I hate other people's kids.
There I said it, shoot me down, think I'm evil, but its a fact. Maybe hate is a bit strong a word but, damn it, at times I mean it!
Where does it stem from? Two years of protecting my child from the savage waifs and strays at the local toddler groups and soft plays. It's enough to drive any mother to insanity!
I'm not talking about the kids that have the odd tantrum, maybe snatch or throw a toy (usually at a fellow playmate's head). That's part of the joys of toddlerdom: they are entitled to a few bops and whinges, that's how they learn. I'm talking about the unaccompanied wild kids; you know those with foam at the mouth, a wicked glint in the eye. The kids that the regulars steer their kids away from and give newbies warning glances about.
You'll find the parents sitting far away from the play area coffee in one hand either gossiping with an accomplice or engrossed in a funny cat clip on their iphone/pad. They seem to have no cares about what their beloved little people are doing. Even when informed their little angel had been sinking their canines into some poor defenceless child's thigh, they show little concern. These parents astound me - how anyone can show that little interest in their child? You have to wonder if this is how they behave in public, what is home life like!
I wonder if these parents saw their "little angels" wandering aimlessly around the soft play frame, looking for some child to bash obviously bored senseless, would that paternal guilt kick in, would they see the errors of their ways? Sadly I doubt it. In a few years time, these parents will be asking where they went wrong and why wont they listen to me!
There's a part of me that wants to take them home, teach them how to behave, play with them. It brings a tear to my eye at times. I hope for their sake as soon as they hit three they get dumped in nursery, so at least they would have some company and maybe communication.
I admit I feel like a bit of a sanctimummy as I'm sitting here judging others but hey if this post makes one of those parents think twice and jump in there with their children, see their faces light up as they show the slightest bit of interest, then the risk is worth it.
I'm no supermum and yes I probably check my phone too often and lil dude is certainly no angel at times but I'd like to think that the time I spend with my little dude is precious and I am damned if I'm wasting it looking at cats falling behind sofas!
Tracey is mum to lil dude an extreme dino fan. She blogs about their lives - living, laughing and learning as they go.
Blogs at: Prehistoric Play