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WIBU or was the other parent - library hell

(89 Posts)
MrsTerryPratchett Wed 30-Oct-13 19:37:43

I take DD (almost 3) to the library a lot. She likes it there and I like books so it works. She is a loud, independent child who needs some social skills. I am under no illusion that she is well-behaved but we are working on it. The librarians love her.

Today there was a little boy (the same age exactly) who was playing too. She had the trains first, wandered off and he started playing with them. There were other trains but he had the 'best' set. She wanted them. She was being a complete PITA but I was removing her, warning her and gave her two time-outs. She knew that the third meant we were leaving. She didn't hit, push or anything like that. She did try to snatch a few times.

The other child also didn't want to share (fine, he had them) but was whining and crying every time she went within two feet. "Daddy, that little boy wants my toy, daddy, that little boy is getting a time-out". Don't get me started on DD being called a boy. He also shouted and screamed at her a couple of times.

Anyhow, she went near him again, no touching, and I said, "one more touch and we are leaving". The Dad said, "are you just going to keep warning or are you going to follow through?" Really angrily. I said, "she's had two time-outs". Then the Dad flounced off saying something PA about not being able to play.

So, vipers, I think we were both a little U. He probably didn't see the time-outs (I removed her from the table to do them) but his child wasn't sharing either and his behaviour wasn't perfect, just different to mine. I was trying, he could see that. I wish, in my hardened, mean heart, I had let DD take the bloody train. Since we got told off anyway.

Maybe we should have just left the moment the issue arose but how will she learn?

ApplePippa Thu 31-Oct-13 08:27:05

Saintly I've met that special smugness from smug fathers of NT children too smile.

I was in the library once with my autistic DS. DS discovered that the boxes of picture books were on wheels, and was trying to rearrange them so they were all lined up. I was struggling to rein DS in, simultaneously with trying to choose some books for him. There was a smug dad reading his well-behaved dd book after book. He kept shooting me filthy looks, and when his dd piped up "Daddy, that boy's being really naughty" he replied loudly "Yes he is, isn't he? You know how to behave don't you dd?".

OP, don't sweat it. Just chalk it up as one of those things and move on.

MrsMook Thu 31-Oct-13 08:29:52

The father was a prat.

DS is the same age and a toy hoarder especially over trains and vehicles. If someone else wants a go with the same toy, I try to encourage taking turns, or sharing his hoard. He is gradually improving.

Toddlers do squabble over toys, it's what they do, and not worth being precious over (the father). That doesn't mean they shouldn't be challenged, and you were dealing with it with a method.

FrauMoose Thu 31-Oct-13 08:32:35

I work in a library and witness all sorts of parenting methods. As somebody above has said along as it's not abusive it's okay. However I will confess to getting very tired of a particular style which I think of as 'overparenting'. (There is probably another name for it.'Public parenting') It just consists of talking very loudly and repeatedly to small children in a way that is encouraging/expecting them to be more 'reasonable' than their years. There is one mother of a child called something like 'Edith Rose' who is a particular bugbear of mine. 'Now Edith Rose, we don't do this do we?' 'Edith Rose, I have told you before.' Edith Rose, you are being a bit silly aren't yo?.' 'Edith Rose if you carry on doing this we will have to leave' 'Edith Rose, this is your last warning. Essentially the entire library (mother of Edith Rose has a very carrying voice) gets a running commentary on the bheaviour of parenting of Edith Rose.

I am sure that Edith Rose is an entirely normal - and pleasant - small child. But it is always a great relief when she leaves. Because of her mother.

hackmum Thu 31-Oct-13 08:39:48

Oh god. The etiquette rule followed by normal parents is that you each try and slightly favour the other person's child. So you were doing this by telling your DD she had to let the other boy play with the trains, even though she was playing with them first.

So the dad should have told his DS to stop whining and allow your DD to join in and play too. He could have said something like, "The little girl wants to play with the trains too. Why not let her have one of the trains? Or you could play a game together." Or he could have said to his DS, "Just five more minutes, then let the little girl have them."

Then you would have said something like, "That's very kind" or "No, no, it's fine" and it would have been a win-win social situation with the adults being nice to each other and the kids learning how to behave properly in social situations.

DoctorRobert Thu 31-Oct-13 08:42:54

think ywbu, sorry. you could have removed her from the situation altogether and gone to look at some books, what with it being a library and all.

saintlyjimjams Thu 31-Oct-13 08:43:08

Oh apple - my blood pressure rose just READING that.
My friend has a great response for that sort of PA comment - she says 'now come on ds - do stop being quite so autistic you're scaring that man'

MokuMoku Thu 31-Oct-13 08:49:34

I have to admit my 2 year old is not much of a sharer. Her favorite expression is 'It's mine'.

While I appreciate you were trying to parent in your own way, I can see how it would have been annoying for the dad as he probably just wanted to have a nice relaxing time with his son and it sounds like it all went on for too long.

I would have also tried distracting my daughter and if that didnt work taken her for a walk somewhere else.

kotinka Thu 31-Oct-13 08:55:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedHelenB Thu 31-Oct-13 08:56:01

I think you were a tad unreasonable because your dd was stopping the little boy from playing. But they are only 2 & both lots of behaviours are to be expected. BTW timeouts don't really work when they are so young as they have no concept of time.My ds would probably have been just like that so i would have said we'll go elsewhere for a while (choose a book)& come back to play when the little boy has finished.

oakmouse Thu 31-Oct-13 09:07:34

I think hackmum has hit the nail on the head! I am usually knackered by the time I get to the library after doing all our errands and have probably irritated the heck out of countless people by my sleep-deprived ineffectual parenting sad. I've never had anyone be horrible about it, thank goodness, as they would probably have had to deal with me breaking down and wailing all over them.

Parenting is difficult, he should have been nicer, only I have noticed in men stress tends to come out as snarkiness and grumpiness, maybe he was having a bad day?

Anyway my children now come into the library and sit down and read a book nicely until I have finished, so there is light at the end of the tunnel and I can be nice to other parents and children still in the thick of Toddler Library Hell!

Btw my autocorrect changes 'snarkiness' to 'snark insets', do you think he had had one of them? grin

GW297 Thu 31-Oct-13 09:14:40

I don't think libraries should have toys either. You might find the toy gets removed eventually if the librarians witness lots of altercations involving them. That seems to be what happened in ours.

I am sorry this man was rude to you. I will never understand why people speak to other people in a way they would never wish to be spoken to and make them feel bad and think its acceptable. Especially when he is bring a role model to his child - what an example!

ApplePippa Thu 31-Oct-13 09:41:51

Saintly, love it! Will remember that one!

treadheavily Thu 31-Oct-13 09:48:03

I think the dad sounds like an arse actually.

EmeraldJeanie Thu 31-Oct-13 14:56:50

Dad = arse to me too.
If I was parent of said boy I would be encouraging sharing [even if knew pigs might fly] and be apologising if the little darling didn't share.
3 is not a great age for considering others!
He was being unreasonable....

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