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August 26, 2004

Close Encounters

I took Ella to the library today, where we nearly got into an altercation with another toddler.

It began with a toy: one of those old-style View-Masters with a Snow White reel. She found it on one of the shelves (it belongs to the library), and was squealing with delight as she looked at the images through the viewer.

Then along came another child. She must have been around 2 years old. She wanted to look through the view finder as well, so without prompting, Ella gave up the toy. So this other child started looking at the pictures, and then she stopped, and just stood there, staring in silence--not using the toy, and not giving it back.

Of course, this drove Ella crazy. "Mine! Mine!"

She reached for the toy, but the other child held it out of her reach. I asked the child if she'd share, but I don't expect a 2-year-old to know how to share, and I really didn't want to snatch the toy away from her.

So I removed Ella from the situation, before anything bad happened. There she was, kicking, crying, and throwing her head back. She had a full on tantrum in the middle of the library. Still, that was better than letting the situation escalate into a full on biting or hitting incident.

A toddler having a temper tantrum. No surprise there. But I was surprised by the fact that the parent of the other child did absolutely nothing. She saw what was happening from across the room, and then turned her head and went back to browsing the bookshelves.

When I walked away with Ella, the other child was just standing there, alone and expressionless. It was a bit eerie. And completely alien to me. I don't think I've ever left my child alone like that in a public place. I don't think I ever will.

Posted by tomi at 11:40 PM in Reflections | Permalink

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Comments

Can you believe how some parents let their kids ALONE in public places? This happened to me and my son, Gavin, a few years ago. Me, being 9 months preggers at the time, I watched and let him hammer the other child. I'm so bad.

Posted by: Trish | Aug 27, 2004 5:41:18 PM

I suppose I could have let Ella sink her teeth into that other kid, but she's got 16 of them. And they're really sharp...I know from experience. I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

Posted by: tomi | Aug 27, 2004 5:54:30 PM

You don't think you ever will? Don't forget: they get older eventually! :)

Posted by: Derek | Aug 31, 2004 10:33:30 PM

Well, the way I see it, she's not really a child anymore when she's 21--that's when go-Daddy-O's planning to let her out of her room...

Posted by: tomi | Aug 31, 2004 11:11:13 PM

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