Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I tend to get really anxious when my 18-mo daughter is around other little kids and such, because I have no clue what proper “playground etiquette” looks like. Take yesterday: we were playing at the library, tons of other kids around, and a young girl (four-ish?) had made a tower of blocks. She turned around and started playing with some other stuff, and my toddler went up to her blocks and gingerly removed two from the top and handed them to me. She continued doing so and I didn’t say anything. When the other girl turned around, she saw my daughter with blocks in hand and flipped the eff out. “Those are MINE! MIIIIINE!!!” My daughter looked confused and a little scared. I gave the girl her blocks back, but my daughter didn’t understand, so she tried to take more blocks. Now the kid was really flipping out. I finally just picked my daughter up and left, and although I can see where the little girl was coming from, all I could think was, that little bitch screamed at my sweet innocent toddler! What do I do, Eve?I just realized yesterday I have NO IDEA what is normal conduct in public kid places. I also don’t know what to do about touching…is it okay if another kid hugs my daughter? What if she touches another kid inappropriately without realizing it? (She’s tried to pull on another girl’s skirt before, and I do my best to stop her, but again, toddler. She doesn’t know any better). HALP.
Sharing is stupid. Do you share all your shit with other people? If I came over to your house and asked to borrow your mascara (How unhygienic!) or your money or your husband (How inappropriate!) would you let me? I don’t know why we teach our children that they must share. It’s bullshit. As a grownass woman I have no interest in sharing my shit with anyone. I consider myself a generous person and I will gladly give you the shirt off my back, but no, I am not sharing my cake with you. Go get your own. I think what we want to teach our children is cooperation. And if we need to do it under the guise of sharing that’s fine, but in reality when we all grow up it’s not like any of us our going to lose our shit in public because someone borrowed our office stapler. The kid at the library sounds like a total brat and I probably would have put on my HAPPY CHEERFUL HELPFUL PARENTING VOICE and said something like:
Can you share the blocks? I’m sure your mommy LOVES it when you share and play nicely! My daughter is little and she just wanted to help you play and it’s nice when we share things!
All the while looking around for this little monster’s parent so I could give them the crook eye.