Now that my baby is a year old, the concept of manners and politeness is at the forefront of my mind. I started writing about this and realized I have several things to say, so I’ll split them up into several posts.
A week or so ago, I took my one-year-old son to a local public library to play in their quite-awesome-if-I-do-say-so preschool room. There’s an entire wall kitchen center, four train/car/Lego tables, a stage for puppet plays and of course, books, books, books. Oh, and a wee baby room off to the side that is gated and padded. Too bad I didn’t know about that months ago!.
My son was calmly playing, running a little Thomas train engine back and forth along the table, happily babbling “vroom” to himself and affirming “Car!” to me. Another boy, about five, was playing at the same table. My son, cannot walk yet, and is not always aware of where he is in relation to other people (you know how babies get focused on what they are doing). And at that time, he still had to hold the table to maintain balance.
Soon, he moved a bit too close to the other boy’s train. The boy proceeded to whine in annoyance, and pushed my son aside. Of course, my baby lost his balance and plopped on his butt. He stared up at the older boy in wonder, but he is rather good-natured so he didn’t fuss.
What did the mother do? In my opinion, nothing. Oh, yes, I’m sorry, she said “Oh, Sam!” (not his real name) in exasperation. But did she instruct him in apologizing or amending the situation? No. She just kind of sat there helplessly while her son stamped his feet and whined until I moved my baby down the table away from him.
I was disappointed. At five years old, I feel like *maybe* this child could learn not to push a teeny infant down. Maybe. Would it be too much for the mom to have asked him to say sorry to my little boy?
Since I’m a new mom, I am super conscious of how my child behaves with other kids, and I want him to be polite and nice. I know kids will be kids. They get tired, sick, and irritable. And many times they just don’t know better. But that is why they have parents – to teach them in the finer arts of social graces. So I’m always paying attention to how other parents develop manners in their own children. And how to respond when other children have moments lacking in grace (it happens, I know!).
How would you have handled this situation if you were me? How would you have handled this if were the other mom?