We went to one of those indoor playcentres today. You know the ones with ball pits and slippery slides and soft squishy lumps to clamber over. I’m not usually the biggest fan of them but I love this one as it’s nice and new and neither the toddler side nor the big kid side is too full on for Monkey.
There was one little kid there today getting a bit pushy with the other kids. Once he pushed over Monkey and then another time he hit another little boy fair over the head for no apparent reason. Dad, who was the supervisor for the day, didn’t notice. He was sitting at the table behind us with his mobile phone and to be fair neither event was really in his line of vision even if he wasn’t staring at that phone screen.
Later we went to play in the ball pit on the little kiddie side and pushy boy was there too. All was going pretty well until there was a bit of congestion getting out of the pit and pushy kid just leaned over and gave someone a fair whack from behind. I got annoyed. I’ll admit it. My first instinct was to deliver the brat to his father but he wasn’t having a bar of that and I wasn’t about to grab a kid I didn’t know which was probably a good thing as I’m not sure how I’d feel about a stranger delivering me my naughty child. So instead I went over to Dad to have word.
I don’t have an issue with pushy kids so much. Hell, my kid pulls hair from time to time (yes STILL, but didn’t today bless his cotton socks). And there were plenty of other pushy kids there today having a bit of a go. I do however take issue with pushy unsupervised kids. The kid is clearly going through a stage so no judgement there. But just be onto that shit daddio. You have a job to do. Look up from your phone for more than a glance every so often. Observe your kids in play and see how they go. I know it sucks and you just want some time out. I get it. Really. But just keep more than a glancing eye over things. Just because you don’t see it happen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And I suspect your kid wasn’t at it for the first time today.
Anyway, the errrr encounter went something like this:
Me: Hey. <awkward smile> Your little boy over there in the blue singlet <I point>
The dad: <looks a bit startled> Yes?
Me: is getting a bit shovey with the kids. Sorry, I usually wouldn’t mention it but this is 3 times it’s happened now so I thought you should know.
As it turned out the kid had got another hair pull in for good measure while I was doing the dobbing so that made 4 times. He got up and went and got the kid and gave him a stern talking to. He was fine with me but I think this was mainly because he was so shocked I said something. He told another mum off a little while later so I think I might have shat on his day a little. Oh well. He watched his children more closely after that though so was on hand to see his little pushy cherub give his sister a fair whack. Dad was furious by this point and gave the kid a number of smacks on the hand. I cringed and then felt bad for dobbing him in but what can you do?
What would you have done?
The could be a zillion reasons for this kid’s bad behaviour but I’m not his parent so it’s not up to me to work it out. And I don’t think it’s up to everyone else to constantly have to be pushed around by a little kid who isn’t even being at least spoken to about his bad behaviour. I don’t like bullies. So I did something.
What do you think? Out of line? Or right thing to do?