Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What would you do

My wife posted a blog about how I embarrassed her recently (last night) at a friends birthday party. Here is where I run you through the sequence of events and let you think about what you would have done.

We're at a fairly casual style, seat yourself, restaurant with friends and their family (brothers, sisters and their kids). The oldest child is probably around 8 and has lost his ability to sit quietly while adults are talking (we left our child with Andrea's parents because we're considerate like that). He's running around making a ruckus...so what.

After a while he's crawling around between the table and the wall behind me, Andrea, the friends parents and what not. He can't get past my chair so he just starts pushing it/me in an attempt to knock me over so I'm not in his way. I just scoot my chair in so he can get to wherever it is he's going.

He continues back and forth for a while. Whenever he passes me and perceives my elbow or some other body part is in the way, he just gives a good shove instead of say, ducking. I try to keep my appendages from sticking out too far, so as not to offend his sense of personal space.

Not long after, he's crawling around under the table. I learn this because I suddenly feel his head between my legs.

What would you do next?

In my case I close my legs, which happens to squeeze his head. 1. I'm protecting the private property, and 2. Maybe he will be deterred from having his head in my crotch. After trying to crush his head between my knees for about 3 seconds (I wasn't squeezing all that hard, just sending a message) I let go, and figure he'll go away.

Two seconds later there is a head between my legs again.

What would you do next?

I go for the head-between-the-knees squeeze again and add a little hair tug.

The kid quickly demonstrates he has no respect for any adults at all. Perhaps he has never had any adult around him discipline him for anything...EVAR! He starts hitting.

What would you do next?

I catch his hand on a swing and bend his fingers. He starts crying. In my view, problem solved. The mom of said hellion is upset at me now for making her boy cry. Other adults (the grandpa) who don't believe in parenting razz me about if he was hurting me. "Oh your in trouble when your kid get's bigger." No. No I won't be in trouble, because I'll teach him that a man's crotch is NOT where his face belongs!

The only thing I wish I had done differently is that I should have threatened to call child protective services. After all, where would an 8 year old boy learn to put his head in a man's crotch except for from his own father?



Anonymous Capn John said...

What's the PC term for mentally retarded? Is this 8 y/old child mentally retarded? Or just the parents?

My son is 8 years old. He has no problem sitting quietly during dinner, not even at a restaurant...especially not at a restaurant. He might whine if he doesn't like the food, and he might whine if he's bored, but he's not going to get up and run around the restaurant, climb over other guests, crawl under the table, etc. And if he did, he'd catch hell for it.

This kid put his head between your legs? He's 8 years old for crying out loud! What kind of parents let their 8-year old son stick his head in a grown man's crotch? Oh yeah, I answered that question at the start, didn't I?

Hindsight is always 20-20, which is why we can look back at this situation and realize the more appropriate course of action was to loudly say, "Excuse me, but you're not my wife or my dog, so get your head out of my crotch!"

10:21 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I agree with Captn John. Maybe pushing his head away and saying loudly for all to hear, "Will you tell your son to get his face out of my crotch!!!" might have been effective, but the fact that the parents let him roam about under the table probably means they wouldn't care about that either.

What an awkward predicament they put you in!!! It doesn't look good for a 30 year old to physically hurt an 8 year old and I'm sure that is why Andrea was embarrassed.

Could you have just stood up and said, "Come on, Andrea, we are leaving because the kid under the table won't leave me alone and I'm afraid I might hurt him if I stay here another minute."

6:17 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

The kid is a brat because the parents and the grandparents never interfered with his bad behavior. Not even having a newborn excuses them for not disciplining their child.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Capn John said...

BH, I recalled an amusing anecdote I read in a Reader's Digest some time ago which is quite relevant to your encounter.

Several customers standing in the checkout line at the grocery store were being inconvenienced by young lad. He was pulling magazines from their racks, peering into and trying to take items from other customers' carts, running around customers and even between the legs of some.

The boy's mother shrugged her shoulders, gave a little smile, and said, "We're bringing him up with free reign."

The boy's rampage was brought to a screeching halt when a young man took a tub of yogurt from the mother's cart, opened it, and poured the contents over the boy's head. As everyone looked at him in astonishment the young man shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and said, "I was brought up with free reign, too."

7:25 AM  
Blogger BugHunter said...

"It doesn't look good for a 30 year old to physically hurt an 8 year old"

That is the core of the issue right there. If Dylan tries this kind of crap when he is 8 you can bet he'll find himself crying as well. It will have been a 30+ yr old that made him cry and likely physically hurt him. I can see my self taking him outside (by the ear if needed), and spanking him good. It will be a lesson he learns just once.

I know that may sound like "abuse" to some, but the people who think discipline is abuse need to have their own children taken away. (leave your name number and address in the comments and I'll gladly call DCSF on you) They are clearly unfit. Those kinds of parents are the kinds of parents who's children take a backpack of guns to school one day and start shooting.

So what is the real difference between the parents "hurting" him or me doing it? Doesn't it "take a village..."?

8:51 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Everyone has a different parenting style. Albeit the family you were dining with have NO parenting style or skills. Scott and I never hit our kids or spanked them after one very stressful espisode I had with Andrea and the wooden spoon. The three of them seem to have manners and common courtesy toward other people. There are other parents that spank their kids on a regular basis and it works for them. It is not abuse if done in the right frame of mind (i.e. no rage), but only for disciplinary purposes. That's my take on it anyway, not that you asked.
The family you were with would not have physically hurt their 8 year old brat, that is the difference.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Wow Panda said...

wow that kid has no manners at all. Good thing you did what you have to do, which will be a good lesson for him to grow up on.

I don't think his parents did anything to prepare him for the adult world, that is why he might thank you later on.

Even dogs needs to be trained (although under our care they never grow up like the wild ones, well trained dogs are much easier to keep).

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

If the kid was say 2 I'd say you acted rashly but the kid is 8 for freakin out loud! Inconsiderate people always have a nack for making others feel ashamed for events that are in reality are their fault. That kid doesn't have a prayer.

I do agree next time you should publically and loudly shame and embarass the parents into do what their title involves.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Karobka said...

Best, post, EVAR! It has been awhile since I stopped by your blog, but when Jess told me about your post I had to come and see it for myself.

I think you handled it rather mildly BH, I would've expected more from you. :) More pain, more humiliation, but the kid is only 8 so you can only go so far right? :D

It is too bad that this kid will be the one that pays for his parent's lack of sense.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Matt "The Bull" said...

Well, this is why I don't go out with just anyone. Nor do befriend and for that matter even be nice to just anyone. Last thing I want is to find my self in a situtation like this on a precious night off. These folks are outside the circle of trust for me. my personal happiness is more important than their stupid birthday party. I am definetly not having dinner with old peopld (grandparents that arn't even my own).

6:14 AM  
Blogger Matt "The Bull" said...

This is really melissa!!
There is absolutely no excuse for an eight year old acting like that. A two year old would be bad enough but maybe a little more excusable. Is this child home schooled? Even if his parents are crazy retarded, he doesn't get away with acting like that at school. Unless of course his parents FREAK out and shame his teacher just as they did you. Which is probably the case. The back and forth behind you is terrible but under the table is unexcusable. Feel free to hit my kids when they are acting retarded. Surely the kids at school will if you don't.

6:42 AM  

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