I’ve been taking Violet to the swimming pool a lot this summer.
She loves it.
Her toothy grin takes over her entire face as she dips a toe, then a little leg and finally goes all in. She splashes around and plays with her rubber ducky, ball and a little turtle. I watch and can’t believe that my tiny baby is now cruising around a swimming pool. What happened?
The swimming, it’s a win-win. She gets to play and burn off energy and I get to lounge around in the sun. Sure I have to hide my stretch marks beneath a pair of over-sized mom shorts, but whatever. I’m rocking the bikini top, so that’s cool. What’s not cool are a lot of the kids at the pool. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all sweet kids, truly they are. Kind of. I mean, they’re just being kids when they try to steal Violet’s toys and then refuse to share their own toys with her. They’re just being kids when they flap around in the kiddie pool like total nutbags even though they are at least 10 years old and should get the hell out and let the toddlers play in peace.
I find myself getting overly involved, giving certain kids The Stink Eye when they steal Violet’s toys. This one girl – she’s got to be 8 or 9 – likes to tool around on those floaty noodles. Now, these aren’t her noodles, they’re provided by the pool for everyone. But this girl, she uses, like, ten of them and refuses to share with anyone. As if that transgression isn’t worthy of a sound beating right then and there, she rolls up in the kiddie pool and tries to take Violet’s toys. And then, AND THEN has the nerve to complain that Violet won’t share.
Listen to me! How worked up I get by the completely normal antics of children. What, am I going to be one of those nutter moms that shows up at the elementary school playground to fight my daughter’s battles? But still! My baby!
The next time we went to the pool and brought dad along I sat there grumbling out of the side of my mouth about this kid or that kid. I guess I got so bad Serge had to tell me to mellow out, he was fearing for the kids’ safety.
It’s true. Mama needs to take a chill pill.
But, she’s my baby! And when these “big kids” get all up in her face and splash her or knock her down and steal her toys it’s hard to restrain myself. Especially when their parents aren’t around to give them The Business. Sometimes their parents are around but are too busy gabbing to do anything but offer a half-hearted “Be nice, dear.”
Be nice. I’ll show you nice when I pinch your kid.
Okay, so I’m obviously kidding. Mostly. But I wonder if any of y’all have run into a similar scenario. Older kids lumbering around parks/pools/toys obviously designed for toddlers and causing problems and even hurting the little kids… What do you do? Ignore? Do you give them The Business in lieu of their parents? Am I just being an overprotective idiot who needs to mellow out and let my daughter learn to deal with life?
We hate to love them: 24 Habits of Highly Annoying Toddlers!