Sitting at the mall with kiddos again. I wanted to go to the playground, they did not want that so much, at first.
They wanted to play on the electronic rides. You know, the ones that are sitting in the front of the grocery stores. The ones that look really cool but provide less excitement than helping my wife pick yarn (Do you like beige, tan, eggshell, or khaki? Like is a rather strong word in this circumstance.). We do not usually
waste the money spend anything on them. They are usually content to just play on the machines.
Today, they did not want to go to the playground. I like going to the playground because I get good Internet access and they have a lot more fun there. I started getting frustrated from having my expectations unmet. Fortunately, my frustration did not last and I let this go and allowed them their choices. I was also able to turn the whole thing into a lesson because when we finally reached the playground, the woman was there cleaning it and we had to wait. Had we gone straight to the playground, she would have waited for a time when no none was there to clean like it seems she did during winter break (no one bothered us all the mornings we were here). I think they understood.
I think I understood my lesson too. Expectations can ruin an experience. I love being with my family. No matter what we do or where we are. No expectation of our activity is worth tarnishing that.
So, while I was finishing up the above post, my eldest grabbed the hood of another child’s jacket and threw him to the ground. I did not get this part of the story when he first came over with downcast eyes and a sad face. He told me he pushed a kid because that child was going up the slide when people were going down it. I have stressed to my children the importance of being considerate of others and he has apparently taken this concept to a Batmanesque vigilantism. My son is not normally violent but he was defending some ideal I have been implanting in his psyche for a couple years now. The other child’s mother came over and informed me of my child’s actions (an interaction I thoroughly enjoy either giving or receiving, much like a root canal without anesthetic or a dentist) and I was very shocked at what she told me. I was not as shocked because he had already informed me of some of the transgression but the violent part was a little disconcerting. We talked, he did a little think time after I provided him a little perspective of possible consequences for his actions. I hope he understands. I still would rather do this than not. Another teaching moment. Life is good.
I love them. I love you. Thank you for being you.