I went to an indoor play area yesterday, along with Syd, a good friend and her baby. We enjoyed a spot of lunch and then got down to some serious playing.
Syd is 11 months old, so I am obviously always by his side, interacting with him and the environment. And as he grows I will continue to play with him at these places until he hits 4 or 5 and just hurtles endlessly from top to bottom and I lose the ability to keep up!
What I have found the last couple of times I have been, is that a number of parents of under threes just leave their kids to it. Which is up to them I guess, except kids that age love adult interaction which means they seem drawn like moths to Syd and I's games.
I am not a total Scrooge and am more than happy for other kids to join in our play, it's nice for Syd too. But there are times you just can't shake them, and it becomes intrusive on our time together.
The little girl who attached herself to us yesterday was a bit of a pain too. Each time I introduced Syd to a new toy she snatched it off of him saying it was her turn now. I amused the two of them for a while, then slightly fed up of her behaviour I moved to a different area of the play centre. She followed. She can't have been quite 3, and no adult seemed to be taking any interest and she continued to interrupt our play in a less than charming fashion for the rest of our session. If I could work out who or where her parents were I would have said something, but they never appeared.
I think she just wanted someone to play with, and was obviously used to having to be a bit aggressive to get attention. I had to mildly tell her off for being too rough with Syd on a few occasions.
I don't like telling off strangers children - you never know when you will get a mouthful from a parent for it, and it annoys me that I got put in that position. Even when my children are older I am always aware of where they are and what they are doing. If it had been my child, I would have at least checked the other parent didn't mind them tagging along, or removed the child to another toy, or dare I suggest it, actually got down on my knees and played with them myself!!!!
I am good at playing with kids, but I am not here to entertain a strangers kids while they sit and drink coffee and disregard their own child's behaviour or whereabouts.
Miss not an unpaid nanny Cisco xxx