I took the boys to the mall today to play in the indoor play area with Mikey’s friend Alyna. It’s Roshashannah so the schools were closed, making the playground look like an anthill that someone lit on fire. Wild! Kids everywhere… Pierce had a ball playing everywhere with everyone, and Michael and Alyna were like Bonnie and Clyde running all over the place mowing down anyone in their path. Then I look up and there is this boy of about six and his two little brothers staring at me. Apparently, the six-year-old wanted to play with our “duo” and they weren’t terribly interested. I asked the kids to include this boy and his brothers. They still wanted to do their own thing. I imagine if these other boys just joined in, it would have been fine, but they didn’t seem to know how to assimilate. The one boy kept coming and tattling to me about everything Mikey and Alyna did or didn’t do, or say or didn’t say. I was beginning to understand why he and his brothers were the “undesirables”, however, I am not a fan of exclusion. I understand there was some name calling—I have a good idea where that started, and I think it was from the one who carries my DNA. Personally, I feel that there is going to be a certain amount of that between children, and it teaches them how to be a duck—learn to let it roll off their back. But I also know that a lot of parents these days take name calling more personally than their children really do, so I try to quell as much ugly behavior as possible, so as to avoid being forced into some name calling myself.
At some point someone found a little super ball, and the kids made up a game of tag where one person runs with it and the rest give chase until the carrier throws it and someone else grabs it and runs. This went well for a while until one little girl decided that it was hers and would run with it, but never give it up. She’d drop it in front of one of the smaller kids and then quickly swipe it back before they could pick it up. It was sort of mean-spirited. Bonnie and I had noticed that this little girl who was all of 8 or 9 was starting to sprout, if you know what I mean. When I saw her lording her ball over all the other kids I turned to Bonnie and said “Did you see what “boob’s” just did?” I quickly followed it with, “I wonder why Mikey is so quick to call people names?” We both laughed, but sometimes I just can’t help calling the obvious. By this point Alyna was ready to give chase no matter what, and Mikey was bored with the game. He just wanted to play with his friend, and she wanted to get the ball. It was getting time to wrap it up, because my tactile son couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He kept trying to grab Alyna by the shirt or arm to get her to pay attention to him. She DOES NOT like that! They’d wrestle for a while, and then she’d get hurt feelings or hurt limbs, and the silent treatment and limping would commence. Michael is beside himself when she won’t talk to him. He does not know how to handle it. I’m trying to teach him how to play it cool and act like he doesn’t notice—just keep playing or find someone else to play with for a bit, but he just doesn’t get it. He definitely doesn’t like to share somebody’s attention, and it can look a little desperate. He does act extra cool and apathetic if it is someone he doesn’t care about or know, though… That’s a little dangerous, too—it doesn’t bode well for cultivating compassion in him. I hope with age, that will develop and that he can be a leader for the top dogs and the underdogs!