Arica and I watched the nursery kids at our church last night during the weekly bible study classes. This is not our normal role, but there was an emergency and my dear wife stepped in to help. Basically she watched the nursery kids, and I did my best to keep up.
We had a 3 year old boy, a 4 year old girl, and Braden. Dealing with other people's kids is not my specialty. I am still learning how to deal with my own nearly one year old. I have not reached the 3 or 4 year old stage yet. Unlike my wife I was not born with any innate parenting skills. I, like many men, have to survive with a learn as you go strategy. Our adventure last night allowed me to learn a few things first hand.
I learned that little girls are quite bossy. Our girl spent most of the night saying that's mine.
I learned that kids around the age of 3 and 4 apparently don't like babies. The phrase of the night was "no baby." I would prefer the Austin Powers inspired "Yeah baby!", but that was not to be.
I felt sorry for Braden. All he wanted to do was play with the other kids. He sometimes tries to grab toys from the other kids, but that is expected from a baby. More importantly he doesn't fuss when you correct him. He never cries when the other kids take things from him either. I think he likes to share. He is very sociable and just wants some attention from the bigger kids. I was very proud of him. He played nice as always. Apparently "no baby" doesn't have an affect on Braden.
The final thing I learned is that I can actually see another kid hit my child without violently throwing said kid through the window. I am proud of myself for that one.
Braden had a toy and was shaking it around and yelling. He tried to show it to the bigger boy and accidentally hit the kid in the eye. I stopped him, and immediately apologized to the other kid. He went on and on about how the baby hit him. Then when I let my guard down he smacked Braden in the head with his hand. I grabbed his hand and instructed him that we don't hit. I tried for several minutes to explain that Braden was a baby and he didn't mean to hit him. I might as well have been explaining the fundamentals of Calculus to this kid. After he decided I was not going to ring the bell for round two he started sharing how he hit his head at his Grandma's house. I guess this qualifies as disaster averted.
During this entire time Braden kept right on playing. I guess it takes a lot more than a punch to the head to slow him down.