I still remember the day clearly as if it happened just yesterday. It was at the third birthday party of my daughter’s second cousin that the incident happened.
The birthday boy, as is the norm with three year olds was running around the small party hall in which the cake cutting was organized. And since the rest of the crowd was yet to arrive, his only playmate at this point in time was my daughter who was just a few weeks of turning three years old herself.
Now both these kids were ‘only children’ in that they didn’t have any siblings to share things with and were pretty much the center of attraction and attention in their respective families. This automatically meant that they were used to getting their wishes fulfilled and although were not ‘spoilt brats’ in the true sense of the word, the honest truth was that there was no competition for them as far as having their way at home. This naturally meant that both of them were quite bossy (for lack of a better term) in their demeanor.
That being said, both of them quickly realized that they were the only kids in the room and therefore adjusted well to playing with each other, generally singing rhymes and running around the room. Slowly however, as the birthday boy’s friends started arriving at the venue, he started getting more and more into his element. Within the next half an hour or so, we had a bunch of 10-15 kids running around, having a fun time in general.
Pretty soon my daughter was the only one there who didn’t know the other kids at all, and she started being left out of the fun and games that the rest of the kids were figuring out on their own. But that did not dampen her enthusiasm to be part of the fun and at every given opportunity she joined in on the fun, laughter and running around with the gang.
I still haven’t been able to figure out why, but all of a sudden the birthday boy suddenly started pushing my girl around. Every time she tried to get into the crowd of kids playing, he would make it a point to come over to where she was and physically pushed her away from the game itself, so much so that on more than one occasion he managed to successfully ensure that she lost her footing and fell on her butt.
While my wife and me were quite disturbed by this behavior, the fact remained that it was the boy’s birthday party and both of us knew better than to get involved in a kiddie fight as long as it was not physically dangerous. But, once we noticed that the boy didn’t have any intention of letting it go and let my girl join in on the games, we had to intervene and pull her out for fear of being injured, both physically and to a smaller extent mentally as well.
What got my goat was the fact that neither of the parents of the birthday boy even tried to intervene and ask him to ease up on his bullying of my girl. Yes, it was his birthday and while the intention of not scolding him on that particular day was understandable, the fact remained that he was targeting my girl for unnecessary heckling and that irritated me to no end.
On previous occasions when my daughter had tried bullying other kids elsewhere, both my wife and me had intervened and explained to her as to how it was important for her to share her playthings and allow other kids to join her games. And while she didn’t quite like it at first, she soon understood that this was ‘the rule of the land’ as far as interacting with other kids went. Therefore, when the birthday boy continued his bullying without any intervention from any of the adults present, it ticked me off to no end that nobody was discouraging this behavior in him.
While I understand that the kid was probably a little too young to actually understand what he was doing and how it hurt my girl, I was more irritated at the sheer callousness displayed by his parents who ideally should have intervened in this situation up front itself. Just remembering this incident rankles me a lot for more than one reason, not the least among them being parents inculcating good value systems in their children right at a very young age itself.
This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to describe the last time I was surprised by the intensity of a feeling I had about something or how strongly I reacted to something that probably wasn’t a big deal.