This is not a lesson for Gracie...it is one for me. I found myself being in a moral delema of sorts this afternoon. Since it was so beautiful, I put Gracie's jacket on her and we went outside to draw with her brand new sidewalk chalk. Before we even got out of the big door at the bottom of the steps, we found ourselves with a shadow. One of the kids from the apartment, who was bored and couldn't find any other kids, decided to tag a long without being invited.
I found Gracie and I a sunny spot at the end of the parking lot. Thinking selfishly that the little boy would go and play somewhere else. As all of the younger kids in the complex are lacking any sort of manners, he just sits down with us and starts taking Gracie's chalk out of the box and drawing his own creation. While, I wanted time just the two of us, I put on my best manners and dealt with it.
I knew Gracie didn't want to go upstairs, so I watched as this little boy used her chalk down to nubbins. What do you say to a child in this instance? If I tell the little boy he can't play, then I am showing an example to my daughter about not sharing. Plus, I am far too polite and introverted of a person to ever say that to anyone. But, by allowing the little boy to not only play but just take what he wants without being asked and to use her toys until they are of no use, aren't I encouraging her to be a bully-magnet?!
I just waited the situation out. I sat there and encouraged Gracie as she drew her fireworks with lots of colors and vowed to get her a new box of sidewalk chalk. I had also brought her bubbles downstairs, and she wanted to blow those as well. I did keep the little boy from taking those away from her by telling him that she was learning to blow bubbles and to let her try. I was doing fine, even though inside I wanted to scream as he jumped around very close to her popping her bubbles. I lost it when he popped one on her face. I told him "don't do that--that's not nice." Knowing that what I said didn't matter, I just decided I was "getting cold" and it was time to go back inside. I fixed Gracie hot dogs for dinner. I am not sure what kind of example I set today--but I hope it wasn't a bad one.
As for me, can you guess what I drew on the parking lot? A brick house with a white picket fence. A tree and a swing set in the yard.