Monday, September 10, 2007

Play & Learn - Yeah Right

Today we started our first Play & Learn class through our City Parks & Rec department. Um...I'm having a hard time just writing about it because my heart has not recovered. What should have been a fun 45min playtime was a disaster thanks to my 22 month old bully. Where did he come from? Can I give him back...or maybe do an exchange? Who told him everything in the entire universe belongs to him, even if he isn't ACTUALLY playing with it? Why were the only 2 boys in the class maniacs and the girls quiet and nice? I hate stereotypes and the "boys will be boys" crap. This obviously means we are not doing something right around here in the parenting area and I hate knowing the other parents at the class are labeling Ryan the mean kid or the bully. And I'm the mom that can't control him. I left the class almost crying in my car, Ryan was ofcourse oblivious to my stress. There was a truck and a bus near us so he was just fine to point at those while I was losing my mind.

I really had good intentions. I thought the class would help in his socialization and his language development. He has some sort of speech/language delay, and will be evaluated at the end of the month. We don't know if its something serious, or just a regular run of the mill delay as in "he'll talk when he's ready".

I had high hopes for this class. And its not the class/teacher's fault. I think it was a nice set up. There was an art table (though not sure how many 18/24 month olds do art), several plastic structure/slides, a jumpy, tunnels to crawl through, and a ball pit. This was all indoors so it wasn't hot. At the beginning there was circle time where everyone introduced themselves and sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Anyone care to answer why my child was the ONLY child that would not sit on my lap and proceeded to run around the room playing on all the stuff??? Now, I'm not sure its totally reasonable for that age group to sit during a circle time, but it was about 3 minutes long and I at least thought we could sit for a minute or so and look interested. NOPE.

Then it was on to free play, with the teacher coming around to everyone. To add insult to injury (oh...the injury to my pride if you couldn't tell) the teacher is someone I knew in highschool. Yay! Not only am I a fat cow compared to the last time she saw me, but I cannot control my child. And she has 4 kids and looks about a size 0. Dammit.

Ryan proceeds to push little girls out of the way the entire time. If someone is walking towards a slide and gets there first he is livid. That is obviously his slide and he is going to let them know by pushing them out of the way. I spent the entire 45 min apologizing to other parents/grandparents for my child's behavior. I reminded him about being easy and nice, and to share. All foreign concepts. Then we meet up at the ballpit with the only other boy in the class. They must have come in late because I didn't see them at circle time. This kid was a giant. 17 months old and looked about 5. He was a bully as well and immediately started picking on Ryan--and I didn't care. Shame on me, but I felt like he had be terrorizing other kids and it was his turn, see if he likes it. NO, I DIDN'T READ THAT IN A PARENTING MAGAZINE. That wonderful idea came straight from this idiotic brain. The giant shoved him and he looked at me like "do something" and I didn't. The giant got a time out from his mom and off I went again to deter Ryan from stealing playdough from a sweet girl named Sophia.

The only time Ryan didn' t get into trouble was when he was in the bouncy house. He loved it. He was the only kid that actually jumped in it. Cute little Sophia had to get out when he got in because he scared her. When she crawled out and watched him I said "he's nuts" and she pointed to him and said "NUTS!"

The last straw was when he walked over to a slide structure and the girl was halfway through the door opening so he couldn't really push her (he pushes sideways...uses his hip) so instead he walked over to her shoes and threw them. He totally could have hurt someone and I was done. DONE. We had a lovely time out of him screaming on my lap in the corner and I'm telling myself why I don't want to be the parent who spanks...spanking doesn't work...don't spank because you are angry...Breathe.

Thankfully it was over. Doesn't this sound like all day? 45 freakin minutes. That was it. I went home and had some chocolate silk pie. Apparently that was my de-stress mode of action. I didn't get my 2 mile walk today and I'm feeling lots of tension. I've also been eating like crap cuz its been my birthday and I tend to let the celebrations linger. I'm sure I've gained all the weight back and today I didn't care. It was like someone was waving a flag in my face saying "you are a sucky parent."

My friend Diana said the other parents probably weren't staring at me, they were just glad it wasn't their kid and she reminded me it could be their kid next time. It helped...a little.


Judy, Rich, Molly, and Leo said...

Your friend Diana is right. I am SURE that's what the other Mommies were thinking. "Thank God mine is behaving today!" etc....
Sorry you had such a crappy day. This IS a tough age in general, though. Don't beat yourself up too much.

Maria said...

Hello! It's called being 2!!!
You read my blog; you know it's not you or Ryan. It's just a phase, that seems so long.
Keep sticking with it and it will help both of you. The more exposure he gets the more accustomed to it he will get and the better he will be for it.