight another Dad was having with his little boy, about the same age as the twins. 1 brilliant Dad redressing the balance – with me somewhere in-between!
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