Monday, July 13, 2009

Questionable

Sometimes I wonder if I was wise to reproduce. I like my kids. I don't like other kids. But most of the time the Orclette and I hang out around adults so I don't have to deal with other people's offspring. (I feel the need to clarify that if you are a friend of mine with kids I will make extra efforts to be nice to your kid and would never tell you I didn't like them.)

This trip has caused me to ruminate on the issue, however. On our way to Waco from Houston we stopped at MacDonalds. As we were leaving another little child, possibly 4 or 5, tried to follow us out the door sans parents. I held it open for her, as it seemed to be the polite thing to do. Mother-in-law had quite a different reaction: she prevented the child (by position, not by touching the child) from leaving MacDonalds and inquired where the child's parents were. A somewhat harrassed looking father was not far behind the child and was very grateful to mother-in-law for not letting his daughter saunter out of MacDonalds. I felt rather bad because apparently I have no mothering instincts unless it concerns my own child.

The other incident occurred later that night. The Orclette and I went along with mother-in-law to eat dinner with friends of hers. The friends had two small girls and m-i-l warned me that they were very expressive. This did not prepare me for the little 5 year old running up to me and hugging me. Cute, right? At least to normal people. I, however, did not think "Cute" but "get this child off of me." And the Orclette, once she warmed up to the girls, loved them. That was fine, and I was fine supervising their play to make sure nothing happened, but the little girls tried to talk to me. I don't like talking to children. They tried to show me their books, they wanted to demonstrate their guitar-playing ability ... this arouses the deepest dread. Whereas m-i-l ADORES children and will listen to them for hours. My mother gets along very well with almost all children and doesn't mind interacting with them.

I think I inherited my dad's approach to children. Which is pretty much to pretend they don't exist until they hit the teenage-years (except for his own children, of course). But anytime I have misgivings and doubts I remember that God knew what he was doing when he gave the Orclette and child #2 to me and that perhaps they need a mother like me. One who only likes them. (And a select and very small number of other people's children. But then most of my friends don't have children) This makes me feel somewhat better.

Trip update: we're currently in Waco but will be leaving for SC tomorrow. Damm is done with basic and he and his platoon are utterly bored sitting around waiting for their graduation. He has requested I bring him diet coke and that I take him to IHOP. Apparently they've been inflitrating his dreams of late. I am still in perfect health, still doing my yoga, and have been told by numerous people that I'm a tiny pregnant person. This is hard for me to believe as I KNOW I've gotten bigger this past week. Certain things that were easy last week are difficult to do this week. I can tell we're coming to the end :D

4 comments:

Cap'n John said...

Other Parents' kids are fun...sort of...and sometimes not.

We were at our local McD's where my 8 y/old son & 4 y/old daughter were playing quite happily on the jungle gym apparatus..until a little thug entered the scene, parked himself in the bottom of the access tunnel and refused to let my daughter past.

My son came over to me and alerted me to the roadblock, and upon seeing the size & age of this other kid versus my own son (my boy is not big, but geez, it's an 8 y/old vs a 4 y/old) I told my son to deal with it. Which to him meant going over then letting himself be cowed by someone half his age and two thirds his size.

The little kid's mom finally realized something was going on, and probably even suspected her son was behind the commotion, and she came over, got down on bended knee and spoke to her son. But he just smiled his superior little smile at her and refused to move, until he looked over her shoulder and saw me glaring at him. If looks could kill he'd have turned to dust in a heartbeat and he quickly moved scurried into the jungle gum & around a corner letting my son and daughter past.

His mother called to him to encourage him to come back out but as he started to crawl out he saw I was still there, and still glaring at him, and he disappeared back into the jungle gym.

I had a stern talk to my son on the way home, letting him know that in cases like that he needs to speak up and alert any adults to what's going on. "Hey, kid! Move out of the way!" Of course I already knew what was going on so I reminded my son that when people are being bullies you need to stand up to them, and in this case he should have politely asked the boy to move first, forcibly shoved his way past, then made sure his little sister could get by too.

Which is worse? The little thugs of the world? Or the little angels who subject you to unwelcome hugs & hour-long guitar rehearsals? ;)

Leiandra said...

Once again... both of your stories proving my belief that McDonald's is a horrible, horrible place and you should never go there if you can help it. My kids all know my hatred for the golden arches. My wife will treat the kids to Happy Meals once a year as an end of school year present. Other than that, my kids know never to suggest it as a place to eat.

See? It's really all about training. :)

Dawn said...

Becca I hope you have a safe trip. Tell Kerry hi for me. And remember, some day your kids' friends are going to think you're the coolest mom because you don't put up with the PDAs from other children.

ASH said...

To quote a wise man;
"Children - when you don't see them, you hit them. And when you do see them, hit their shadows."