Monday, October 24, 2011
I'm seeing that "sharing," "waiting your turn" and "no touch" are the buzz words on the playground. Now that I'm bringing Siena to public parks and play areas, I need to figure out where I stand on the issue. Yes, it is an "issue" and it's a little more complex than "sharing is good, taking is bad."
At 9 months, Sisi isn't too interested in other kiddos (unless they are wearing something shiny), but older babies and toddlers LOVE her! They want to pet her, touch her headband, and follow her around. They want to play with whatever she's playing with, and ride her like a horse. It cracks me up when babies who are just a little bit older than Siena point to her and say "baby" then try to cuddle her. Even though it's my instinct to hover and referee every interaction to make sure everyone is "behaving", I try my hardest to sit back, observe and let things take their course (unless I feel like someone will get hurt). Usually Sisi is totally fine, even when someone takes her toy or accidentally crawls over her in a tunnel. Occasionally she'll reach for something another child is playing with, and that child will yank it back. Does Sisi get her diapers in a bunch about it? No. But the parents sure do! Then suddenly this minute interaction becomes a big deal with a lot of tension surrounding it.
Is it a big deal, or is it wasted breath? Should we be trying to teach babies to share, and wait their turn, and keep their hands and feet to themselves before they even have a concept of those abstract ideas? Should babies work these potentially volatile interactions out on their own, or do they need us to set things straight? When do we start to teach about sharing? When do we need to set these rules?
My answers? I have no idea. I'm a FTM here, with zero infant experience. A few months ago, I would have said that parents need to keep the peace and order on the playground.
I will say, this blog post by RIE advocate Janet Lansbury (who just seems like the coolest, most gentle lady ever) and accompanying videos opened up a whole new world to me. What do you think? I'm especially curious to hear what the seasoned moms have to say about the "sharing" issue.
If those were your babies, what would you have done? Does it seem negligent to just sit back?