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Customer Service: (888) 289-8423
A zig by my daughter concurrent with a zag by my son resulted in one forehead bonk, one knee owie, screeching, recriminations, tears and a brief time-out between siblings.Distraction in the form of a book cured my son's sore knee first; he approached his sister with an lisped apology and arms held out for a hug. Only a rock would have been unmoved by such a sweet display, but even accidental head bumps turn my daughter to icy stone. It's good manners yet ultimately futile to try making peace with her until she's ready for it. She crossed her arms and stuck her nose into the air. I believe she might have said "harrumph."The boy turned back to his blocks with nothing more than a shrug, but his grandmother was not satisfied. She spoke my daughter's name. "You have to accept his hug," she scolded. "If someone wants to hug you it's not polite to refuse. They'll feel bad."My daughter caught my eye, looking for some correct response. Loathe to launch into a philosophical discussion of this sort with my parents, I just smiled at her and said nothing. Her brother was so engrossed in his toys that nothing short of Oreos could have gotten his attention. There was no chance of him coming back to demand the hug. The matter dropped.It would probably have been altogether forgotten by the children but I couldn't let the matter rest. "You know what grandma said today?" I asked on the way home. "About hugs?"She barely looked up from her book to grunt but I carried on. "I don't agree with her. At all. If you don't want to hug someone you shouldn't, period. It doesn't matter if they feel bad. You never have to touch someone in any way unless you really want to. Ok?"The book was so interesting that she couldn't tear her eyes away from it. "I know, Mom," she managed to answer. "You've told me so many times. Why did grandma say that?"Grandma's always said that, I thought to myself. My absolute terror of being thought rude or of hurting someone's feelings was one reason I found it so difficult to ward off unwanted contact, both sexual and otherwise, well into adulthood.My children will be prepared for a different world, one where they neither have to bend to guilt-based pressure nor feel especially hurt when their advances are rebuffed. And if someone else finds their behavior rude?Too stinkin' bad.??Between writing a personal blog, reviewing porn, editing a repository of sex-ed stories, raising children and reading lots of books, aag enjoys petting her cats. No that is not a euphemism. Well, maybe it is.