Thursday, April 24, 2008

Going Out In Public Gives Me Blog Fodder

Question.

Ha! Just kidding. It totally drives me batty when people start their questions by stating, "Question." As if I were too completely dense to ascertain what a question sounds like. Unless you are Monotone Man, I really don't need the heads up, thank you very much.

I've made some references in the past about the daycare where I go to work out. Usually when I take Avee and Danyo in the mornings while Bo is at preschool, it is without incident. Both of them are happy to do their own thing, they are pretty well-behaved, and the morning staff is a pretty mellow crowd.

Recently they've gotten a lot of new toys, handpicked by the childcare director. She doesn't really like the kids to play with these new toys. Because toys that get played with get broken. Bo quickly picked up on the oppressiveness of the daycare with all the new toys and he doesn't like going there on the rare occasions I take him.

It hasn't been a problem because bootcamp is right when he's at preschool. But I am trying to hurry up and undo to my body in 4 months what I've been doing to it for the last 5 years. (three children and innumerable pints of Phish Food) At best, it's an ugly, ugly situation. :) So, I went this morning and since Bo doesn't have preschool, he had to go with me.

I worked out. Gluts, lats, delts, and hams. All sufficiently worked over.

When I went to get the kids, I am greeted with some head shaking and some very important low-talking about what a "pistol" Bo is. I started to nod and agree, thinking that they were talking about Avee (because it's cute when girls are sassy) and was completely shocked when they said it was Bo. And they weren't happy about it.

Apparently they asked him a question, they didn't hear his answer a couple of times, asked again and he said "very disrespectfully", "I said I don't like it" or whatever it was he had to repeat. I guess this happened a couple of times. Then he got tired of the conversation, stuck his fist up in the air, made some declaration and then started pounding the table. I guess a few other kids sitting at the table joined in on the pounding.

May I remind the court, he is four. He's also a boy. While sticking your fist up in the air and saying something you think is funny (but isn't) and then pounding the table like a caveman is obnoxious and probably even annoying, it is not grounds for a convention on child behavior problems. I could also understand this being a problem if there were like 25 kids in there (to the 4 teachers). But there were 8 kids.

I'm completely biasing the jury. I'm sorry. It's my blog. I can't help it.

Tangent: When I was in college I remember learning about the different parenting styles. I remember reading about Authoritarian and Permissive and seeing the flaws in both, but thinking I might err on the side of Authoritarian. It's overly strict, demanding, high expectations, "you do what I say and ask no questions ever" kind of parenting. I thought I should be aware and try not to be that way. However, since becoming a parent, I've changed. And I worry that I err too much on the side of Permissive. This is almost constantly in the back of my mind. I do worry that I can't be objective when I need to be. If only they didn't have my red hair, or J's mannerisms---I could be a little more firm!

So, when I got an earful about how awful my kid is, I left the Y doing some serious self-evaluating. Nothing they told me, made me think my child needed a firm talking to.

Was I wrong?

I do believe quite strongly in children being respectful. I would definitely talk to Bo about being respectful. I talk to him almost every day about being respectful. Not because I think he's disrespectful but because I think it's very important to be respectful and polite. Is having to repeat yourself and getting annoyed with it--being disrespectful, or is it just being human? Of course he shouldn't pound on tables, but when did being a 4 year old boy become such a crime? There are so many unsafe, undesirable behaviors kids can have, I have sort of taken a "choose your battles" approach so that I'm not constantly harping on my kids. Believe me. Right now, Bo is rolling on the floor with his fingers in his nose and Avee has scaled a cupboard to retrieve a binky she isn't supposed to have. BELIEVE ME, I have bigger fish to fry with these two. :)

My friend, who's house Bo spends a considerable amount of time at, says she has never seen him act disrespectfully. His teachers have never said a thing to me. At church, I see him, he can be totally obnoxious sometimes, but he stops when he's told to stop. In my opinion, that's respectful. Kids who ignore adults---I seriously want to give them beat downs. But I don't. That's what separates me from the crazies.

I guess I'm putting this out there because I know that as a parent, I can be delusional about how my children behave. There are things I will tolerate, that other's won't. There are things that are absolutely not allowed in our home, that other's don't find a big deal. Just this morning Bo said, "M____ says stupid, she says it right in front of her mom and doesn't get in trouble. How come she's allowed to say it." I totally refrained from saying, "Because her mom is stupid" and said, "Everyone has different rules. In our house, we think that is an unkind word to say, so we don't say it." When my kids can learn to distinguish between what they don't like and what really is stupid---they'll be allowed to say it.

Do you think the report I got was worthy of discipline (I am asking opinions, not instruction---I have already dealt with this particular incident)? Does anyone have any tips on how to teach your children to handle stupid adults? Without using the word stupid, of course.

I think I have decided to not make Bo have to spend any time there. I don't want him being mistreated, and frankly, I think getting worked up over normal little boy behavior, leads to a high likelihood of mistreating said boy. But I still want to hear some thoughts and opinions on the matter. Or, on parenting in general. Or stupid people. Or you could just send me some chocolate. I'm flexible.

Question. Did I ramble on long enough for ya?

30 comments:

Cindy said...

I do not think you have anything to worry about. Sometimes people that do not have children or have not had them around for a while get annoyed at their behaviors (pounding a table.) which to me is no big deal NOW.. I remember working at daycares and I would get annoyed if that type of behavior went on for a while, not realizing that they are 4 not 14. Now that I have a toddler running around, like you, I pick my battles. The small stuff does not bother me anymore. I have taught your son in primary a couple of times and he is sweet, and funny, and a four year old. I think you have nothing to worry about. Thanks for your blog. You did not ramble...but I may have!!

Barnecked Lady said...

I really hope you handled it by telling her she had the biggest butt you have ever seen in your entire life.

I am still struggling to deal with stupid people, but all my solutions include a gun. Just kidding stupid people.

I really wish I knew how to teach my kids how to deal with others stupidity, but it seems a life long struggle.

Cyndi said...

I think all children deserve more understanding and patience when it comes to their behavior and adults just need to slow down and find out why they did what they did before disciplining. In my opinion, Bo is just being human and it's the adult lacking patience with him that is being disrespectful.

glittersmama said...

I'm not a fan of stupid people or disrespectful children.

I would like to throw both of them out the window.

Tori :) said...

Question. Do the daycare workers not have children? Because they seem to me like they need to get a grip.
I think you are doing a great job- even though Danyo tried to give me a hickey on my arm. It's all good though.

Leslie said...

i think these people are probably in the wrong line of work. i would also bet that they happen to work in an extremely uneventful child care facility if they feel like they have to discuss that harmless behavior with you. also, i really wish that i was your friend in real life because i think i would really like not only you, but your kids. (i have good friends whose kids i don't enjoy. i'm mean and judgemental, that's why.) but the things you can't stand in kids are precisely the things i can't stand in kids, but many of my friends (and family) don't feel the same way. our kids' most important house rules have to do with manners and respect, and i have to say, they do a pretty good job.

also, it could be bo's red hair. some people have extreme jealousy issues when it comes to hair color, almost to the point that they are coveting the hair so much that they hate on the owner of the hair. as a mother of 3 redheads, i can attest to that. sometimes i worry about folks after they tell me how much money they'd pay to have my kid's hair.

i'm just sayin'. :)

Epsi said...

Question.

Do they really think that a four year old is going to already know everything that is appropriate in every situation? Hullo! I'm a little over 4 and I still act like an idiot sometimes. I never use that question thing before asking a question though. Man is that annoying...

Epsi said...

Question.

Do they really think that a four year old is going to already know everything that is appropriate in every situation? Hullo! I'm a little over 4 and I still act like an idiot sometimes. I never use that question thing before asking a question though. Man is that annoying...

Camille said...

First of all, I think that is ridiculous that they got new toys that aren't supposed to be played with! What kind of a daycare is this?! Things are going to get broken, that's just how kids are. Anyway, I think you have every right to be angry. People shouldn't expect kids to act like adults, that's why they're called kids.
I've always had a problem with stupid people. Especially on the road, but that's a whole other story...

S said...

Answer? This is a warning! Four/five year olds are a different breed, I my self have a hard time with them. I can be honest about that. Now that I say that I know this Bo dude and I am sure he didnt do ANYTHING worthy of a lecture. My point is, it might get worse now because the evil adult will not forgive and forget most likely.
I say leave Danyo in poopy diapers a few times for em. That will fix them.
Or steal a few of those nice new toys. I could use some:)
Or step on a few new toys!
k i am done.
Ditto to 1st cindy.

The Clinger's said...

I wouldn't be taking my kid or kids back to that place for sure. Continue to pick your battles. You're doing a great job with your little genius.

Lisa said...

I was already thinking they were a tough bunch of daycare people after some of your other posts.

It's daycare while you are exercising. It isn't preschool. Let it go. And tell those people to let your kids play with the toys!

No Cool Story said...

"That's what separates me from the crazies."

Uhh...I thought it was your good choice in friends that separated you from the crazies.

Whatever NOBODY.

No Cool Story said...

ITA with Lisa.
Those daycare people should figure out they are, in fact, caring for "children".
These "children" act very childish and will want to spend their time playing with toys and not answering their dumb adult questions.
SHEEEESH Lousie.

No Cool Story said...

You know what would be awesome?

Outfit the kids with hidden cameras. Then we could all laugh (and properly destroy) the daycare workers.

It'd be Blog Gold.

Leah Cook said...

Okay, I just had to comment...I still read your blog all the time...and all the way from Texas :) So here's the dealio - speaking as an actual "Behavior Teacher" with kids that moon me, pee on the floor, eat erasers, and come up with cuss words I've never heard before. Come on! Like you said, Pick your battles, people. Next time Bo should pound on their faces, not just the table (I might have aggression problems). Love keeping up with you guys!
(Leah that took the pictures)

Sarah said...

Bo was right. He saw an injustice and showed that it would not be tolerated. I'm proud of him. They are stupid for not only not taking a look at themselves as a reflection of his behavior, but to not find the greatness of a 4 year old rallying support against there "babysitting" skills... bravo Bo

Michelle said...

How many times did he have to repeat himself? Maybe they should have listened better! I get annoyed if I have to repeat myself over and over again, and you better believe I would probably pound a table if I was near one! (Ok, I may have some issues to work out!!!) Unless he told the adults to shut their stupid mouths, I think he's fine.

And what is up with toys that aren't allowed to be played with?? Is that just so the room looks good when new parents take a tour?

MommyJ said...

I think there is a huge difference between being intentionally being disrespectful (like if Bo had called them stupidheads and spit in their faces) and just being a kid. Sometimes just being a kid may seem disrespectful to others, and in many cases it may actually be so, but I think we, as adults, have to have a certain measure of tolerance. I'm thinkin that's what these said day care workers were lacking.

Bo's not a bad kid. But he is a kid. I remember once when Jordan was three or four he poured an entire bottle of shampoo in to the bathtub. I was totally annoyed because it was a waste of shampoo... but Jordan wasn't thinking about that. He, with the impulse control of a three year old, thought, "this will be fun" and dumped it out. It wasn't malicious, or disrespectful, it was just normal, kid behavior. Now, if he ever does it again, he'll be in trouble because now he knows better.

I guess my point is that kids can't be expected to think through their actions with the same judgment and reasoning that adults have. It bugs me when people expect them too.

What is it about your comments section that makes me go on and on?

RING LEADER #2 said...

I don't know, I'd put a leash on that kid if I were you!! When people say things like that to me about my kids, I turn it back on them. "Oh, really? He's never done anything like that before. Something most have gotten him really frustrated for him to act like that. I'll have to talk to him about that." That way they feel their own responsibility in the matter. There are a lot of adults that think they are right, no matter what, and it's only when someone points out a behavior the child has exhibited has been on their time, do they realize that they might have something to do with it as well. Make them feel guilty...they are trying to make you feel guilty...an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth....

S said...

Dang this is a good post. Good comments. Hi leah, Hi ring leader, Hi Sarah, Hi cyndi, and hi NCS! Oh hey Epsi, barnecked, and tori...howdy!

Millie said...

When you said "Question," it reminded me of the movie Fletch. Then I thought, I should put more Fletch quotes on my blog list...

So whatever everyone else says, I agree.

Sarah Tilley said...

question: what's the best kind of bear?

man, you're asking the wrong mom. as a parent of a certifiable hell-beast, i can assure you that the person watching your kids is a total authoritarian jerk. not only is this person stupid/ignorant, she's incredibly rude as well. you ought to give them a friendly hint next time about sucking it up and dealing-- he's four and it's her job to watch him, not give you parenting advice.

Sarah said...

Hello S... we are due for another party??

Emily said...

Q. starts many a sentence with "Question." It's very Dwight K. Schrute of him, don't you think. Along those lines, "Fact."

Oddly, I had a similar experience recently with Y workers. One of them I called Pippi (behind her back) because she was such a twit to me and the kids, but then Q. brightly said "Hey Pippi!" when we walked in one day, so um, yeah, I had to stop that. There oughtta be a convention for my bad behavior.

Michelle Garff said...

just laugh and ignore. I have to do that daily. In fact my VT told me i needed to put X in the corner, while she was visiting me...in my own home. Can you believe the balls??? Like i said, just laugh and ignore (and nod your head to the side like I do), and treat your kid like he is intelligent and awesome (because he is).
Also, I remember when you heard the Shania Twain song that had the word stupid in it and you were so turned off by it...back in 1998...memeber? miss you

Traci said...

It's Sunday and I'm just getting to this? Shoot. Sorry. And I will say that I didn't read anyone else's comments either. So I hope my brilliant opinion hasn't already been shared.

Firstly, I can't imagine Bo doing that. But when I do, I think it's hilarious. So maybe that shows what kind of permissive parent I am?

Picking battles is the only way to go, in my book. There are just too many things for a parent, not to mention a kid, to always be trying to remember and correct. Picking at every little situation will make everyone discouraged in a hurry. But even if you thought Bo had done something inappropriate, what do the daycarers expect you to do, put him in his place right in front of them so they know you're doing your job? Whatev. He wouldn't hear any of it because he would just feel embarrassed.

Besides that, I know delusional parents and you ain't one of them. I'm not so sure about myself, but I personally think it's better to err on the side of believing my kid is better than he is - he has a better chance at someday being better than he is when he has someone seeing the best in him and telling him about it. Let the world humble him. ;)

And yeah, the world just needs to let boys be boys. Honestly. That's how they grow up to be men.

Question: How's that for opinion?

No Cool Story said...

Hi S!!

Donna said...

I've been in similar situations, and I've said to the workers, "I hope you handled it well. After all, we were all four once, right?" hoping that they would see their responsibility as the adults. Did they take him aside as speak directly to him quietly as they should have??? I doubt it!! I teach my kids to be respectful to adults, but I've had to step in when the adults are disrespectful to my kids.

Physcokity said...

Loved the rambling. If he was pounding the table with a pair of scissors in his hand that would be a different story, or if his fist pounding happened to be on another person.

Obviously the daycare people don't understand that in order to get respect you have to give respect. Especially if it's a kid, they aren't stupid quite frankly they tend to be more perceptive than some adults. That being said don't ask a kid, who are notorious for short attention spans anyway to repeat himself thrice if you are willing to listen.

I would assert that that truly is stupid.

Picking battles is very necessary for the sanity of all parties involved.

I think teaching your chidren to laugh when people exhibit stupid behavior would be interesting, then again it goes back to that higher reasoning level which was the contingent for them being allowed to use the word.

Does the Director take these toys and play with them at night when nobody else is around?

Of course you could always refute their arguments by simply stating that if they actually allowed the children to play with the toys they wouldn't feel the need to start a revolution.

Yeah look at us "grown ups" we're a bunch of disrespectful rude people!