As an adult, i’m forever in awe how i got here. What makes me an adult? The fact that i can go to jail for breaking the law? The fact that i am forced to pay for the electricity and toilet paper in my house?
At any rate, i certainly don’t always feel like a grown up. Nothing has illustrated this more for me than having children. And I’m not talking the carefree “yes, i feel like a kid myself experiencing everything from my children’s eyes” B.S. I mean I’m always put in situations where I’m reminded i need to take some illusive ‘higher road’ and prove to others that I am a grown up.
Like when my son wants to argue with me about when bedtime is. Or when he corrects my speech. The kid who can’t say most of his ‘r’s is correcting me about the English language. For instance I’ll say, “get your coat.” he says, “you mean JACKET, mom?” “no, i mean what i said. C-O-A-T coat.”
I didn’t say i always took the higher road, but i see it hovering right above my head… because I’m mostly beneath it.
So i take my kids to the park today. It’s early release – every. single. Wednesday. is early release – and i
need to kill time get to spend extra time with my beloved 1st grader. The sun is shining, it’s above 50 degrees, why not go to the park?
2 minutes after getting settled, i get a phone call from my son’s best friend. He, his sister, and father are going to come join us at the park. … normally i would welcome company but not today. Not this company. I take a deep breath and put on my grown up adult face and pretend.
Things are going fine until another friend from their class shows up. This kid is always disheveled, and constantly looking in need of a bath. .. with a Brillo pad. The three run around for a bit with a fourth unknown boy. About 5 minutes later, pig pen comes over complaining that my kid doesn’t want to play with him.
and this is where my parent’s parenting takes over… you know , back when parents used to have some room to parent.
My initial reaction that i have learned to squelch is “… and?”
and instead chose, “Aww, i’m sorry. Why is that?”
“I don’t know. He just keeps running away from me.”
. … the kids were playing tag
“… and one time on the playground at school, he called me a fool.”
hmmm, dont’ take the bait, Sarcasmica, don’t do it!
“well that wasn’t nice, was it?”
“and i suppose you’ve always only been nice to him, right?”
“So when you got here and i saw you holding him down with your body and pinning his arms down on the bench, that was nice?”
“well no but .. this other time he..”
“it seems everyone takes turns not being nice. it’s ok not to play with him if you feel like he’s not nice to you.”
So what does the kid do? Run right back to my kid and his friend. They avoid him. I turn to pay attention to my daughter who is burying my feet in the sand at this point.
A few minutes later the friend comes running and crying to his dad that the other two boys squished and grabbed him and hurt him. My son, seeing how upset his friend is, marches over to pig pen’s mom and tells her what her kid did and that he wasn’t very happy about it.
It’s at that point i was very proud of my kid and the rocks that took. He’s 6, y’all ! (ok, 1 month shy of 7, but still, a parent ?!) When he came back I told him it was very nice of him to stick up for his friend and he still needed to be kind to the offending boys.. or just avoid them.
At this point the kid’s mom has me in her sights and she starts migrating toward the sand box.
ten more minutes go by and i see her son run up to her and start gesturing towards the playground and i hear broken sentences involving ‘bit me’ and my kid and his friend’s name.
My son and friend run up to him, try and talk to him, the mom cuts them off and says something to them before waving them off.
It all seemed to be resolved. I didn’t get involved. I know i have a hard time holding my comments in when someone brings up my kid’s manners.
But she is staring daggers at me. She didn’t come over to me, mind you, but she was staring the hell out of my sweet innocent face.
I was busy getting buried.
Now I had interjected and called my son over to correct some other behavior issues that were going on, but all in all, he was being a great kid.
I find out later that the outsider complained that some other boys were bugging him and he told his mom it was my kid. She told him, “Stop being bullies and stay away from my son.”
… . .. so at this point, we are in the car driving away when i hear of this. i’m none too happy about it. People throw around the word “bully ” willy nilly these days. If a kid is choosing to stay away from another kid because that kid will either whine/complain/tattle/not play nice, it’s called self preservation . Since when did children all have to get along all of the time and be everyone’s friend ?!! No. A bully is some asshole who hurts another kid repeatedly because (s)he can. Someone harassing another kid for the sport of it. NOT someone who executes good judgement and stays away from a kid because he has a choice to do so.
I wanted to go back and hold that lady down on the bench, then invite her to lunch and get offended and sad when she declined and then call her a bully because she hurt my feelings.
Perhaps parenting should bring out the grown up in me, but more and more i find it makes me want to just stick out my tongue and flip people off.