Last weekend, my daughter, my sister and I embarked on a leisurely stroll throughLeslieville for ice-cream sampling. We debated on the great big line-up at Ed's Real Scoop, blew bubbles on the delightful patio at Nathalie Roze and Co. (try the Vanilla Fig), wondered if the neighbourhood really needed a soon-to-be-opened new place and then decided YES as we treated ourselves to more ice cream at the newly opened Leonidas.
My husband got Nate a reliable and affordable scoop at The Film Buff and we met in the middle at Leslie Grove park to compare notes. The kids played happily (thanks to their sugar high) and as I was formulating dinner plans in my head, Lucy wandered over to the sand toys where a three-year-old girl was playing.
Any mom at an urban park has probably experienced this: The toys are there for everyone, but one kid doesn't want to share. The three-year-old would not give up a single toy. Not wanting to be a "helicopter mom" I stood back and figured I'd let them work it out. Plus I need to round everyone up so I could get dinner started. I turned for a second to get Nate's shoes on when I heard crying.
I whipped back around to see the three-year-old sobbing and my daughter looking half-guilty, half-amused. The mother of the girl was wiping her daughter's eyes. Oh boy. My daughter had thrown sand in the non-sharer's eyes.
I reprimanded my daughter immediately (though with her personality, whether or not that had an effect is undetermined). I was sincerely apologetic to the mother and daughter and offered a bottle of water for the girl to rinse her eyes with. No one wants to think of their child as the bully and I felt horrible.
I could definitely put myself in her shoes. She grabbed her other child (a baby) and started carting them off to the fountain for further eye-rinsing. I could see her frustration. She was alone with two small kids at the park. I know first-hand the effort it takes to get there on your own. And then some mean kid throws sand in your kid's eyes and the outing is ruined.
I kept apologizing (as I'm prone to do) but it didn't seem to ease her frustration at all. So we left the park. And as we left, my husband said, "Geez! That woman was livid!"
Me: "Rightfully so! Our daughter did a terrible thing. Wouldn't YOU be upset if that was your kid with sand in her eyes?"
Husband: "No. They're kids. These things happen. I tried to explain to the woman that that's just who Lucy is, but she seemed to get madder at that. She needs to lighten up."
Oh boy. Yes, Lucy is a tank by nature. And approaching the Terrible Twos isn't exactly making her get along with everyone. (It's like she has PMS, but on an hourly basis.) But that's no excuse for her behaviour, IMO. And the fact that my husband thinks it is (when he's her primary caregiver no less) is cause for concern.
Or is it? Should I have felt as guilty about the situation as I did? Should I have sided with Team Silverthorne? What do you think?