Today, I enjoyed a very housewifely day with the girls. I am alone with the girls more often, for example when Richard has all-day orchestra practice or is out for a game. Today was different, because it was a weekday with a normal routine for the girls. Getting up early, breakfast for the girls, brushing teeth, washing faces, getting dressed and off to kindergarten for Lily. After dropping Lily off I went grocery shopping with Violet and had breakfast just the two of us. I cleaned the dishes while Violet "washed" her play kitchen dishes in her little sink. I did some more cleaning while she took a nap and already it was time to pick up Lily again. The three of us had lunch and then, as a surprise for the girls, we headed out for a fun afternoon at Playmobil Fun Park. Folks, I can tell you, it WAS fun! The girls got to play with all the expensive Playmobil toys and I could sit back and watch them playing because I knew someone else would have to pick up after them (which is a BIG plus, as this topic often causes arguments at bed time).
As the girls were playing, I was sitting at a table with the parents of Lily's friend talking about the usual stuff when I noticed that Violet had gotten in an argument with a much older boy in the Dinosaur Pit that started to get physical. As he pushed her away just a little, she went at him flaying her arms at him. I intervened as he pushed her back hard so she fell. I explained to her and the boy that the toys were for everyone to play with and since there were several sets of everything, there was no need to fight over one toy. Violet went to another area of the Dinosaur Pit and continued playing. I went back to our table, keeping an eye on her. And just a few minutes later, an even older boy pushed her back hard and she fell again. Mommies started to arrive from different areas to find out what happened. Obviously, there was an argument because the boys had hogged all the toys and Violet tried to get some back to play with. When they didn't give her any, she just tried to take them; that is when the boy pushed her. His mom made him apologize and he had to leave for a time-out.
I wonder, when has it become ok for a elementary-school kid to bully a 2-year old girl? I am really glad that she had the chance to stand up for herself and assert herself against the boys, but seriously, the situation should not even have happened! In Lily's kindergarten was a PTA meeting the other day where they introduce a model that's re-emerging, namely separating the age groups. Right now, there are kids from 3 years until they enter school (usually at 6 years old). The older kids learn to be considerate of the smaller ones and help them out while the younger ones can learn a lot from the older kids and also assert themselves. Situations as described above are bound to happen more often, especially if the older ones are taught that the little ones only hold them back and prevent them from doing the really "fun stuff". I, for once, support mixed-age kindergarten groups!