“You were a bully,” my husband says. And since I have known him for two thirds of my life, I trust his take.
I was the child who was sent to a child psychologist by my kindergarten teacher after I led a revolt against the art teacher. No purple paint? Let’s stage a walk out! I led fifteen miniature humans on a 200-foot walk out the door of our small private school, all with a wild-haired art teacher in her twenties running behind us. I think we were the first and last class of her career in education.
So, how did I end up with the sweetest kid in the playgroup, the one whose natural personality is one of joy and – worst of all – sharing?
Consider this scene from last week’s playgroup: the big redheaded girl is crawling towards us. She is at least twice the size of my petite daughter, though they are the same age. Sam – my kid – is holding out a toy, a bright smile on her face. Big Red grabs it and turns her back to Sam, gnawing on her newly snatched booty.
“Give that back to the little baby,” her mother says, prying the toy from her daughter’s drool-soaked grasp. Immediately Big Red erupts, tears spilling down her cheeks, which are red with anger. The mom hands Sam her toy back. Sam holds it out to Big Red again, smiling.
This scenario plays out again and again in all of the playgroups I have joined. Every parent wants a baby who shares. But not me.
During the past year, I have amassed much playgroup wisdom. I have learned there are the sharers – babies like my daughter – who find no greater joy than handing a toy to another child, allowing them to gum it, finger it and eventually return it (usually at their mother’s behest), at which time the sharers will hand it back. Then there are the other babies, babies like Big Red. They crawl over blocks, towers and stuffed animals like Godzilla in Tokyo. They snatch, pull and gum the other children’s toys without even glancing at their victim.
“I think it is just her personality,” Big Red’s mother explained. She is embarrassed, but I am jealous. How did I – harbinger of the largest sense of entitlement in the East – end up with a sharer? Did I do something wrong? Spend too much time during my pregnancy smiling?
I want Godzilla. I want a baby who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. I want a baby who will eventually run a Fortune 500 company, become rich and let momma retire. At the very least I figure a bad attitude combined with a sense of entitlement and desire to squash the little people should earn her a shot at being Vice President.
The Daily Babble