Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do...

...when it comes to your popsicle. Or anything food and drink related, I guess. I say this because apparently, these are the values that I am passing down to my children. Maybe it's

  1. Do to others as you would have done to you.
  2. Take care of you brother (goes both ways).
  3. Protect your food and beverages at all costs.

Let me explain where this comes from. And maybe, if you happen to stop by and read this, you could leave me some advice on the situation as a whole.

We have a new neighbor. Well, they aren't that new. It's just, with the warm weather and all, the new people are FINALLY outside of their home. And they have a child. A boy. I think he might be four. Ish. I think.

The reason I am not sure is because his mother and grandmother, who are the only ones that are home most of the time, speak no English. And he barely speaks English. When you ask him his name, he gives you a different answer every time. His father speaks English, but...dad's barely ever there. So, this leaves the rest of the neighborhood children and parents in a bit of a quandry.

See, little boy neighbor speaks NO english AND he is from a different country. Where I suppose, children are being reared slightly differently from here. It's not a different that I understand, either. Don't get me wrong. I am DOWN with multiculturalism. I am a Global Studies teacher. I want me children to learn about getting along with ALL kinds of people. Not just ones that have a certain color skin or speak a certain language or come from a certain place or have a certain religion. I love differences and all that good stuff. We have all of those differences I mentioned just within two generations of my hubby's and my family. But at my core, I am B-boy and Crash's mom. Their lionness mother. Their mama bear.

Little boy neighbor is probably smack dab right between B-boy and Crash's age...biologically speaking, that is...but he acts younger than Crash. Little boy neighbor has some issues. They are, in no particular order,

  1. Boundaries,
  2. Boundaries, and
  3. Boundaries.

His first boundary issue came when he walked into the neighbor's home. Just helped himself. Walked right in. No knock. No doorbell. Just walked RIGHT IN. This has happened twice. Not to me. But I think he saved the best for my family, so, let me get right to the next boundary issue.

His next boundary issue is personal space. The first time I realized his personal space issues is he pushes the other neighborhood kids just to be where they are. Just knocks'em over. No warning. Like a footbal player. Just standing one minute and *whoompf* knocked over the second. And you really don't need to be standing. You could also be on your big wheel. Same thing, same deal. Just *whoompf* and you're s.o.l. on the ground and there he is, good ol' little neighbor boy, right where you WERE. Excuse my irreverance in this situation, but my children have gotten the brunt of this situation. Crash may just be the MOST easy going, laid back little almost three year old in the WORLD. Seriously. Laid. Back. But, he also has a limit. I think his limit was when Little Neighbor Boy bit him. I've gone to Little Neighbor Boy's house to tell Mom. But she just says, "Oh, yah, yah, yah...Ok." What that means she'll do, I haven't figured it out. But Little Neighbor Boy's personal space issues totally weirded me out when he walked up to me, stood dead in front of me, and just sniffed me. Ok, was that weird? Am I freaking out too soon? Was that a sign of something? I don't think I would have thought anything of that if he wasn't...ok. I'm lying. Yeah, I would still think something. Sniff me? Dead in my belly? And like three centimeters away from me? What's up with that? And as far as B-boy and Crash, Papa bear and I have gotten to the point where if Little Neighbor Boy's family doesn't want to teach him to play nice, then we'll support B-boy protecting his little brother (and vice-versa) if need be...and B-boy has already told Little Nieghbor Boy to LEAVE HIS BROTHER ALONE!!!

Okay. Last and final boundary issue. Food and beverages. He just takes then away from other kids and eats or drinks whatever they have! Just rips it out of the child's hand. Again. My children are falling prey to this situation more so than not. So, once I caught it and...well, let me just say that I am a bit of a germ phobe. I mean, I don't mind if B-boy and Crash and I share something, but not with non-family members. I know. A germ, is a germ, is a germ, but I have some weird idea that families share a lot of the same germs. And if we don't, we should, because families should share everything, right? Anyway. Little Neighbor Boy grabs Crash's drink (grape koolaid...yum) and then drinks it. Crash rips out a fierce cry...and lioness momma turns to see what is wrong, and I notice the cup in the hands of not my child. And then Crash get the cup back, so I run to stop him from drinking because EW GERMS. I SLAP the cup out of Crash's hand to keep him from drinking and say ew, nasty. Which of course, causes more tears, but I rush into the house, clean the cup and pour more Koolaid and voila! Happy Crash.

But I never stopped to think about what I had just taught my child.

Fast forward to today. Popsicles all around. Little Neighbor Boy was not around when said popsicles were distributed. And they weren't mine, so I couldn't control the fact that he didn't have one. He ran to Crash and TOOK HIS RIGHT OUT OF HIS HAND. Crash SCREAMED (roared???) and Little Neighbor Boy hand the popsicle back, but not until he had taken a lick of the entire thing (aka..shoved it in his mouth). Crash took it back and (god, I wish I had this on tape to show it and so you could hear it) he "Ehhhhhhhh"-ed and whipped the popsicle at Little Neighbor Boy. Said popsicle hit the boy and then hit the floor. And Crash was quite pleased with himself.

I don't know what to say. I should say I DIDN'T know what to say. I had to laugh inside. I think I taught Crash that...but I didn't mean to...and the kid totally stole his popsicle and then licked the entire thing!

Actually, I am afraid that I am a bad mother, because I am laughing out loud NOW about this as I type the story out.

Am I???

Someone out there, anyone with sense, let me know what you think. Maybe don't judge me (be gentle) about my mothering skills, but help me with Little Neighbor Boy.

What's a girl (mama bear) to do???

~A wild advice-seeking thing


  1. this really strikes me as interesting because i have a friend with the same issue. she lives in an apartment and the little boy and his mom are stuck at home all day. the mom doesnt speak any english but lets the boy go all around the complex "visiting" his friends-which actually means he just will open the door without knocking. My friend was very frustrated. anyway, I wonder if they are in the same culture? and maybe it is just a cultural thing. BUT, my advice is, since his parents don't speak any english, write out a letter to them letting them know how you feel, and have it translated into their language.(there are lots of good sites online for that). good luck!

  2. Girl,
    You know that I am not even mad about you slapping that popsicle out of his hand. How gross. I agree with Cityslicker mom about writing a letter and having it translated (given you know the language spoken in the household). After meeting your boys, I laughed so hard when reading this post because I can completely see the entire scene played out:)

  3. Damn! I wish I had advice for you, but there's not much you can do except let schoolyard socialization take its course. He'll learn what's acceptable from watching the way the others interract. It may be a painful process, but eventually it will have to kick in.