Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Other Kids and Their Parents

This is a relatively long post that is slightly embarrassing to me about something Grant did and, if I'm being honest, a little judgy about some other parents.

A few weeks ago we attended a birthday party for one of Grant's school chums. It was interesting to be a part of a group of people I don't think I'd typically hang out with. I guess that's what happens when your child is in school. The comedian Louis C.K. said it in a way that I find very true (for me anyway and if you decide to look him up, he's pretty vulgar so beware if you're offended by that stuff). He said something about his daughter having a playdate with a little boy he didn't like and the boy's dad came to "bringing his face into my house and I gotta talk to it. What do you do again? I don't care." He says that the only reason they're hanging out is because they're kids are friends "based on no criteria, by the way. They're the same size. That's it." 

That sums up how I felt about this birthday party. After 5 minutes with the birthday boy's mom, I realized that we are not two people who will likely be sitting down to a coffee date in the future. But she was nice - a bit abrasive but nice - and very welcoming to  the kids coming in. I was feeling slightly more comfortable and then the parents I call Beige Mom & Beefcake came in with their two kids and my comfort level went out the window. Beige Mom & Beefcake are this set of parents who's names I don't know or even want to know and I try to avoid them at school like the plague. I've called Beige Mom that name so long that even Husband calls her that but Beefcake (he's noticably proud of his unimpressive gym body) is a new nickname I decided on at the birthday party. Honestly, the husband never bothered me. It's the wife who always makes judgy, snarky comments to me or about Grant (once I walked into the toddler room when Grant was about 1 1/2 and she had snatched his paci out of his mouth telling him "You don't need that! You're so much cuter without it!" Bitch.) One of their boys is older than Grant, the other - who I will call K - is in Grant's class. K & Grant have been chummy since their days in the Waddler room when K's mom used to tell me they looked like brothers (never have I agreed with this). K always seemed like a bit of a wild kid whereas Grant tends to be more laid back. When I pick up Grant, K seems to be in trouble a lot or I'd hear the teacher scolding him. The birthday party showed me just how unruly K really is, how poorly he listens to his parents, and how his parents let him get his way a lot so he'll stop (or, sort of stop) misbehaving. One parent seemed to always be off "talking to" one of their boys. You can raise your kid however you want, I don't care. Seeing how K acts in public made me even more thankful for Grant. But when K becomes a bad influence on my kid...that's not ok.

At dinner time, Grant tells us about his day. Last week he told us that K called another kid fat. From the sounds of it, K picks on a lot of kids - including Grant. Grant asked what "fat" means. We tried to explain that it's not nice to say that, tried to use that as a teaching moment. Then the next day we found out that Grant said it too. I guess K had called the kid fat first and Grant followed up with "Yeah, you're fat!". They both got in trouble which I'm glad about and we had another big talk with Grant when we found out. 

My kid isn't perfect, I know that. But we're not just letting him grow up. We're trying to raise him right, trying to teach him good things. He's polite. He says please & thank you, no ma'am, yes ma'am, yes please, and no thank you. All that good stuff. He's learning not to interrupt, or try not to interrupt. And we try to teach him about name calling because you never know what can hurt a little kids feelings. Having been picked on as a kid (for being fat), it broke my heart when I found out Grant picked on another kid. I don't want him to be one of those kids. I really feel like Grant only said what he said because K said it first (I mean, he doesn't even understand "fat"). So after I'd punished him for saying it, I told him "I know K is your friend but...he's not a nice boy." It was the first time I'd said something negative to him about one of his classmates. The kid is a bad influence and I don't care if that gets repeated. Even one of Grant's teachers told him he needs to pick a better friend. 

I think this is the first time I've been embarrassed by something Grant did. He was never really a biter at school (at least, nothing we got a report about). He's never been the kind of kid to act up in a restaurant or throw food on the floor. I guess, this is the first time I've ever felt apologetic about something he's done. Husband kind of had to talk me off the ledge with this one (a rarity, usually it's me calming him down). Next year starts Kindergarten - a whole new set of challenges. But since K's family lives in another county, I'm happy knowing that particular challenge will be behind us soon.

1 comment:

  1. Tara, you and Nathan are doing a fine job with Grant. He's happy, a joy to be around, and just a neat little guy! You will encounter all kinds of people along this 'journey' raising Grant. Keep doing the best you can - children do NOT come with instruction manuals...and heck, most people don't read those anyways. PROUD of the parents you and Nathan are, and PROUD of that little man you are bringing up!
    Love ya'll,


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