Thursday, July 18, 2013

How do they do it?

How did the people who settled hot areas manage not to die? It's been over 100F after humidity here for five days or so, and we're all very annoyed. Only air conditioning has saved us. Real question- I know it gets at least this hot in many places in the world that people have voluntarily moved to, and before air conditioning was invented. So did everyone just spend from May through October comatose, or what?

In a spirit of extreme bravery I took the kids to the park this morning, even though the temperature was awful. We've spent two days inside and that's about as much at-home as I can take. It went well- I kept picking up the girls and forcing them to go through the splashpad to keep them from dying of heat exhaustion- but while we were there Thomas pushed a toddler, and her mother got really upset.

Really, really upset.

They were all up on some climbing stuff (my boys, a couple of other girls, toddler), and were playing, and Thomas gave the girl a shove. Not a great thing, but to my eyes fairly gentle. Mother had a fit, and stated shouting, "Why did you do that? Why did you do that?" at Thomas. She yelled at him to come back, I told him to come over and apologize, and he did, after some pressure from me. She kept asking him why he pushed her little baby. I said something like he shouldn't have done that and she said he hit my little girl!
 and then glared at him and said loudly, "That is a bad boy!"

So I said that he had baby sisters, and that he hit them sometimes.

"He hits girls?".

Sigh. This conversation is getting us nowhere. I was relieved when she left.

I keep going over what I could have said, in my head. I want to know what she expected from my three-year-old: a defense of violence? An Apologia? A thoroughly contrite apology? And what did she want from me? Tears at my son's behaviour? I'm a mother of boys, and while I don't want them to hit, I understand that various forms of roughhousing are a normal form of play. I can't stop it. I can object when they hit someone smaller and weaker than them- and I did. I can make them say sorry and try to teach them that they should protect littler kids, but they are going to get excited and make mistakes. And then I correct them. Total horror and shock are just so, so weird to me, now.

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