Sunday, March 25, 2012

baby bully!

A few weeks back I started taking the boys to The Jumpy Place in Kyle, and they love it, especially our eldest. We like to go during the week, while all the big kids are stuck in school, so I don't have to panic too much about my '10th percentile' 2 year old getting squashed, or knocked around on the bouncy castles by the bigger kids.

Despite us telling him he's a 'big kid' our 2 year old is still very babyish in appearance, especially with his angel hair and chubby cherub features, so often his peers refer to him as a baby  (especially the little madams who try to mother him somewhat). He's a good few inches smaller than most of his buddies, so it stands to reason that I might get a bit wobbly myself watching him bouncing around from the sidelines.

But it's been great experience for both of us! Mommy has learned to stand a little farther back from wee man and watch him interact and play independently, while wee man has thrived on the freedom. My little guy has no fear! Once his shoes are off, he's already yelling 'bye Mum' and scurrying away full pelt, without a backward glance. He's had a few knocks and skirmishes over the weeks (basic survival training) and he's held his ground amazingly well - and without complaint - on his slow and steadfast journey to the top of the inflatable slide, while bigger scamps have ruthlessly pushed past him and climbed over him to get there first.

It takes a lot to hold this Momma Bear back when her cub is struggling against the current. But I've learned a lot from "Crush" the laid back sea turtle!!

So it came as a bit of a shock on our last visit, when I caught sight of my cotton-top, mid-tumble, and entangled with a much bigger kid, through the mesh side of the nearest bouncing castle. I hurried over to check that my little lad wasn't hurt, and was surprised to see his cheeky flushed face beaming with adrenalin and joy! The bigger boy was climbing out as I approached and he assured me he was OK. My guy was 'the last man standing'on the bouncing castle. According to the one Daddy witness, little man had hug tackled all the other kids, successfully clearing the bouncy castle!!

Oops! Boy did I feel a little sheepish! My baby 'bully' was replaying a trampoline game he'd made up with his best friend, a few days earlier. Hug..and Fall! It had been a huge hit the other night - not so much on this day though. Apparently the bigger kids were somewhat baffled by our little fella's game - after all he was just a baby - and there was undoubtedly a touch of disapproval in the Daddy's tone as he filled me in on the details.

I found myself parenting my little bruiser using the word 'mutual'. Aaagh! I never thought I'd hear myself ask "Is it mutual?'' It sounds like something lifted straight out of Parenting 101, but now I realize there really isn't a more pertinent word!

Somewhere mixed in with the amusement and embarrassment, I have to admit to a glimmer of pride at his antics. I don't believe there was one iota of meanness in his horseplay. He just wanted to recapture the joy he and his best buddy had created, and share it with some new friends. And, even though he really shouldn't be pushing other kids over, my heart goes out to my little manny, that his efforts were not received in the manner he expected them to be.

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