We went on a playdate at friend A's house. Friend A has two toy cars (fancy cozy coup with trunk and all) in the backyard that most kids don't have. When the kids went outside, it was all kids favorite. Kid A and kid B got to one car and were sharing it, kid C got to the second car.
Now I spend a lot of time teaching my child to play nice. "Don't take something that someone else is playing", "wait for your turn", "ask nicely" etc. And I mean A LOT of effort. I do not know another mother that drives that point across more than I do.
Well, I do the same again here. I try to divert my child's attention to other toys and was specially animated and making other things seem more fun. Child C's mother was at the backyard at the time and and I was hoping that she would maybe step in and ask her child to let my child have a try since my child was waiting very patiently (for a three year old). But after a long, long time, nothing was done. My son finally asked when does he get to have a turn. So I spoke up for him and hoped that maybe either cars can be freed up for him to try. Well, child A and child B have been sharing the first car and taking turns between themselves. Child C's mother steps in and ask child C to let my son have a turn because they knew each other relatively well. Child C was going along with the request until he realized he had to give up the car at which point he melted down and held on to the door and tried to go back in to the car (with my child already in there). My child felt threaten so he pushed child C away. At which point, child C's mother that was standing next to her child (which was also next to the car) tells my child not to push her child (C). Instead of working on her child's tantrum problem, she's telling my son not to do something that's just a natural defense.
So my child had a turn of the car for 5 minutes and the WHOLE time child C is next to the car whining and crying. I gave my child a 5 minute warning that it's gonna be someone else's turn and child C hears it and continues to whine. Now, there was another child in the backyard that's been waiting patiently (child E) and I was impressed because he's normally not as patient. Child E's mother was not at the backyard advocating for his turn so I feel obligated to help him, reward him for being patient. So I mention to child C's mother that perhaps she can prepare child C so he knows when my child gets off the car, it's going to be child E's turn. Child C's mother proceeds to tell me that this was really child C's (because he saw and got on the car first, not because it's his property) and child C was just being nice (whining the whole time is nice? not by my book) to my child for letting my child have a turn. She was not happy to hear that her child (C) was not going back on the car.
She then told her child that they have to go home because he can't go back on yet, that he's tired and then she started to pull him to the door so now child C cries and whines even more which got all the chatting mothers' attention. Now everybody rushed to try to help comfort him and make him content. Child C got to go back in the car and the mothers tells child C's mother that he's fine now and don't be mad and let's go chat; Kids will figure things out for themselves.
For the rest of the play date, child C continued to sit in "his" car and while child A and child B kept on taking turns between themselves on that other car. My child waited patiently and he doesn't get to go on any car again because no other mother cared. All they care was there was no crying or whining from the kids in the backyard.
My child tried to content himself with other things in the backyard but he would still often look at the cars with longing eyes wondering when would be his turn again. I feel so bad for him that I told him it's time to go. When he got inside he asked to play with the toys inside. Of course I let him but the unfairness to him was eating me up inside that I had to go speak with my husband. I step just right outside of the door to make a quick phone call. When I came back, I caught my child looking out at the backyard with those longing eyes again. That just broke my heart.
My child was being nice and patient and he gets screwed over while other children screams and yells and get their way. How do I teach him good when the world is full of contrary?
I felt like a failure as a mother today.