I have been taking my baby, Oliver who is 8 months old to a parent and toddler group for the past few weeks. The class is called ‘Play and Chat’ and as you may have read in a past post that i had taken my other boy there 4 years ago and absolutely loved it.
The first time i went back with Oliver was 3 weeks ago, the class runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes on a Tuesday morning, it used to cost £1.50 but now as the centre has become a children’s centre run by surestart the session is free. They do singing, crafts, serve up tea and coffee for the adults and fruit and toast for the little ones, there are plenty of toys for all ages and tricycles for the children to play with.
Well this week wasn’t a very good experience for me and Oliver it actually left me fuming. I had put Oliver down onto the baby play mat for him to play with another little boy of a similar age to him. They were enjoying playing with the little activity table together, pushing buttons, flipping doors, clicking wheels and spinning wheels and every now and then they would look at each other, giggle, touch each others hands nicely and then carry on with their playing. As it was a table they had to stand up and lean against it to play, Oliver has only just turned 8 months old, yesterday actually, and he hasn’t quite got his balance but he really enjoys standing up. A toddler came on over to the table and pushed my baby onto the floor so he could play, now i know it isn’t the little boys fault but his carer was nowhere to be seen, i didn’t say anything but just moved Oliver on to another toy, this time the boy then came over and snatched the toy right out of his hands. I told the boy that he mustn’t do that as he is only a baby, i let the boy play with the toy and moved Oliver back to the activity table where the boy followed and proceeded to push Oliver’s little hands away from the table. I wasn’t happy as this little boy was being disrupted and i didn’t know who his parent/carer was to tell them what he was doing. By this time they had called all the children over to the big tables to give them a juice and some toast and so the adults could have a cup of tea, so i took this time to take Oliver over to Tricycles and Ride ons were as i knew it would be quiet so he could get a go without lots of children running around him, I found a little ride-on and out him on it, he loved it, he held onto the wheel and kicked out his legs taking in the delight of being pushed around. I pushed him and down the room and round and round and all the time he was squealing with delight. Until… The same boy who had snatched his toy and pushed him away earlier came over and pushed him so hard he fell off of the ride-on and onto the ground, i was holding onto Oliver with one hand so the fall wasn’t too much of a bad one for him to hurt himself but with my other hand i was shielding him from the big boy. Why should i have to do this? Where the hell was his mum? I told the boy that he mustn’t push him as he was only a baby and that he can not control his balance, the boy just looked at me and pushed Oliver again, Now i was getting mad, i probably had steam coming from my ears, I took the boy’s hand away from the ride-on and said sternly ‘NO’, in reply he told me ‘Dont you tell me No’ so i said ‘I will tel you No if you are hurting my baby’ he then said ‘I don’t want him on there, I want him on the floor’, I started scanning the room looking for an adult who was looking over in our direction but not one adult was. I am a nice person but when someone deliberately wants to hurt a young child especially my baby i am not a very nice, all i wanted to do was push the boy back, how bad is that!
I know that the session is called ‘Play and Chat’ but that doesn’t mean leave your children to run riot and hurt other children while you as an adult just sits around chatting away to others oblivious to what your child is doing. It makes me so mad, I take my children and i play with them, i want them to learn how to get involve with other children learn how to share and play nicely, get involved with other children’s games, learn how to interact the right way, what i don’t want is for them to learn how to snatch, how to push to get their own way.
Should i be looking for someone new to take my baby? or should i carry on attending the session but tell someone about what is happening. The session is very busy and i do believe this is because it is now free.
Does anyone have any advice on what i should do?