|The girls hanging out in manufactured shade.|
Richie's last game of t-ball was this past Saturday.
Since it was closing day, and "Championship Saturday" for all of the big kid teams, they had tons of festivities going on. Lots of bounce houses, a rock wall, an obstacle course (some kind of bounce house blow up type thing).
First, the kids played in the toddler bounce house, where I knew no one would pummel them and ruin the day just as it started. After Richie got his participation trophy, Daddy, Sophia, and Uncle Danny left (Sophia looked so worn out from all of the heat). Richie, Lily, and I ate our hot dogs and drank our water then headed back to our initial bounce house destination, per Lily's request.
|Lily and Richie coming to the final step |
of the obstacle course.
Then, Richie spotted the rock wall, and insisted he wanted to climb it. By this time, some clouds were rolling in and it really wasn't so hot anymore. So, we walked all the way over to the other side of the baseball fields to find the rock wall. As soon as we got there, the lightning detection system went off, which meant that the rock wall had to be temporarily shut down. It was really crummy, because if you know my Richie you also know he can sometimes be weary to try new things and compared to him the rock wall was HUGE. So, we settled on a near-by obstacle course.
With a little encouragement, Lily and Richie did really well. After their first run they wanted to do it again. And again. And again. The bigger kids started flooding in and apparently most parents are not teaching their children that they don't simply climb over and push past people that are smaller, younger, and weaker than they are. Since none of their parents feel the need to supervise, and I obviously do, I had no problem telling the kids what's what. "Red shirt- wait your turn. Can't you see she's smaller than you?" "Hey you! Don't just climb over him. It doesn't matter if he's not moving as fast as you'd like, you have to wait." There was such shock on the faces of these kids, as if no one ever tells them their behavior is inappropriate.
Finally, I'd had it. Lily is at the top of the last slide of the obstacle course- probably 10-12 feet high. She prefers to turn onto her stomach to slide down, probably to ease a little bit of the anxiety she feels from being up so high- she's three, it's understandable. An older boy, probably somewhere between 8 and 10 years old gets to the top and just PUSHES her. Now she's up there crying because she was afraid she was going to fall and some big kid tried to push her down. Not on my watch, kid.
"Hey!" I shouted and he ignored me.
"GREEN SHIRT!" He finally turned around.
"Where's your mother?"
"She's not here," he replied.
"Where's your father, who are you here with?" I asked, very sternly.
"My Dad. He's right there." He pointed just a few feet away where I saw his father chatting with a friend.
"You wait right there. We're going to go over and tell your father how you just pushed my daughter."
Then I shouted up to Lily, "Come on, honey, it's okay. Come down. Don't worry, he's going to apologize real soon."
Lily slide down on her belly and I scooped her up. I started walking towards the boys father as he just sat at the end of the obstacle course, "Come on, let's go talk to your Dad."
I explained to his father exactly what happened, and of course his Dad had him apologize and actually thanked me for telling him what his son had done. I told him to have a good day and brought the kids back to the beginning of the obstacle course.
I really think part of the problem with bigger communities, like the one I live in, is that parents are too scared or careless or I don't know what to say anything to other people's children. I grew up in a similar size community, but had relatives all over the neighborhood. You can bet I wasn't causing trouble because I was worried someone would see me and tell my Mom or Dad. I want the children growing up today to have that sense of social control. That sense of "let me think before I do this" and really consider the consequences of their actions because they don't know who's watching.
What do you think, is it wrong to call out other people's children when they're doing something that is obviously wrong (and their own parent isn't there or isn't supervising)?