Unfortunately, Isabella treats any containment apparatus (stroller, shopping cart, etc.) as if it were a medieval torture device, so shopping and walks with her are pretty much out, unless I'm having a particularly masochistic kind of day. But we are all about the playgroups, the library, the children's museum, and any other place she can roam around free and unfettered.
Toddlers are a funny group. They don't yet play together, and they orbit around eachother like tiny moons around a planet. Most of them seem completely oblivious that there are indeed other beings in their midst, unless, of course, there's some spectacular toy they all covet, or someone steals a sippy cup. Then, of course, all hell breaks loose.
It's the way moms deal with these dust-ups that's become a topic of interest for me.
On two separate occasions last week, Isabella was knocked down by an older child. And while each mom rushed over to grab and remove her son (both children were boys) and each mom reprimanded her kid, neither mom apologized to me, or made her son apologize to Isabella.
The first knock-down happened at a YMCA's indoor soft play area. My friend and her son (who has the temperament and manners of a boy at least twice his three years) invited us to go swimming in the Y's pool (they're members). Isabella and I both love the water, so we jumped at the chance, and after swimming, we took the kids to the play room. I was taking off my shoes (required by the playroom's rules), and Isabella was standing not two feet from me. I was lifting off a shoe, when I heard her scream, and turned around to see her flat on her back on the soft mat, with a boy of about 2 and a half on top of her. His mom pulled him off, and told him to "be careful when he hugs little babies," and that was it. She didn't say a word to me, or to Isabella.
A similar situation happened at the children's museum during the Halloween party. Isabella was in an enclosed area clearly marked for "First Walkers." It was filled with toys for babies, and it had a little maze for toddlers to meander through. Isabella and her two friends were having a great time in the maze, until an older boy of about three started running through it. He ran right into Isabella, knocking her off her feet and flat on her back. More screaming ensued. And again, the boy was reprimanded ("You need to be careful around the baby. She's just learning to walk."), but his mom said nothing to me.
I was really surprised that neither mom apologized. Now obviously, I don't blame the kids at all. Neither one ran down Isabella on purpose. But I do know that had the situation been reversed, and Isabella had tackled a smaller baby, I would have apologized to his or her mother, and if Isabella was old enough, I would have made her apologize to the child she knocked over, even if she didn't quite understand that she had done something wrong.
Am I crazy for expecting an apology when I wasn't the one harmed? If your kid knocked down or hurt a smaller child, would you apologize to the child's mom, or deal only with your child?