My wife and I decided to purchase annual passes for the Orlando Science Center. Most folks would ask why we didn’t purchase anything that was outdoors, considering that summer is right around the corner. I’m assuming those same folks haven’t spent an entire summer here in Central Florida.
Anyhow, we decided to head over there this morning. After hitting up a few of the exhibits, we brought all of the kids over to the play area, which has all sorts of cool vehicles; an airplane, rocket ship, train, etc.. Our oldest was hanging out with mommy on some of the activities, and I had the twins. I brought them over to a large train table, and stood them up (they aren’t walking yet, but can stand and ‘fall correctly’) quite well. We were there for about five minutes, when this little twerp came over to one of the twins, said ‘No!’, and took the train tracks away from him. Now, I knew this kid was going to be a little pain in the ass. Why? Because he looked like he was just about ready to turn three, and he had one of those denim pacifier holders clipped to the shoulder of his shirt, with the pacifier in his mouth. Perhaps if the parent(s) had taught the twit some…. I don’t know…. WORDS… he could have asked politely to play with the tracks that the boys were using, although they only had two each (out of 75 or so on the table). Anyhow, as a parent, the first thing that I did was move the boys to the other side of the train table, brought over a few tracks for them, and left the rest for the twerp. I also started eyeballing around the room for this kid’s parent(s). Considering that not one parent in the room seemed to give a shit about him, I was on my own. Well, the twerp went over to the other twin, and as he started to push him away and take the tracks that he was using, I took them from the twerp and said (in my ‘sing-a-long-I’d-spank-you-silly-if-you-were-my-kid voice) ‘That’s not nice. Please don’t do that.’ At that point, I thought I would move the twins entirely from the situation, so I brought them over to where mommy and oldest were, which was on the Red Baron replica in the middle of the room. Within two minutes, twerp came back over to the first twin (who had just stood up at the tail of the Red Baron), and pushed him in the face.
… and that’s about all I could handle from this little shit….
… and in my ‘Boy-you-need-an-ass-whipping-but-you’ll-have-to-settle-for-my-really-effing-scary- welcome-to-reality,-you-little-shit voice’…
.. I yelled ‘DON’T DO THAT!!!’
The whole room turned and looked… then most of the folks cleared out of the play area….
The parent (a crunchy mother of about lord-knows-what age) came over. With a quick explanation from yours truly, she apologized. She should have (as my wife mentioned, and I agree) had her twerp apologize, but clearly he wasn’t capable of doing so. Instead, she hugged her boy (because, well, let’s just say I scared the shit out of him and he was balling), as if he was the victim….
Few things to take away from this:
1) Keep an eye on your kid at all times
2) If your kid isn’t socially mature, highlight #1, select ‘Bold’ typeface, select 72 point font, print it, and stick it on your fridge.
3) If your kid exhibits ‘bullying’ behavior, take the F care of it right then and there. This isn’t through hugs and kisses either…
4) (Parents) While you might want to throttle someone else’s kid at some point in your parenting career, I suggest that you don’t go in that direction (you know, there are like… laws… against that type of behavior). However, feel free to scare the ever-loving piss out of a kid, especially if the parent isn’t paying attention; it usually that gets the point across to both the twerp and the ‘parent’.
5) All kids are guilty of being a ‘little shit’ at times. It’s the parents’ job to take care of it. It’s not the parents’ job to console the kid when, in fact, he/she was being a turd, especially when he/she is being called out on it.
My first real memory was from when I was three years old. Perhaps the twerp’s first real memory will be of me disciplining him. He’ll thank me for it later in his life. At the very least, the crunchy lady owes me a granola bar for doing her job…