Other People’s Children

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I’m not usually one to comment on other people’s children.  After all, I’m barely surviving with my own child.  And I’m sure there have been several people commenting on my own ability to parent.  Or lack there of.  But today I feel it’s not only acceptable for me to do so but necessary.  Well, maybe not actually necessary, but it definitely makes me feel better about my own parenting.  At least today.

Robbie and I go to the gym on the Air Force base in Bedford, where there is a family gym.  Basically, it’s a decent sized room with a quarter of it allocated as a play space.  There’s a little fence up, so you can interact with your kids while you work out.  It’s actually pretty nice.  Most of the time.

Robbie learned to escape the gate about four months ago, so I barricade him in with the weight bench.  Why?  Because when he’s outside the fence I get in big trouble with the people at the front desk.  Apparently, the other mother there today didn’t care about this.  She did, however, tell me that she’d been yelled at before.

She had her two children, a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl with her.  The little girl was actually pretty well behaved.  The little boy?  Not so much.  He was in the bathroom.  Out of the bathroom.  In the play area.  Letting my child out of the play area.  All of these things are pretty tolerable.  Well, except for letting my child out.  Fortunately, the mother hopped off her elliptical machine and put Robbie back in the play area.

All of a sudden, though, the little boy was on the stair climber.  Then behind my treadmill (which, honestly, made me a little nervous because I’ve been warned that kids can get swept under).  Oh, and ON the treadmill next to me.  Then climbing all over the bikes.  I was a nervous wreck.

Now, I completely understand needing to get your workout in.  I’ve been known to let my child scream for twenty minutes while I finish my run (I am not one of those moms who takes her kid home when he throws a temper tantrum; after all, he’s not the one running the show!).  And I’ve also been known to tell him to brush it off when he falls.  But jumping and climbing on dangerous equipment?  Absolutely not.  Not even if he was four.  But check back with me in two years just to make sure.

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