I don’t understand why adults think it’s okay to ask my daughter
- if she wants something and
- if she wants to do something
without asking me first or at least sending her to get the okay from me.
We went to the Forest of Cedars, an area in the mountains that has over 30,000 monkeys. Before we even had a chance to exit the car there were several men with horses at the rear. Of course, Jayla started jumping up and down asking, “Mommy, can I?” The tour guide told me it was a waste of money because we actually weren’t walking that far. I declined. We got pass all the hagglers and proceed into the wooded area towards the monkeys. Both Jayla and the monkeys were a bit timid.
Jayla picks up a few peanuts from the ground but the monkeys are not interested; there are people there with fruit. There’s a man selling fruit for 10 dirham (about $1) so I buy Jayla a bag of cherries and she proceeds to feed the monkeys. One overly anxious monkey grabs onto her clothing and several women go to my mini’s rescue and shoe it away from her.
One of the horse guides approaches me and speaks to me first in Arabic, then French, and finally in English. He asked where I’m from. We chit chat. Then he ask if my daughter would like a ride. I politely decline. I even tell him that I don’t have anymore money and guess what there are no ATMs in the mountains. By now my daughter’s bag of cherries has been depleted and she returns to stand beside me. I turn to search for our guide and in that very second, this man has lifted my daughter onto his horse.
I turned quickly when I heard her yell, “Put me down!!”
Calm and nice Jade faded away.
“Umm…excuse me. I said, ‘No! You need to take her down because I’m not giving you any money!”
“No, no, it is okay. I asked her,” was his response.
By now the guide has returned to my side and says, ‘You know that is not free?”
The man starts to guide his horse away and I am now standing in front of him and the horse.
“I told you she was not riding the horse. Take her off now!”
“No, it is okay, she has money. Mommy don’t worry.”
“Okay, she can pay you but I already told you that I’m not going to.”
So, I let Jayla ride the horse. I even took a picture because as upset as I was, I was also slightly tickled. This man took it upon himself to not listen to me but take the word of a child. Yes, Jayla has money. I always give her my change. .
I had already told that man ‘no’ in three languages. And I was thinking about how to best have the, ‘Jayla didn’t I tell you…’ conversation once we were back in the car.
Once we arrive to the car and before he takes her off the horse I remind him that I told him, ‘no,’ and that he agreed to give my child a ride based on an agreement he made with her. When she pulled out her 10 dirham the look on his face was priceless. There were some words exchanged between him and my guide. The horse guide was clearly upset, but, oh well.
Don’t make deals with my daughter.
I’ve read countless articles about how to deal with pushy people when traveling and they recommend standing firm, walking away, etc. How do you and how have you dealt with pushy people?