This week, Ryan b*tch-slapped a kid at school.
And I’m sort of proud of him.
Ryan is a very passive guy.* When other kids in his class are yelling and arguing, he has been known to find a quiet corner, sit down and clamp his hands over his ears.
He never steals other kids’ toys.** And up until this week, when other kids stole toys away from him, he let them. He’d sit for a minute, stare after them and then move onto the next toy.
The thought of that does two things to me simultaneously. It melts my heart to think he has such a laid back, sweet disposition that he would just accept it and move on without dwelling on it. At the same time, it breaks my heart a little to think of another, likely older and bigger kid snatching a toy away from him, leaving him feeling intimidated or sad.
But apparently this week, Ryan has started sticking up for himself. Now when kids try to take his toys, he slaps them.
And again I’m left with two conflicting feelings. Part of me worries that this is how he is learning to treat people. That maybe daycare will turn my naturally sweet, easy-going kid into someone with a chip on his shoulder who lashes out when things don’t go his way.
But a bigger part of me is satisfied that he is finally sticking up for himself. I’m not happy he chose to hit, of course. Hitting is not ok, and he’ll learn that. But I’m proud that he is developing a bit of confidence to stick up for himself and say, in his own toddler way, “I don’t steal your toys, buddy, so hands off mine.”
Also? He learned how to say “apple” this week! Which has nothing to do with any of this but is exciting nonetheless.