Monday, August 10, 2009

I attract strange people...PART THREE

Part Three - Other people's children.
Are you surprised? A woman who babysat through her childhood and teenage years, worked as a nanny, works in a daycare and to this day has two children delivered to her house each day who she loves and treats like her own? How could she say this? I like kids in general. And I have a couple dozen nieces and nephews who I love and adore, and even more neighbors who are some of the cutest and most entertaining kids ever. But, I get sick and tired of kids who don't know me, yet they thrust their expectations on me, act entitled, and fail to use their manners, which hopefully their parents are teaching them.
Have I ever told you that I have a huge problem with people, kids and adults alike, who have entitlement issues? I do. I can't stand it. Why are there people out there who think the rules that apply to everyone else, don't apply to them?
Ok, tangent over for now, back on topic. One day at the park, we met up with a friend of mine and her kids. Sam brought along some toys, which I don't normally allow ( and haven't since). We're going to the park, you don't need toys. Well this time he got away with it and he brought one for himself and one for each of the kids we were planning to meet. We got there a few minutes early so our friends weren't there yet. As I was setting up my chair and laying out our blanket Sam went to the playground to commence his playing. A few minutes later I saw Sam with a kid near by. They were talking quietly. Shortly after, our friends came so the kids ran over to join Sam. Within two minutes I could tell there was a problem. All the kids had stopped moving and there was a thick awkwardness in the air. I started to listen in and the kid from earlier, the one we don't know, was telling Sam that he needed to share his Darth Vader. Sam said no, he brought it for his friend. The kid was insisting and even started to take it out of Sam's hand. I called Sam over thinking the kid would go away when he realized Sam's mom was paying attention to what he was up to. But the kid, who will hence forth be know as Herpes because of the ginormous cold sore on his lip, followed Sam over, and by the time they got there the kid had the Darth Vader in his hand. The following conversation ensued:
Me: What's going on?
Sam: I brought this toy for Nathan, but this boy wants to play with it.
Me: Do you know this kid?
Sam: No.
Herpes: I want to play with these toys. And I don't actually want this Darth Vader Toy, I want that Transformer, but they won't give it to me.
Me: Oh, well I'm sorry, we brought those toys to share with our friends. Please give the toy back and go play with your friends. I see you and your mom are here with a large group and you have lots of friends to play with.
Herpes: No, I want to play with these toys.
Me: No, they are not for you.
Herpes: But I want them.
Me: Sorry, No.
Herpes just stared at me. So I took the toy out of his hand and said, "Go Away." in a somewhat stern voice. He still wanted to discuss it. I told him we were done talking about it and that he needed to go to his mom. He finally left, went to his mom, pointed at us and crying told her that we wouldn't let him play with our toys. I ignored them. Well, really, I kept my eye on them the rest of the time because he cried the rest of the time and wouldn't play and he and his mom ended up on a bench separate from their group while he threw his raging fit that fluctuated between screams and crying to pouting with his arms folded. I eventually put all the toys away because I didn't want to torture the kid, but nothing changed. It was weird.
Fast forward to this summer, same park. We were having a lovely time at the park. We'd had a picnic and told each other stories while we ate. The kids were playing on the playground when a group of boys around 11 years old came. They were all toting guns. Two were wooden rifles, one was a plastic machine gun that made a really loud shooting noise. One was a Nerf gun with no darts. (Side note: I don't like toy guns. Squirt guns and Nerf guns don't bother me that much, but as soon as Sam shoots at someone who doesn't want to be shot at or who is not expecting it, his privileges are revoked and the gun goes into hiding. Oh, and I really like to shoot Sam with the Nerf gun. He likes it too. I believe in the right to bear arms and I have no problem with gun owners who store their guns responsibly. I just don't like gun play.) So the boys were running all over, they were kind of loud, but it's the park, so no big deal. But Sam and Emmy immediately gravitated towards me. Emmy said the boys were scaring her. She didn't like their guns. I said, "Did they say something to you." She said no so I just let it drop. But Sam and Emmy played at my feet. Then I started to listen to the boys and they were talking about how they were going to shoot each others "nuts" off. I ignored it at first but when I heard the same kid say it for the third time I AAHEMed really loud. (It kind of made me feel like Umbridge.) He looked right at me. I gave him the look and they stopped. They even started to calm down, talking more quietly and moving less aggressively. But a few minutes later Sam and Emmy said they wanted to leave - which they never do. We packed up and left. I was bugged because I wanted them to play while I read. It was a nice day. Ruined.
I think my kid(s) should feel safe at the park. Especially when I'm with them.
Kids should also feel safe at the community pool. One day Matt, Sam and I were at the pool. Sam was jumping off the diving board. Matt and I were treading water nearby just in case he couldn't make it back to the edge on his own. He was having no problems and had jumped off four or five times. Then, after one jump a kid slightly older looking than Sam stuck his hand out in front of Sam's face while Sam swam towards the edge. Sam adjusted his course and went down the wall a few feet and grabbed on. I thought, Oh, I guess that kid was feeling crowded by Sam, maybe Sam was getting in his space. But a split second after Sam was holding on to the wall the kid turned to him, put his hand on Sam's face and shoved. I was furious. I swam over there and without letting on that I was Sam's mom, asked Sam:
"Do you know him?"
Sam: No.
Me to the kid: Do you know him? (pointing at Sam).
Punk: No.
Me: Then what are you doing touching him like that?
Punk: He told me to. (pointing at his friend).
Me: Not smart. Keep your hands to yourself.
Punk: Okay.
I swam away, and Sam got out to jump again.
Matt told me I shouldn't have said anything to the kid, but I disagree. That is beyond bullying. It's a safety issue. What if the next time he doesn't let Sam get to the edge and Sam gets tired and drowns. It shouldn't be happening anywhere but especially not in the pool.
A few weeks later there were some tweenage girls harassing anyone who crossed their path. Sam told us the girls were being mean to the kids in line for the diving board, we told him to just ignore them. A few minutes later, a group of girls who weren't there with an adult came and told us the same thing because they were feeling so threatened. So Jeanna , my sister-in-law who was there with us, my sister Becky, and I swam over to the mean girls just to make our presence known. We didn't say anything to them, just swam near by. They stopped and eventually got out of the pool. About an hour later while we were getting ready to leave they started yelling at Sam and his cousins, right up in their face. Jeanna broke it up and told the girls to act their age and stop harassing little kids. Again, it was weird.
I wasn't always the nicest kid, but I don't remember harassing people I didn't know for entertainment. My sisters and brother, of course, but strangers, no way. I don't even know where that mentality comes from.
Ok, now let me know of a time when someone else's kids did you wrong. I gotta know these things don't just happen to me.


Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

I've been substituting in nursery for the past several weeks. That is seriously the hardest job in the church.

There is a little boy in the nursery who is so rude and obnoxious and the kid is only 3. He's constantly saying "I don't like you!" He even spit in my face. When I told his Dad about it, he just shrugged his shoulders and said you know how boys can be.

I didn't say anything I just gave one of those forced chuckles.

What I wanted to say was yes I do know how boys are...I have two and they have never mistreated a person in authority and spit in an adults face. And if they had they would have been punished.

Oh and entitlement issues really get my goat too.

When Wes was 12 he was invited to a birthday party for a school acquaintance. They were going to play lazer tag and then go to the movies. So I dropped Wes off at the Lazer tag place and everything was going great until they went to the movies. Come to find out that the kid who hardly knew Wes only invited him to get a FREE movie for his birthday guests. Wes was so embarrassed because the movie they wanted to see was Rated R and Wes had not had a chance to talk to my husband about giving passes. So the kid, his parents and the guests arrive at the theater and are expecting admission for free and my husband had to tell them no.

Well the kid threw a tantrum in the lobby and then my husband had to ask them to leave. Then the parents had the gall to ask for the money back they had spent on Wes for Lazer Tag.

The next monday at school the kid started trying to bad mouth Wes and bully him and started a fight. So Wes was forced to defend himself. When the principal called us into the office he spoke with each family separately and I explained what happened earlier that weekend. The principal told us he wasn't surprised because that kid was spoiled and did that sort of thing pretty regularly.

Why can't parents PARENT. The world is becoming crowded with overly indulged, spoiled, mean kids because their parents don't have the good sense to teach them properly and administer discipline.

The Hungry said...

OK - this is the instruction the Hardester children always got before they had a friend over "Your friend is a guest in our house. You do whatever your friend wants to do."

This is the instruction they got before they went to a friend's house "You are a guest in your friend's house. You do whatever your friend wants to do."

Believe it or not, Claire was the only child that ever called me on that by asking "When do I get to do what I want to do?"

Seeing as I have such great social savvy - I never let my kids go anywhere nor did we have very many kids come to out house. Nor was the park on our list of places to go. My own kids were about my limit. Handling their troubles and pushing them on the swing was more than I wanted to cope with. The house is the place to be! To deal with other kids? I just can't hack it.

Jules said...

You don't even want to get me started. I recently had to ask the primary to change Garrett into another class because one of the kids was always tackling him etc. and keeping him from trying to be reverent, Garrett can be a follower, but he tries. Then I take him to the open house at school and am appalled to find out the teacher placed him right next to the worst behaved child I have ever come in contact with. Needless to say that seat was changed, I'm upset enough that they are in the same class. I'm not perfect, but there is definitely a parenting problem in this country. I have more park stories than I care to remember and I'm always wondering where kids parents are. I know I sound snotty, but seriously people yes kids are kids, but some things can be controlled with a little teaching. As far as entitlement, several of the youth in my ward had a ton of it and it was the hardest part about working with them.

Kim said...

I remember Herpes. He was a pretty creepy kid with that huge cold sore on his mouth.

Anonymous said...