Today for mothers group we headed out to an indoor playground place - a few ball pits, different playgrounds for different aged kids, and a teacup ride. It seems a few other mothers have the same idea - there were clusters of mums at tables around the place, and a few older kids running around.
Things were going well (we discovered the baby doesn't like ball pits), and all of the babys were having a good time - the ones that can crawl were going great guns, the others were more than happy to play with the balls or just sit around.
We'd noticed the boy (he might have been two?) earlier in the babys play pen - he sat in the ball pit and was throwing balls around. I thought he was cute because he had a big boofy head, but then the other mum I was talking to noticed at the about the same time as me that he looked like a bit of a bully. And then he started throwing balls at us, but it was hard to tell if he was doing it to be naughty - I mean, he was only a kid.
As we were sitting by the ball pit a bit later, he jumped in - arms and legs kicking everywhere, causing the mothers that had their babies in there to get them out. Then he got out and was about to (purposefully) step on one our babies. Then he made move to hit another one. A few of us were quick to lean forward, and tell him no. He looked at us. Then he made a fist and made to actually punch a 10 month old.
I was sitting with my legs between the girl and this boy, so I lifted my foot so that it was gating the baby from him. And then he crumbled in a ball (no, this isn't a defensive post where I kick a baby! I promise there was no contact) and just cried. And still, his mum was nowhere.
After a minute or so, he got up and walked over to his mum - sitting at a table only a few metres away from us, with a baby and another mum.
Then he hit his baby sister.
So it kind of explains his apparent distaste for baby girls - maybe he's not getting enough attention?
It struck home to me just how hard it would be with two kids - this poor mum went to this place so that she could have something to keep her son entertained so she could catch up with friends while taking care of her newborn.
There's a fine balance between that and letting your feral snotty bully run around and stomp/punch babies.