Andrew and I took Callum to the beach on Sunday and while the two of us lounged in our beach chairs, Callum played happily with his sand toys on the other side of the log. It was so sweet listening to him act out scenes with his dump truck and his excavator while he pushed buttons on his imagination rather than my iPhone.
The beach wasn’t that crowded. The day had started out quite cool and windy but Andrew and I pressed on with the hope that our menacing stares at the weather app would help to whisk away the dark clouds that were lurking around the edges. We must have super powers because before too long at all, the sun did the starfish into the blue sky and we were in the clear for a solid few hours of warmth. But before the curtain rose, a young couple and their toddler boy, wandering quite aimlessly, drowning themselves in the most circular conversations, made their way over into our space. I felt a bit of a shadow and heard Callum’s monologue pause so I opened my eyes to see them standing over us.
“Hughey, those aren’t your toys!” she sang to her son. I was thinking, “Damn straight, they’re not!” but didn’t say anything. I just smiled, but if you looked closely, you could see my jaw working a bit on the right side. Then my sweet little Callum extended his hand and offered the kid his dump truck. “Ohhh, Huuuuuughey!!! That little boy gave you his dump truck!!!!!!!!! Can youuuuu sayyyyyy thank youuuu to the little boyyyyyyyy?!?!” she sang. Hughey grunted. And then my sweet little Callum snatched the dump truck right back. He then collected all of his sand toys, carried them in his arms awkwardly like he was holding a dozen puppies and announced quite loudly that he’d like to go home.
The couple nattered on about their feelings, probably gossiping about how so-and-so had the audacity to bring Yellowtail to last night’s Save the Dolphins party, and thankfully sidestepped their way down the beach until finally, Andrew and I could discuss how we were so justified in our right to not force Callum to share his toys with a complete stranger.
Like, okay. Real life. As adults, is there a situation where sharing our treasured things would be appropriate and expected? Of course there’s charity. I know, I know. But I’m talking about regular stuff. I wanted to ask Hughey’s mom if she’d share her debit card with me and spot me a hot dog. Of course I’d do that with friends and family, no doubt. But a complete stranger? HELL NO! So why are parents all into this thing where we force our kids to share their toys with each other? TRADE IN YOUR MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP MEMBERSHIP AND GO BUY YOUR OWN CHEAP PLASTIC DUMP TRUCK FROM THE DOLLAR STORE!
Am I wrong? Tell me!