Navigating Playground Politics

Completely ignoring my desperate pleas, Katherine is currently transitioning from two naps per day to just one, causing me to scramble trying to figure out how to entertain her for HOURS AND HOURS with no nap.

Today I Pinterested "Halloween crafts for toddlers," and eliminated anything with choking hazards, paint, glue, or the use of intermediate motor skills. This only left making spiders out of pipe cleaners. I created them with great enthusiasm, and they amused Katherine for approximately 30 seconds accompanied by a loud "Itsy Bitsy Spider" rendition with lots of gesticulation, but that would have been exactly the same amount of A.T. (Amusement Time) with or without the pipe cleaner spiders. So.

We now visit the local playgrounds more than ever. In New York City, if it is remotely temperate, they are jam-packed with jerks, and I don't necessarily mean the parents. 

Overheard being said to/about my curious baby: "She can't have this!" "She can't come up here!" "I hate babies!" "Go away!" She has also been purposefully pushed to the ground - a one-year old! - and had sand thrown in her face.

Children are so adorable. 


Yesterday Katherine was intrigued by an older girl and her sandbox toys - which in all likelihood belonged to the sandbox and not to her personally - and the girl could not have been more rude about Katherine's proximity to her precious plastic treasures. I am troubled by how to properly respond when a caretaker is not intervening (or even paying much attention) when rude behavior arises. I tried to see how things played out but it was pretty clear they wouldn't improve on their own, so I tried several times to distract Katherine and had no success. One last ugly look from the Sand Queen and I grabbed Katherine, who screamed like she was being axe-murdered (and why not?  She had no idea what she had done wrong).  And we left in a huff. 

This same scenario has played out multiple times lately. It's too bad common decency prevents me from telling strangers' kids that they really should share with other strangers' kids.

I am fascinated by the fact that sharing seems to be the most unnatural concept on earth, as "everything I touch is mine" manifests as early as a few months old. Children are truly like animals, and I honestly wonder whose idea it was to share shit to begin wth. Jesus', probably. 

I hope Katherine is nice to babies when she's a little older, unless it's this particular girl's younger siblings. Jesus would have had the same wishful thoughts, right?

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