Holiday pool – day one:
My daughter, Daisy, took her toys down to the hotel pool and lots of children (who she didn’t know) wanted to play with them. On seeing the colourful toys they (generally) made an effort to find be out whose they were and communicated they wanted to play. They asked; she knew ‘sharing is caring’ and was happy to lend out.
“Share share?” I asked.
“Yes.” said Daisy and she kept one or two at a time, but leant out the others to the various boys and girls. When she wanted one back, she asked for it back, didn’t snatch, and at my encouragement often offered an alternative toy to play with.
Sharing went smoothly so the next day we took toys down, to Daisy’s assurance she was happy to share again. All went well.
Third day unlucky?
On day three, Daisy took just one toy; little did we know the trouble it would cause…
Daisy slipped and bumped herself on the wet tiles at the pool, so went to get some ice. We thought nothing of leaving our stuff there (the toy, my book and sarong). However not long after our return, Daisy said,
“Mum, he’s got my spinny thing!”
Look!” she protested. I looked, and there was a baby in his mum’s arms playing with her toy.
“But you don’t need it right now, do you?” I asked, feeling fairly sure she’d say no.
“I dooo.” she replied. So I told her to go and ask for it back as that’s what she’s always done; so far it’s resulted in success. This time, she went and came back without the toy, looking a little upset and puzzled.
“Are you sure you really want to play with it now?” I asked again, to be sure it was worth potentially making a fuss.
“You don’t just want it back to leave it on the side?”
“I’m sure, Mummy.”
“Then I’ll ask for it back.” And over to the Mum I went.
“Can she please have her toy back?” I asked pointing to my daughter.
“No, the baby will cry,” said the Mum of the little boy who had taken the toy.
“But it is my daughter’s toy and she wants it back. She may also cry.” (I added in case it softened the mum towards my daughter’s case). She looked at me, clearly bemused.
“Ok, you can have it for a little longer,” I said, trying to compromise, just tell my daughter she can have it in ten minutes and she will wait, ok?”
“No.” Came the response.
What to do?
I honestly couldn’t believe it. I mean, it was not the baby’s toy and yet the mum was refusing to give it back at all. So much for sharing! Daisy, by now, did look on the verge of tears. I used distraction to avoid a breakdown.
All was well until Daisy saw them leaving- with the toy. This meant to her she wasn’t ever going to get it back so she protested and over we went. The toy somehow went from the baby to a little boy and I asked him to hand it to Daisy. I insisted and we got it back. The mum remained on the edge of the pool, looking daggers at me for some time, but I ignored her.
Why didn’t I let the Mum take the toy away? Sharing is caring isn’t it and he was only little after all…
I admit I feel a bit guilty about getting the toy back, but I didn’t want Daisy to think Mummy couldn’t be relied on to look after her needs and her stuff. I also teach her taking things that aren’t hers is not ok, even if left behind. (Just the previous day we had found a spade on the beach that looked like hers but when I assured her it wasn’t hers, she understood it was best to leave them where they could be seen). Wouldn’t I be hypocritical to say sometimes it’s ok to take? After all, it was the adult in the whole scenario who hadn’t even tried to return the toy.
A lady we’d befriended at the pool with commented:
“Some people just don’t understand. Next time, just come and swim- don’t bring any toys.”