Yesterday I took the Back Seaters to the library. Back Seat Girl has been wanting another Babar book, and it looked like it would be the last day that the temperature would go over 0, so I packed up the kids and the kleenex, and off we went.
I was nervous about Back Seat Boy. The library is a place where all of the books are in order and they like it quiet. One of BSB's favorite things to do is pull himself up on BSG's bookshelf and take all of the books out of it, and he also really likes the sound of his own voice. I knew when we got there he wouldn't be content to just let me hold him while there were all of those books just begging to be pulled off of the shelves. I brought some toys and snacks and hoped for the best.
After asking the librarian where I could find the Babar books, we made our way over to the little kid's section and I took all of our coats, hats, etc. off and set BSB down. There was a large wooden box with stuff all over it to play with--wooden beads to push along a track, that sort of thing. BSB made a beeline for it and was very contented to sit and play with it while BSG and I searched for Babar. He was being very well behaved for a 1 year old in a library when a boy probably around BSG's age appeared. I had seen him before with his mother, so I didn't pay too much attention.
That is, I didn't pay attention until I heard the wooden box making a lot of noise and I looked up to see the little boy pick it up, which was quite a feat I might add, and carry it away from BSB so he could play with it himself. I looked around, the mom was nowhere in sight. BSB sat where he was, reached in the general direction of the boy and the box, and made his "I want that" noise. I looked at the boy. He looked back at me. BSB started crawling towards the boy, the boy picked up the box and moved farther away. Still no mother in sight. Now BSG noticed and said indignantly "That boy is taking the toy away from [BSB]!". I was proud of her for being kind of angry, but instead of telling her to go and beat him up (she totally could, she would have righteous indignation on her side), I got some of the toys I had packed for BSB and distracted him. He was very good and focused his attention on the toys and the giant bear sitting on a bench. He enjoyed throwing himself at the bear repeatedly while BSG and I read books on the bench, all the while the little boy was watching us and playing with no mother in sight. Finally he came over and dragged the huge bear off of the bench, when suddenly his mother appeared and said "Oh, is that bear too big, [preshus]?" and laughed like it was a funny little incident, even though the kids and I were about two inches away from the bear and it was very obvioius why her kid had taken the bear away and was now struggling to drag it as far away from us as possible.
First of all, where was this mother? I bet it took at least 15 minutes for us to find a book and read and stuff, and the whole time this kid was unsupervised. If the mother was watching and I just couldn't see her, why didn't she intervene when he took the toy away from BSB? If it had been BSG doing that, I wouldn't have just ignored it. Then when the kid pulled the bear down off the bench, why did she just make a little joke? Once again, if it had been BSG, I would have instructed her that they were playing with the bear and we needed to put it back now. Even if it had been BSB, I would've put the bear back. This was a giant bear, people. It was obviously not there to be moved around the children's area.
I am not the best, most responsible parent in the whole world, and I'm sure there have been times when I've taken my kids' side just because they were my kids, but there have also been plenty of times where I've seen that my kid is the one being the jerk and done something about it. It's OK to admit it when they are misbehaving. They're kids! They aren't perfect. Obviously, neither are their parents.