LP and I went shopping yesterday with two of our “besties” and had our first “encounter” with another mother and her daughter.
We entered the small, very cool shop just as it opened and were the only people there. It’s a kids shop and is set up really well for kids so our two went over to the kids table and started playing while us Mums got busy looking for Christmas presents. It didn’t take long for the shop to be quite full but all the kids were around the toddler mark and were cruising doing their own thing. As Bliss will do, she hugged a couple of the other kids, who got a bit of a shock but went along with it (she was quite gentle…which was good!) as did their parents.
After we’d been there for a little while a woman arrived with her mother and her toddler and baby girl (maybe 10months old). Bliss went over to the toddler and hugged him, I moved her away and the Mum was kind of OK about it but seemed a bit unimpressed that the shop was so full. She proceeded to take her baby out of the pram and put her on the fall to crawl around. Bliss of course made a beeline for her and I moved her before she could get too attached. The mother picked her baby up. A few moments later and the baby was on the floor again and Bliss was heading over again. Again, I picked Bliss up, explained that she had to be careful and gentle with babies and we moved away. Again, the baby gets put on the floor and the scenario happens all over again.
In the meantime Bliss (& I) have become quite enamored with these awesome PINTOY toys…
As I am talking with my friend about whether they would be good for Bliss for Christmas we are watching her play and then looking at each other as we talk, then looking at her play. Next thing I hear the other mother shrieking “OH MY G**” and I turn to see Bliss behind the baby (who is on the OTHER SIDE of the store to her mother and grandmother) giving her a cuddle. The baby has gotten a bit of a shock and is crying but the mother rushes over, grabs her baby and suddenly the baby becomes hysterical and won’t calm down.
I didn’t react very well. I was quite annoyed by what I considered to be a complete overreaction of the other mother, combined with the fact that she was on the other side of the shop to her 10month old, when I was standing not a meter from my own daughter keeping a regular eye on her AND maybe this is out of line but seriously, she’d put the baby down 3 times already and Bliss had headed to her – maybe don’t put her on the floor in a room full of people when she’s so little if you don’t want the kids to want to play with her?!?!
Normally if a child cried when Bliss cuddled them, even though she’s not being malicious, I’d apologise and explain to the parent that she’s just being friendly, and I’d ask Bliss to give a ‘pat pat’ to the child to say sorry to teach her empathy and help her realise that she needs to be gentle and not cuddle people she doesn’t know. This time the mother was so rude and withdrew (while she and her mother gave me the ‘evil eye’) that there was no way I was going to apologise nor ask Bliss to do that!
AGH! I left the store feeling really frustrated and a bit humiliated. Bliss was just being friendly, she was being gentle and I am the FIRST to acknowledge the she can be overly enthusiastic and overwhelming but she wasn’t being like that with the baby and if the mother had just said to her child “It’s OK, she’s just giving you a cuddle” and let me help Bliss to say sorry it was have been a MUCH better experience for everyone.
On the upside I think I found Christmas presents!
** p.s. I recognise that this was just my observation and interpretation of events and that everyone else there will see things differently. Not trying to present a perfect picture of it just sharing the story as I feel it!