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WIBU - toddler in play area

(38 Posts)
AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 16:31:30

WIBU - I went to the basement play area in a museum on a busy weekend last week. It's specifically for under-5s and their carers.

In one corner, they had padded floor mats and those enormous foam bricks which can be built like Lego. There were absolutely loads, well over 100.

A little girl, around 3 or 4, was building elaborate towers and walls with some of the bricks, using maybe 20 bricks, if that. Her mum (?) was supervising.

My 2 year old DS began 'playing' with the other bricks (mainly making little piles of 4 and knocking them down like a maniac). If he touched her pile, I'd take it out of his hand, redirect and give the brick back to her.

The little girl told my DS a few times, 'go away, I'm playing here!', which I ignored. After the third time, I smiled and said, 'that's a lovely tower you've got. The baby can share, but I'll make sure he doesn't touch your bricks'. She then stockpiled all the bricks in her corner (with the mum helping!) DS helped himself to a few (like 5) and I didn't stop him.

The mum picked up and the little girl and walked away, huffing "some people have no manners"

Was I rude? I thought toys in play areas were shared as long as there were enough to go around, take turns if not?

Tarraleaha Wed 07-Feb-18 16:37:27

Of course you were not rude, the behaviour of some parents in these museum is unbelievable. The worst ones are where entrance is free!

You handled it absolutely right. I don't put up with that kind of nonsense, if my kids are too young , I just pick up a stack of the bricks myself and give them to them.

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 17:29:02

Thanks! If the little girl had been unhappy, I would have completely understood, they can be territorial when they're so little, but I was a bit taken aback by the mum's comment

Dancingfairy Wed 07-Feb-18 17:34:34

I think yabu actually! If there was 100s and she was not playing with 20 why not leave her alone and play with the other ones.

Ellendegeneres Wed 07-Feb-18 17:37:47

Dancing maybe I’ve misread but i took it to mean the little girl and her Mum stockpiled them all - ALL of the bricks- so ops ds had none.
Op you did nothing wrong imo

WTFIsThisVirus Wed 07-Feb-18 17:38:43

The little girl needs to learn how to share.

Earlier my son and I were at the hospital, in the children's waiting room. DS (19mths) and another boy (3-4 yes) were playing with the toys. The other little boy was showing DS some of the toys and they were playing with the trainset together. Now that's how you do it!

Dancingfairy Wed 07-Feb-18 17:40:50

I'm taking it it was the 20 bricks I doubt she could manage to stock pile over 100 bricks?

That1950sMum Wed 07-Feb-18 17:41:33

You did nothing wrong. That little girl needs to learn how to share and her Mum's not doing her any favours.

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 17:43:48

Dancingfairy - yes, sorry, I meant she was initially playing with 20 but when I asked her to share she stockpiled all of them away.

FrancisCrawford Wed 07-Feb-18 17:44:56

The ideal riposte (easy to say after the event, I know!) is

“I know, but your daughter is still young. Plenty of time for you to work on her sharing skills. Don’t worry too much about her being rude”

somethingfromnothing Wed 07-Feb-18 17:48:54

francis that is excellent grin

EmpireVille Wed 07-Feb-18 17:49:25

I sort of see both sides. Of course the mother was very rude to make that comment. The stockpiling was selfish.

But...speaking as the parent of a 3/4 yr old (you will be too OP), it can be a bit annoying to have to share everything with a younger child, especially if it's as you describe, with your little one constantly taking bricks the older one was using. Even though you gave them back, it's annoying isn't it?

You should have taken a few bricks and moved your child well away from the other one and prevented him/her from toddling back that way.

But if course the comment was rude and the parent on the other side should have handled it differently.

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 17:55:05

Francis, I'm memorising that response!

EmpireVille - I do actually kind of agree with you, and that's why I asked. I have a DD5 as well, and she sometimes gets very fed up of her little brother sometimes, it must be much harder if the child doesn't have experience with younger children. One of the reasons I took DS down to the toddler area was to give her some time upstairs with DH in the age appropriate exhibits without a toddler tagging along!

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 17:55:53

But I feel a play area isn't a space to expect uniterrupted play? And the little girls reaction was very understandable, but I was surprised by the mum.

sixteenapples Wed 07-Feb-18 17:56:01

Seriously - she took 100s of bricks?

SpitefulMidLifeAnimal Wed 07-Feb-18 17:56:08

that's a lovely tower you've got. The baby can share, but I'll make sure he doesn't touch your bricks

Have I missed something? What baby?

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 18:12:29

I'm so bad at describing situations!!!

Sixteen - I think there were about 100, as an estimate, just meant that there were loads, and only a small proportion were being played with. She didn't carry them away, just pushed/ swept them onto her side of the mats, away from DS. Does that make sense?

Spiteful - I was referring to DS as 'baby', probably confusingly, as my DC usually call all kids younger than them 'babies'

readysteadyteddy Wed 07-Feb-18 18:17:33

Were you in the London Science Museum? I have never encountered such rude children and adults as I have in that place! The language can get atrocious. It's a real shame.


Try the Museum of London Docklands! It's fab. 5 tube stops from Waterloo and a bit of a walk the other end (but an interesting walk, past fountains and over the dock bridge). It has a fab "Mudlarks" Children's Gallery with those bricks and water play, softplay, weights, traintrack and actually is much better than the Science Museum and never crowded because you need a timed ticket (free) which you can book online or get at the door. If you are late for a session, just wait in the lovely cafe for the next one, or go round the actual museum itself. There's lifts so it's all buggy friendly and clean baby changing on every floor.

readysteadyteddy Wed 07-Feb-18 18:19:13

Oh, and forgot to mention, the staff at the Museum of London Docklands are on the ball! No oldies in the toddler/baby soft play, no splashing, no taking bricks. They do a great job!

readysteadyteddy Wed 07-Feb-18 18:19:38

Oh, and forgot to mention, the staff at the Museum of London Docklands are on the ball! No oldies in the toddler/baby soft play, no splashing, no taking bricks. They do a great job!

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 18:19:38

I was in the Science Museum, how'd you guess? I'll try the Dicklands museum next time, it's nearer to us as well.

AmiU Wed 07-Feb-18 18:20:06

*Docklands, obviously smile

readysteadyteddy Wed 07-Feb-18 18:24:41

ooh if you're near, they have a storytime also.

Thymeout Wed 07-Feb-18 18:26:05

No long walk to the Docklands Museum, if you can use the DLR. There's a station just next door and you have the fun of being on a driverless train. Sit at the front and they can pretend to drive it.

Tarraleaha Wed 07-Feb-18 18:27:42

it can be a bit annoying to have to share everything with a younger child

you are free to book a place for your exclusive use! In a public place, sharing is to be expected, and kids need to learn that they do not have to share their own toys, but "public" toys from museum, playgroups, schools are for everybody

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