Whenever we go to church, we only stay in the main section (with all the adults) until the praise and worship section is over, and then we move to the ‘jungle’.
- enclosed ‘jungle’ where babies and young children sit with their parents during church, so as not to disrupt childless adults who don’t deserve their service ruined by screaming, fighting and laughing babies and children. And their parents.
Anyway, so yesterday I was in the creche with Kendi (Martin is away on a business trip) and she picked up a teddy bear to play with. Another child decided that he too wanted the bear. So, he walked up to Kendi and reached out to grab the bear. Kendi held on. He tugged harder. So did she. He grabbed even harder still, tugging and pulling. Kendi held on, turned and gave me a ‘help me’ look. I gave her a ‘what are you going to do, baby?’ look. She turned and gave the bear a very hard tug that almost sent the other child flying across the floor.
Then everything changed: The boy’s father came up to him and gave him a look that made him let go of the bear.
Me: I wanted to see how that was going to turn out.
Lady in the corner overhearing our conversation: (Laughed)
Boy’s father: But he’s bigger than her
Me: Yes, I wanted to see how that was going to turn out.
Here’s what I think the boy’s father wanted to say, but didn’t have the language to (also, this is just conjecture and could be perceived in a very different light by other people. Also the boy was exactly the same height as Kendi, granted a tiny bit heavier):
- He is more male than her.
- He is a boy and she is a girl.
- I believe he is inherently stronger than her.
- I believe she is weaker than him.
- I believe I have to protect her from him.
Why did I not help my child get the bear away from the other child? I wanted to teach my child some lessons:
- People will be stronger/ bigger than you in life: bosses, romantic partners, teachers, etc.
- People will try to take what is yours.
- Hold on to what is yours for as long as you can, if someone just comes and tries to take it away without asking.
- Be kind. And strong.
- Don’t be afraid of things that you cannot see.
- Don’t be afraid of things that you can see.
- I am right here.
I don’t know if any of these lessons landed for Kendi.
In any way, Kendi was left dancing with the bear and the boy went to get another toy. I also don’t know what lesson landed for him either.