Ok so you should whizz over this post if you are bored of my playgroup stories because here comes another one.
Tinker and I braved the soggy weather this morning and went along for another morning of teal paint splatters on my violet Gucci hobo bag *ahem* I mean another morning of fun and creativity...
Things were going quite well, I had my takeaway latte and my little bunny had her biscuit. Things were good on the baby trampoline. Sun was starting to peek through and I was not feeling as fat as I had when a mirror was in sight.
I noticed a little boy playing with a big and a small ball. He was about 5 years old and he was sitting over near the playroom where most of the older kids play. I noticed none of the others were playing with him and I saw that he kept bouncing the ball toward them and his mum would fetch it and bounce it back. He was making some big sounds but they weren't proper words. I saw that he had Down Syndrome.
My heart sunk and I felt tears in my eyes, the ones I still get everytime I see a Huggies ad or read anything involving children and babies. The day I became pregnant something in me clicked and I became a massive softie who cries at least once a day over anything to do with little ones. Tinker had seen the balls and made a beeline for the little fellow. I was so pleased. She was so cute playing with him and he was so happy to have a ball bouncing partner even if she did occasionally steal it when he hadn't finished bouncing it. After a while she tired of the game as all toddlers do, she only has a short attention span so we went over to the baby cars for a while.
I feel really guilty that I didn't chat with his mummy, but the truth is I was doing that blinking thing. You know the thing where you blink really hard and really slowly when you don't want to cry in public? I felt so sad for her that I couldn't even bear to make eye contact with her at all. I was so angry with the other older kids there. I felt like pushing them over or at least smearing them with a bit of the paint Tinker splashed on my bag.
I didn't think children that young were able to see difference like that. I didn't think kindergarten kids could be so discriminatory? I was horrified and I am still feeling those tears as I type this post. That lovely little boy, his mother's heart must break every day she encounters people treating her little fellow differently. Gosh I feel sad when kids point to my stunning Tinker with her hair like spun rose-gold and say "look that baby has ORANGE hair ha ha!!"
Today really crushed me, I think it says so much about how important it is to be good teachers for our kids. My parents always taught me to be kind to everyone no matter how different they were to me. I grew up playing with wonderful Austistic children because of my dad's job. I never understood why other kids would make fun of children with disabilities.
What are your thoughts on this, was I wrong to feel cross with those children, should their parents have encouraged them to play with the little boy, could it have been a coincidence, what do children see when they see kids who are different?
Oh and on a completely shallow meaningless housekeeping note, how do I get the paint off the canvas on my bag?