25.10.06

Score one for the underdog

This Sunday the kids and I spent the afternoon taking advantage of one of the many great things about living I San Diego, if you can drive to them that is. We went to Mission Bay and played at one of the gigantic playgrounds there near the water while the Genius Husband had lunch with his dad and brothers.

It was a perfect day; the sun shone but there was a breeze that kept things cool and big shade trees. I had time to almost complete a sweater I’ve been knitting for the Girl for a very long time while I watched them play. I love the way the Girl now pretends to feed every toy animal she comes across, including the plastic fish on a giant spring who received many generous handfuls of sand to satisfy it’s appetite.

The day was even more memorable toward the end because of a little boy who became fast friends with my Boy. They played all of the games together that little boys do, blending into each other’s worlds of make-believe seamlessly. At one point they were playing with two large rubber balls that the other boy owned when some bigger boys came and thought it would be funny to play a game of keep away with the Boy’s new friend. They quickly tossed the ball back and forth while the little boy screamed in frustration stomping his feet in his impotence. I was just moving to step in and play a round of the playground parent game just as I saw my Boy start growling and charge toward one of the boys who was tormenting his friend. He was ready for battle; he is a staunch defender of his friends and family. Neither of us got to do anything however, for just as we began to move, this little boy picked up a handful of sand and with impressive accuracy flung (I want to say flang, oh Mel what have you done to me?) it into the eyes of the boy holding his ball. His tormentor staggered in surprise, dropped the ball, and staggered back rubbing his eyes.

Am I a bad mother because I laughed out loud and cheered inside my head? Because that’s what I did, I was so impressed with this little guy’s ability to strategize and stand up to those bullies. They left the playground a minute later.

I told the Genius Husband about it when he arrived to pick us up. His only question was, “Did the Boy see it.”

To my affirmative reply he emphatically stated, “Good!”

Maybe we’re both bad parents.

3 comments:

  1. It's tough, to figure out how to teach our kids to defend themselves but to also remain gentle.

    Sand in the eyes can be pretty bad, and while I would have also been proud of the smaller kid defending himself, I would have felt really bad if the other kid had scratched corneas.

    If it were my kid, I would have commended them for defending themselves fearlessly but then told him to use a swift kick to the shin next time. The perpetrator was also a kid afterall.

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  2. The bully won't pick on someone smaller than he is for a while.

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  3. Anonymous11:43 PM

    HI Carrien, I've been reading your food blog and can't post a comment as it wanted google details which I don't have. So thought that I'd do it here (couldn't find e-mail for you either)- sorry!

    Ditto - I'm enjoying your blog too. I live in New Zealand and have a 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl (snap!)and I'd love to slowly improve our eating habits. I think if I changed too much at once, I'd have a mutiny on my hands.

    Here, here - the water! My children drink predominantly water and love it.

    Wish that my kids ate more veges - potatoes, carrots and cucumbers are sure things, but anything else is hit and miss. Thankfully the fruit consumption is better!

    Any ideas of encouraging children to try new foods? My 4 year old is not that keen to try things - often the texture seems to put him off.

    Sorry - I've really gone on!

    Anyway, look forward to your future posts!

    Cheers, Wilm

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