I take Cooper to a play centre about once a week so that he can socialise with other children. He is at that age where he hates staying home for more than one day at a time. I love to watch him interact with other kids, he always befriends at least one within 5 minutes of stepping through the door.
Play centres are a fantastic idea for kids to socialise, work on their climbing skills and basically burn off all that excess energy that they have.
We visited one on Monday when Will had to donate blood. Coops quickly made some friends with a boy about his age and one who was a few years older. They were playing great together, running, laughing, tickling, wrestling etc. I ordered us some food, and sipped on my hot drink and flipped through a magazine until Cooper came over to join me for our treats. I love our time when we sit together, having a chino, sharing a muffin and Coops always chooses a gingerbread man or happy face biscuit. It's a little bit of mummy/Cooper time - I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Before he grows up and hanging out with mum is daggy!!
Anyway, the older boy was starting to play a little rough, not sure if it was intentional or not. So, I just wandered over and said just play gentle guys, you are here to have fun. That settled him down.
Later on, the boy that was the same age as Cooper started to get really annoying. Every toy that Cooper went to play with, he tried to grab it from him. He just kept on doing this on purpose and was being such an evil little thing. Coops was getting really annoyed and screaming at him, and rightly so, he just wanted to play with the toys, and the boy would not let up. I ended up saying to Coops, come on matey, let's play over here, some kids are really just a little nasty (and when I was saying this, I turned and looked the mother right in the eye). She really did not care, she was too wrapped up gossiping with her friends while all their kids ran around like crazy.
Now don't get me wrong, play centre's are also an outlet for us mum's. It gives us a little break while our kids run around and have someone else to play with apart from mum. However, they are not dumping grounds - you don't just go there to let your kids run around without you paying attention to them. You need to pull your kids up when they are rough with other kids, and you need to stop sipping your latte to do this!
When Will arrived, Cooper and him went and jumped on the jumping castle and the little boy tried to play with Will also. Coops ran straight over and grabbed Will and said "no, that's my daddy"!
So, boo to you little boy, you need to learn some manners - and also tell your mum to eat one less pie so that she can get off her FAT arse to play with you!!