There's a new library in town - THANK GOODNESS! That's absolutely not what this post is about, but it's a huge lifesaver. It opened Saturday and we moseyed on over for the first time this afternoon. They have an open tumbling area in the kids section with large nylon-covered foam blocks for crawling and climbing. Awesome!
NOT so awesome: annoying kids whose parents are horrible at disciplining. Everyone is there to have fun, and to have fun everyone has to share the blocks. So there's this kid, Gabriel, about 4 years old, who obviously doesn't grasp the SHARING concept as he gathers blocks from hither, thither, and yon, INCLUDING gathering one from right under Eli, causing him to completely faceplant and cry. What do his parents do? BOTH parents, who are sitting in the back corner and watching him? They call "Gabriel, no no! Give that back to the baby!" Which he DOESN'T do, which prompts them to... ? Any guesses? DO NOTHING. Even worse? His big sister (6-7 years) helped him steal it. OK, seriously? You are a BIG KID, this is a BABY, you have EVERY OTHER BLOCK IN THE LIBRARY, just LEAVE HIM ALONE. I'm not much for stepping in with arguments between kids, I think they need to learn how to resolve conflicts for themselves, though sometimes adult guidance is helpful (lest "resolve" mean "punch in the face"), but obviously Eli couldn't do anything so I gave a nice reminder (fake smile plastered on my face) that everyone needs to share, you don't take things from other kids, and by golly he's a baby. Gabriel continued to gather and stack, stealing toys from Patrick and every other kid having fun, while his parents chided in every now and again, "Gabriel, no no!" without budging from their seats. SERIOUSLY, it was the most ineffective "discipline" I've ever seen, and not only was I ready to give Gabriel a nice reminder of rules of common courtesy, I had a few choice words (and parenting books) picked out for those parents. The only time they actually called him over (they didn't move an inch, where I would have been out of my chair AGES ago) was when he called Patrick "stupid" for taking one of "his" blocks. Arrrrrrrg! We'd planned to spend a nice few hours at the library, but it was cut about in half by someone spoiling it for everyone. They were there when we got to the library, and they were still there when we left, so we'll just have to try again next time.