Thursday, September 27, 2007
War, Peace, and Pastry
On Sunday night, Ellie and I went to our local behemoth corporate bookstore to pick out a new Thomas engine, which she earned via dutiful potty usage (specifically, she earned "Potty Points" and had some "Potty Parties" but lengthy discussion of this topic will officially make the WOMAN NO ONE TALKS TO AT COCKTAIL PARTIES.)
At any rate, she wanted to play with the in-store train table and trains, and was pulling a few engines along with another little girl for about 10 minutes, no problem, hunky-dory. Then a 4-ish little boy stepped in and starting pulling the engines out of her hands. His mother, sitting nearby and conducting what appeared to be a blind date(?), watched and did nothing. Fabulous. Ellie, understandably, was upset.
Now, rather then busting this random kid down, which I absolutely am loathe to do, I whispered in Ellie's ear that we should just walk away. If he didn't want to play nicely, we could go find something else to do and leave him alone. It's not particularly assertive, and certainly not typically American, but it's what I'd like to teach my child. Without getting into politics or religion (two topics I have pointedly avoided since I'd like this blog to stay kind of light and frothy, like a B.S. cappuccino), we would like to instill pacifism in our children, and modern America is not the easiest place to raise a pacifist. More specifically, the train table at Barnes and Noble is not the easiest place to raise a pacifist.
So, Ellie cried a little as we walked away, but we sat down and talked it out, and then we went to the store cafe and split a mini pumpkin bundt cake and a decaf iced latte. And she was pleased.
Then last night, we were driving across town and Ellie was relating a story from yesterday's visit to the park wherein a similar instance of playground injustice unfolded blah blah blah, and Byron asked her, "Oh, what should we do when someone doesn't want to share or play nicely?"
And she said, "Just walk away and don't hit. Just walk away aaaaaaaaand....and eat some cake."
If you have any better thoughts on foreign relations than that, I'd love to hear them. So would she. She's like my very own tiny, crazy, Jimmy Carter.