1 July 2009

For Crying Out Loud!

Is there some kind of Playgroup Etiquette? If there is I didn't get the email!

After my difficult first time at playgroup and the incident when I ruffled my feathers, today I had a new experience.

Presley is a bit under the weather, hopefully just a little cough and cold. He probably caught the bug from playgroup last week, so I decided to take the boys today. The session started well. Presley had a little push of the trolley and opened and closed the Wendy house door at least fifty times that I saw. He then sat down on the mat close to where I was playing with Cash. Cash incidentally can nearly crawl and likes to stand up holding my fingers.

Presley was playing with all the toys that do something. I'll elaborate, the ones where you press a button and a cow pops up or twist a piece of plastic and a cat pops up. He became quite the expert.

I'd noticed a baby crying and saw he was with his grandmother (she looked like a grandmother, although one should never assume), she was trying to get him to push a baby walker. He was having none of it. So she sat on the mat near us. She took one of the toys that do something and tried to interest the crying baby in it. Again, he wasn't having any of it. Presley did what he would have done for Cash, he showed the baby how to get the flamingo (or whatever) to pop up. The grandmother did not like this one bit. She moved the toy away from Presley. Each time she moved it he followed it. This happened three times. Then she said to him 'Nicholas is playing with this'.

Can you feel my hackles rising?

This was not strictly true. Nicholas was crying and he wasn't actually playing with it. She was trying to encourage him to play with it.


I can see that from where she was sitting Presley was playing with the toy she had chosen for Nicholas, but I didn't think he was doing any harm. He hadn't taken it away from Nicholas, in fact he was playing with it upside down, so the baby had the best view of the dragonfly (or whatever).

Children take toys from other children all the time. The grass is always greener. If another child is playing with a toy it must be infinitely more interesting than the hundreds of other toys at playgroup. I encourage sharing and I'm trying to teach Presley (and Cash too) that snatching is wrong.

So was my little boy in the wrong? Should the grandmother have been so possessive over the toy that does something?

I don't think so, but hey, I didn't get the email!



  1. Some people cannot see the wood for the trees can they? Presley was obviously trying to play with the baby. She was probably just stressed because the baby was upset and whatever she was trying wasn't working. I bet it would have been a different story if Presley had managed to stop the baby crying!

  2. I guess she finds it hard to cope with the child. It's a shame that some people can't do more to encourage their children to share but they probably don't know themselves. That child will most likely grow up with very little manners.

    CJ xx

  3. I usually find it more interesting for both me and the kids to let them work it out between themselves, see what develops and only intervene if necessary. But, hey, we're all just doing the best with the skills that we have!!!!

  4. Dancinfairy, you're right and you know I hadn't thought of that. She must have been stressed out and was desperately trying to stop him crying. x

    CJ, it's funny how different people have different approaches to life, she obviously thought Presley was interfering whereas I saw it as playing. x

    Jen, I love watching my children interact with others, they're learning social skills all the time, mostly good ones! x

  5. I witnessed a bit of snatching going on between Baby B (11mths old) and a girl who must have been 2 or 3 the other day at playgroup. B stood her ground and made it pretty clear that she won't be messed with (she had the toy first)!! I think if you leave them to it (to a certain degree) they often work things out for themselves. I think that woman was being a tad too overprotective and in the long run it won't do her grandson/son any good.
    I don't get playgroup etiquette either! xx

  6. Clarey, I'm glad it's not just me that doesn't get it. I think you should only intervene if it's getting nasty! Good for Baby B though. x

  7. I agree I tend to watch what is happening first, you can jump in too quickly and spoil something that may have worked out fine...my smurf is a real sharer he loves babys and would have probably done the same as Presley, to me it just shows that they are thoughtful caring children, but hey the childs grannie was not doing the baby any favours by stopping him interacting with other children.

  8. Lorraine, it is sweet when the older ones play with the babies. They weren't at Playgroup this week by the way! x


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