Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

May 16, 2007

Meanies

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 12:36 pm

There is nothing that gets me more pissed off than ‘mean people.’

As an overly sensitive person, I go out of my way to try to make people comfortable – to the point it might make people ‘uncomfortable’. I try to deal with my sensitivity, but it’s a struggle. You just gotta take it or leave it & know that it’s coming from the heart.

But when I think someone is being mean to my family – hell hath no fury like a mother scorned. I can forgive someone being mean to me. Over & over & over again. But I cannot forgive someone being mean to my husband or kids.

Today was the first time I saw another child actually being mean to Andrew. Not in the normal developmental ways kids are mean (pushing, hitting, etc). I mean, actually deliberately being mean to hurt his feelings. It was all I could do to sit there quietly & just let them work it out.

We have a neighborhood little girl. She is about 4. Every-time we play outside, she takes one look at us… does something rude.. and then goes inside. I have chalked it up to her being shy. But today, I just realized that she is mean spirited.

Andrew is an extrovert. Nothing gets him more excited than seeing another neighborhood kid outside. He immediately wants to invite them in to play or have dinner. Today he saw the little girl – and again tried to play with her. At first she ignored him completely. Would walk up to him and continue to walk right by with her nose in the air. She would strut around him – so that it was obviously she was throwing it in his face that she didn’t want to play with him… and wanted him to know it. Clearly, not shy.

When he asked if she wanted to play, she ran up to him & yelled ‘NO’ in his face. Not the way someone would if they were fighting. It was more like the way someone would if they hated the other person. Since they have never played together before – this seemed odd to me.

I believe in letting kids work things out, as long as no one is getting hurt. So I just watched silently to see if things would get better and she would warm up. Or hopefully Andrew would just lose interest and keep playing with Justin. The girl’s grandfather was standing there watching her, so I figured if she or Andrew got bad… one of us would intervene.

But things didn’t get better… and he didn’t intervene. Granted there was no flagrant abuse. But sometimes when your kid is being a brat, you should stop them from being a brat & teach them that it’s not nice. At least, that is what my mother always taught me. So I am sticking to that same rule with my kids.

After doing a few glares, and circling-ignoring passes… Andrew decided to play with the neighborhood cat. The cat follows Andrew everywhere because he loves her. She will follow him into our home if I would let it. Apparently the cat belongs to this girl. So the minute she saw Andrew petting Jasmine – she came running over, grabbed the cat, and took her home. I figured, okay… it is her cat… but no need to be rude about it. Then she proceed to yell- ‘She’s MINE’ in our faces as she tried to lock the cat in the house. The cat kept escaping, running back to Andrew… so the girl kept repeatedly taking her away. Everytime she’d take Jasmine, she’d say something like: she doesn’t like you, she will scratch your eyes out because she doesn’t like you, you can’t pet her. I kept waiting for the grandfather to intervene and say something about sharing – but alas, nothing. Oh well, it is her cat. So I still sat quietly and watched.

After the cat was put away, she proceeded to take everything that was hers and put it in her garage and close the door in Andrew’s face – while shooting him a dirty look. Andrew was a bit perplexed by all this. He hadn’t touched anything of hers. He hadn’t even had a chance to talk to her since she only shouted passing comments at him. And he really wanted to play. So he just watched the garage door close & kept standing there, hoping she would come back to the street and play.

Pretty soon he noticed she left her scooter outside. He looked at me and asked if he could ride it. Which I thought was very nice of him… rather than just running over & claiming it for his own. I told him that he had to ask first, but if she said it was okay … then he could. Sure enough, she had been peering at him from her window – and bolted outside to see what was going on. The minute she re-appeared, Andrew said “can I please see your scooter?”. He smiled at her so excitedly … and she just shoved him out of the way, yelled no, and dragged it back to her driveway. He looked at me, and then followed her and asked again. Of course, it was another resounding NO in his face and then a slam of the door.

His little face crumpled and he looked like he was going to cry. He’s not used to other kids actually yelling in his face for no reason – especially when he was trying so hard to be nice & friendly. I felt so bad for him. But this was their battle, and not mine. So I stayed quiet.

Luckily he found a big stick that he liked, and started pretending it was a leaf-blower. He and Justin started ‘blowing the leaves’ from the neighbor’s lawns. Well, missy-hoity-toity came out again and started yelling at them about the dang sticks!

She yelled at both boys, telling them that they couldn’t have sticks. She was just about to grab the sticks from them and haul those into her house too – when I had had enough. I told her that it was okay to take her own toys away and not share them… but the sticks weren’t hers and she is not allowed to take them from my kids. If she wanted a stick, she could find another one and they could all play nicely. She just looked at me and put her hands on her hips and said ‘well they are from my tree – so they are mine!’

Ugh. Are you kidding me? And your family is going to do nothing to stop you from acting like the biggest brat on the block?

Andrew was so confused. He was about to give her the dang stick, in the hopes that she would play with him. Poor kid – he’s got his mother’s personality.

He just stood outside, waiting for her to come back & change her mind. She would keep coming back to make one more snide remark & then go back inside to watch him from the window.

It broke my heart. I knew it was a lesson that he would learn eventually… but it’s hard to sit there & watch it unfold. I didn’t expect her to share. I didn’t expect her to play. But I did expect her to be reasonably nice. There was no reason to be rude. I guess that was my mistake. Meanies are just meanies, no matter how big or how small.

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