At the Park
Went to the park by my house over the weekend and had an eye opening moment. I was there watching, holding, running and generally playing around with my son. There were a few other families around as well.
Another man came by with his two children, maybe 4 and 5 or 5 and 6 - but no older, and sat down to read the paper while they played. The park has a rock wall (5' high) a few slides and walkways on this giant playset. Plenty for them to do. As they were playing his daughter 9the younger one) started climbing up a weird ladder where there are no rungs from one side to the other, only footholds on each side. She made it almost the whole way up before she lost her nerve and started calling for help from daddy.
His first reaction was to tell her 'figure it out' which I thought was hilarious, until she didn't move for a few minutes. The other parents started milling about until daddy showed up to help. Heres the thing, when he gets to her he doesn't pick her up, he stands there and tells her how to solve her problem. At first I thought that was pretty cool and cruel at the same time because you could tell she was crying...but eventually she was able to climb all the way up w/o his assistance...
that's all back story~
A little later both of his kids came over to the swing set where I was pushing my son and tickling him as he went past, and they just kinda stared at us... at first I didn't know what to make of it, but when I spoke to my wife about it, she agreed that they were looking at us because they were jealous.
Jealous of a dad playing with his kids. if you could've seen their faces...it was like they were hungry... I don't know. I can't fault the guy for trying to make his kids self sufficient, or wanting to enjoy the day at the park while his kids play...but to see their faces, you'd think that's not the way to go...