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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pardon Me, May I Smack Your Kid?

This is my Judgmental, Holier-Than-Thou parenting post.
Welcome! ;-)

Trey had his first Karate class today. 
It was incredibly cute, in large part because he has been asking to do Karate
for nearly a year now.
He was SO EXCITED and he really enjoyed it.

When his class was over, I told him I was going to take him out for a date.
This hadn't been planned but he was so cute
that I wasn't ready to take him home and share him yet. :-)
He was really happy and was all chivalrous-
holding doors for me and beaming all over himself.

I asked him where he would like to go for lunch
and, over my protestations, 
he was quite certain he wanted to go to McDonald's. 
Upon our arrival, we got our lunch and went to sit in the PlayPlace area.

Trey's life has been radically different than his siblings' in regards to the Play Place.
When Kate was a baby, we moms would take our kids there to play
quite regularly. 
It was a new concept and the place for local moms to hang out and chat
while the kids played.
When Chris was little, we still went fairly often.
By the time Trey was old enough to go into the Play Place,
I was pretty much over it: the noise, the germs, the screaming kids.
Consequently, he just hasn't had much Play Place experience.

I told him that after he eats, I would let him go play in the Play Place
and he about fell off his chair at his good fortune.
So he ate and all the while I lectured him about germs and viruses
and not touching his nose, mouth or eyes until he finished playing 
and washed his hands.
(Yeah, well, we'll see how well that worked. Knock on wood, right?)

After a while, I called him down and sent him to wash up
while I got him an ice cream cone.
At this point he was pretty sure he had died and gone to heaven.

While he was up in the Play Place, 
I alternated between reading and observing the folks around me.
There was a nice family to my right with a young daughter 
and a son who appeared to be on the autism spectrum,
having a nice lunch.
At the table in front of theirs, 
was a husband and wife with two children.
The daughter appeared to be two or so
and their son about four.
And their son was clearly the RULER OF ALL THINGS.

After cajoling him into eating about three bites of his hamburger
with bribes of sweet tea,
he was back off to the playset. 
After a while, I watch his father go get ice cream
and come back to the table. 
He left the ice cream with his wife and daughter
and went to go call for his son.

"Joshua! Joshua, time to come down!"
"Joshua! JOSH!!! Joshuaaaaa!"

This went on for several minutes. 
Joshua was having a grand old time
looking at his dad through the Play Place windows.

Joshua's dad then returned to the table,
talked to his wife and daughter,
had a few bites of ice cream.
Joshua was still up in the Play Place.

"Joshua!"
His dad was back over there, 
yelling for his son again to come down.
"I'm going to count to five!
ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE!"

Nothing.

He immediately reverted back to cajoling.
"Joshua, we have iced tea! Come have iced tea!
We have ice cream!"

He then returned to the table,
got the ice cream and took it over to the Play Place,
holding it above him.

"Joshua, LOOK! Ice cream! 
Don't you want some?
Come on down and have some ice cream!"

At this point, I was ready to climb up 
into the Play Place and pull young Joshua 
out by his hair.

About TWENTY minutes after he had first been called,
Joshua deigned to come out of the Play Place.
"I'm thirsty!" he announced in a princely voice
and his parents gave him iced tea.
Then they gave him the half-eaten ice cream sundae.

Not a word was said to him 
about his refusal to come down
or his blatant disregard of his father's wishes.

That kid is on his way to becoming a major brat
and the thing is, it isn't even his fault.
It is the fault of his parents,
who have not taught him well.
He will be the one to pay the price, however.


5 comments:

Jen said...

How did you restrain yourself? Oy! It makes me scared for the future and when these kids turn into adults. They're going to think the world is all about them - you're so right, he'll pay the price.

Cindi said...

And we wonder why the local detention homes are filling up faster and faster with younger kids.

That little guy has a heck of a job, running his entire family.

Anonymous said...

Hey Leeann,
I've felt this way more times than I can count, but two things get me through the moment. One, I've got so many issues of my own with childrearing, just discipline doesn't have to be one of them. Kind of the "plank in my own eye" idea. Two, there are so many of these types of parents in the world, it's time to start formulating a plan on how we're going to deal with these kids. They're in the majority these days! No more moaning, on to action! I say we start a "You Know You're an Adult Brat When..." group on Facebook! :)
-Kirsten

Gina again said...

One of the greatest things about being old is that I don't have to deal with the horror of the play place anymore!

CarolinaMomOf5 said...

This is one of the many reasons I don't sit in the Play Place anymore. I sit near the Play Place so I can see inside, but I don't have to hear all the yelling, whining, cajoling, bribing, etc. I'm sure the parents who are in there have plenty to say about us parents who sit on the outside. How terrible of us not to accompany our kids in there! But hey, I have paid my dues in that department. I have sat in many a Play Place in my time. And I have been disgusted enough times that I claim my seat on the outside. So they can talk all they want. But my kids come down when I call them. They eat their food. I eat in peace. And we are all happy when we leave.