Toddler Tussles

Isabella and I escape from the house whenever possible. My older relatives believe mother and child should live like cloistered nuns because the babies! They must be kept inside, for there are germs, bad weather, and crazy-ass strangers running around outside! However, there are only so many books I can read, block towers I can build, and balls I can dig out from under the couch before I am itching to leave, and interact with other people. I'm hardly a social butterfly kind of girl, but something about staying in the house all day with a very active toddler is hugely unappealing to me. We both need to get out. And often.

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?

14 Responses to “Toddler Tussles”

  1. # Blogger Beagle

    OK, I don't have a child (Should I just skip the disclaimer?) but as an adult, when someone bumps into me, I always reflexively say "sorry" so I'm sure I would say sorry in this case, since I say it when it's not even called for.

    (That's a messed up other issue, isn't it?)  

  2. # Blogger Marie

    Yes, I would apologize! And I would have my son do the same!

    You're too kind in your compliment to little K -- I'm glad he was good that day!  

  3. # Blogger Editorgirl

    You are definitely not crazy for expecting an apology. For God's sake I apologize if I neglect to hold the door open at the coffee shop because I'm in such a rush to get to work. But if my child knocked someone else's child to the ground I'd be more than apologetic. I guess this just means these women weren't raised well and simply have no manners. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that situation (twice!).  

  4. # Anonymous Melissa Garrett

    You're not crazy at all. I am a profusely apologetic person; it's a flaw, sorry!

    Seriously though, I would have definitely apologized to you had it been one of my kids to knock yours over.  

  5. # Blogger Binulatti

    Those foolish boys & their moms. Don't they know that Bella is *connected*?  

  6. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Hmmm, yes. An apology was absolutely in order--in both cases. Funny you should mention this as Sam is constantly being attacked by other babies. The other day we were in a playgroup and all five babies ganged up on her! It was so weird. And yes, the mothers apologized, but mostly we laughed because, wtf? Kids are weird.  

  7. # Blogger Tracey

    Absolutely apologies are required. Even during accidents. Especially during accidents, so that kids can understand that our actions have consequences, even when we don't intend for them to.  

  8. # Blogger The Princess

    Oh, if it was my child knocking over your baby we would have apologized. I even apologize (and even try to make Camille but she's not good under pressure w/ talking!) when she runs into adults.  

  9. # Blogger Ramona

    Nope./ Difinitely not crazy. What ever happened to good old fashioned manners?  

  10. # Anonymous sher

    I agree. What has happened to manners? I remember having to say I was sorry, after I did all kids of terrible things. And the parent should have apologized too. That would drive the message home to the children that this was serious.  

  11. # Blogger Damselfly

    "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." Too true! This should be an article.

    Whenever Fly steals something or ends up on top of someone, I apologize.  

  12. # Blogger Laura McIntyre

    Yes i would apologise and at least get Rebecca to do so to, i hate when parents just let there children do what they want  

  13. # Blogger shokufeh

    These sound like some rude mothers. (Which tends to lead to rude children.)  

  14. # Blogger l

    I think I would apologize (and also expect one had I been in your shoes), but I can imagine that after 3 years of chasing and minding a child on the run (or 2 years, I guess), it might be all I can do to make sure my kid understands the implications of his/her actions. Since I don't have a wee one, I can't be too sure. But I do know that when I had an 80 lb. golden retriever and he jumped on someone (albeit in search of a pat), I always apologized.  

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