This morning I took Ethan and Shane to the zoo. I was kind-of disturbed by something and now regret I didn't do more about it.
Ethan LOVES the stationary train there. He could play on it, probably for hours if we let him. He gets frustrated when other kids want turns, too. I feel like I sometimes am beating my head against the wall and feel like a broken record, always saying to him, "We have to share. We have to take turns." etc etc.
Well, while he was being rather patient waiting for his turn there was a boy and girl playing in Ethan's favorite part - the train engine. The girl, granted, was taking longer than her fair share of time in there. The boy, presumably her brother, was agitating her from in front of the the inside compartment - he was leaning in from the front window. That wasn't too bad, but it escalated. The boy continued to pick this battle, moving inside the train engine and hitting and biting at the girl. I looked around, wondering, where the heck is/are the parent(s)?
I looked around and found a lady, presumably their grandmother, off on the furthest away bench, talking on her cell phone. Once things escalated further to the children yelling and crying, she yelled over a few times to quit fighting. Rather than getting her butt off the bench and off the phone, and trying to actually do something about it. Ugh!
I know... it's not my place to judge, but come on. Kids at 3, 4, 5... whatever they were... don't always know how or make the best decision on how to interact with each other. They need adults/caregivers in their lives to guide them. I will be the first to admit, sometimes I want to zone out. But this was completely out of line and irresponsible.
I regret not doing anything (except for explaining when several children were involved that we need to take turns). The boy was smacking at other kids and I was not about to put up with that if he took a swing at my Ethan. I would have gone over there and had a talk with the kids' caregiver. But instead, I did nothing... and now I just pray that these kids have parents who are more into their children's lives than this grandmother was... today anyway. And that when I have an opportunity in the future to do the right thing, I would be quicker on my feet and go against my non-confrontational personality. Cuz it's sad to think there are kids in this world who need strangers to fight on their behalf.