I took the babies to a play group this morning so that Isaiah can begin the age old journey of learning how to play nicely with others. For those of you that know me, you know that our precious Isaiah is adventurous and does not often fear much of anything. He has had to adapt in order to keep up with his 11 year old brother. He is a bruiser for lack of better words. Don’t get me wrong, Isaiah is a gentle and loving little boy. He has amazed us with how gentle and loving he is with his little sister. But if there is child holding something that he wants, or he would like to cut the line for the slide, he is not shy about it at all.
This morning there was a set of twin boys who were 14 months old playing nicely and quietly on the mat with their mother. Isaiah cut in between those boys like a knife and snagged one of the toys that they were playing with. He then proceeded to trip and decided to use one of the little boys to break his fall. We had only been at play group for 5 minutes, and already there were tears and they were not Isaiah’s. Once Isaiah heard the tears, he went over to the little boy and gently rubbed the little boy’s arm as if to say sorry. Wait….. that didn’t really happen. That’s what I imagined that my kind, loving little boy would do.. Instead what he actually did was run across the gym to play with the hoola-hoop while giggling, leaving me behind to apologize and feel like the worst mom on the planet. Thank goodness that the mom was incredibly laid back about it, because I will tell you that not all parents are.
I first had a taste of life with a bruiser when Thomas was a youngin. I was in my second year of college and was in a midterm exam. Thomas was 2 1/2 at the time. My cell phone rang repeatedly and finally I excused myself, explaining to my professor that it was my son’s daycare calling and I was worried that it might be an emergency. I checked my voicemail and this is what I heard. “Hi this is so and so calling. We just wanted to let you know that there was a fight over a bike with a couple of the kids today, and Thomas appears to have lost.” When I arrived, I was shocked at what I saw. Thomas had a bruise under his eye, a bite mark on his cheek and a cut on his lower lip. What took the cake was that the following day was picture day. I will never forget that incident because I have his daycare photo as a fond reminder of my rough and tough Thomas going after what he really wanted without consideration of the other child’s feelings or the potential for injury.
So I suppose that it is fair to say that my boys will definitely be boys. Wayne and I will continue to attempt to teach them how to play nicely with others, while they learn how to be loving and gentle with women from me and life with a little sister. Thomas is 11 and he is still learning to play well with others. Isaiah will have lots of opportunities to learn how to play with others at the weekly playgroup down the street on Wednesdays, while I perfect the art of apologizing on his behalf. At the end of the day, no bones were broken, no self-esteem damaged and everyone made it out alive and home for nap time.
There’s always next week.