April 20, 2007

Saints Need Not Apply

I’m raising boys, not saints. I am. But I have to tell you… I wonder about some people and their kids.

I had to take Mr. T to the pediatrician today. We were sitting in the room waiting, teasing and talking, when the wall next to us shuddered. We heard banging in the room and it was if a human pinball was next door. T and I looked at each other with eyebrows raised and then stared back at the wall. I was waiting for the wall to bow, instead the picture shook.

This happened for awhile and then the good doctor walked in and I said, “Ummm… what’s going on next door? Is that the woman with the three little kids?” He smiled patiently and said, “I think they’re trying to break through…” We laughed but I was kind of horrified. Even though I joked with a “Three small kids, I’ve been there”, in reality, I had not. My kids never acted like that. I usually had enough snacks and stuff with me to keep them suitably occupied.

A short while later it happened again, this time with his witnessing the wall reverberating. All three of us looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

And it’s funny, because as we were discussing T’s issues I said, “You know… I do think it could be internal stress.” He jokingly looked at T and said, “Stress?! You’re 10! What kind of stresses are in YOUR life?” T, who gets along great with him, laughed back and said, ‘A lot! I have school and grades and all sorts of stuff. You don’t know stress! What kind of stress do YOU have?!”

And as the doctor and I were laughing at him, and T was nearly laughing himself silly, the doctor said, ‘Oh you don’t even want me to LIST the stresses in my life… I don’t know where I’d begin’ and as if on cue, the wall shook and the little people next door appeared to be trying to break through and I said, “Well… we could start there…”

I don’t tolerate poor behavior like that from my kids. First I don’t put them in situations where they could possibly melt down. When they were small they never went to the mall. We never went places unless I had to, where I had to worry about boredom and other issues. Its not that I believe children should be seen and not heard, but if there is a chance that the ‘heard part’ is going to be ugly sounds, then… we didn’t go. Hence, when each child was 15 months old, until about 2 ½, we pretty much never went out to eat. Why ruin other people’s meals? And the minute they squalked? Boom. I was out the door with them. And my kids didn’t run around in restaurants either.

I lived at the pediatrician’s and the grocery store. Those were major outings for my kids. And so in my trusty bag I had crayons, toys, snacks, and anything else I could think of to keep them occupied during that time.

But as I said… I am not raising saints.

Last night I asked my husband if he minded if we just went out for dinner. We occasionally get take out, but otherwise, I cook every night. For some reason, I’d been craving fish like a mad woman, fried oysters again, and I just wanted to go to this little restaurant down the street, that did not have fried oysters, but where I could get fish.

Bones came out ready to go… wearing a light jacket. Now, folks, it may be chilly up where you are in the great white north, but it’s already hotter than three hells here. The dog days of summer are upon us and I’m happiest in shorts, light t-shirts and no shoes. It’s hot.

I looked at him and said, “You can wear that, but its hot out and you’re going to look like an idiot.”

His father gave him a hard time and Bones said, “Mom said I could wear it! I don’t care if it’s hot and I look like an idiot!”

So he wore it out. Whatever.

We were standing in line and there was a elderly man in front of us, tall, thin and frail, the man not only didn’t have any body fat upon his bones, but there appeared to be a great lack of muscle mass as well. He was slightly stooped over as if osteoporosis had set in.

And… he was wearing a light jacket.

Bones tugged at my sleeve, looked at me indignantly, pointed to the man in front of us and said loud enough for the family to hear, but actually, probably not loud enough for the man to hear, although… he could have (I’m banking on hard of hearing), ‘Look at that man, Mom! He’s wearing a jacket and HE doesn’t look like an idiot!’

Gah! I gave the whole cut the hand across the throat sign.

We are evidently still working on social graces…

Posted by Boudicca at April 20, 2007 09:31 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: wRitErsbLock at April 20, 2007 10:16 PM

I suspect they'll still be working on the social graces LONG after they've left the nest :-)

Posted by: caltechgirl at April 20, 2007 11:43 PM

We went to see the horror movie, Disturbia, the other weekend. Somebody brought their toddler with them. Stupid people. The kid started crying and screaming. My "saint" aka Chowhound blurts out rather loudly "Got any duct tape?" Yeah, we're still working on social graces too.

Posted by: sticks at April 21, 2007 06:32 AM

The cousin took her 11 and 4 year olds to Wally World in Gibtown.

One of Grady Stiles kinfolk was sitting there, and they spotted her at the same time... the 4 year old fascinated by the fact that the woman had no real legs, and the 11 year old noticing the "lobster claw" hands. "Holy crap! I never knew that someone could function with hands like that!!!" "Momma!!! She doesn't have any legs!!!"

The kids are up for sale, if anyone's interested.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at April 21, 2007 09:47 AM

Having met them, I can attest to the fact that Bou's boys are very well behaved. Even Bones!

Posted by: Denny at April 21, 2007 12:22 PM

Well, I have a boy that points out peoples crutches and the like to them. We were at the grocery store and a man who looked to have had polio years ago was in line ahead of us paying for his goods and the boy shouts - "You have crutches! and just when I'm ready to flatten him for his ignorance, he says sweetly "Since your hands are full, I will help you with this bag, my momma won't mind."

Who needs social graces, they can smile and grace gives way to sweetness.

Posted by: oddybobo at April 21, 2007 04:45 PM

I don't think boys ever get the "social graces" thing... that trait is kinda short in us, but... hey, we're long on the honesty trait, and I've learned, honesty is not always the best policy.

Posted by: RedNeck at April 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Bou, you may not have saints, but at least you try.

I wear hearing aids, and usually turn them off (turning them into earplugs) at the first sign of kids. But somehow their high-note screehes still make it through. I've always wondered how so many clueless parents are apparently deafer than I am, as they let their spawn scream on and on and on and on......

Posted by: George at April 22, 2007 01:06 PM

Hell, bones was chilly that night..or else he just liked the looks of that jacket..

Posted by: GUYK at April 22, 2007 01:15 PM

If one of my sons were to say that about the guy in the jacket, it would be the instant cue for the other to YELL "Yes, he DOES look like an idiot!!"


Posted by: Graumagus at April 22, 2007 06:52 PM

Don't even ask me about Saturday. Errr... Yours are much better behaved all around.

Posted by: vw bug at April 22, 2007 07:24 PM