When Your Friends Kid Is a Total A-Hole.

16 Jan

It’s a lovely morning for a playdate. You sit at the breakfast table cradling a perfect cup of coffee made especially for you by your tea drinking newest bestie. You cherish this moment, not only for the re-introduction of your toosh to a chair, after going hours at a time some days without actually ever sitting. (kneeling, bending, squatting and tebowing doesn’t count), and you cherish this moment with a friend. She’s not just a play date mom, not just a person that you force casual conversation with or share kid milestone stories with, but and honest to goodness friend. This person, you actually like. A lot. As in you would be friends even if your kids didn’t exist. You would be road trip buddies in college. Laugh hysterically going through a drive-thru to get some soft serve. And you cherish this friend deeply because you know how difficult it can be, to not only make this kind of connection as an adult, but to make this kind of connection as an adult with kids and you feel like you’ve been girlfriend’s for years. This friend finds the same things amusing, she makes you funnier and she makes you laugh. Not ONLY that, but you share the usual light-hearted gripes of child rearing, husband training, house cleaning and you both totally agree that after a long day managing the “other kind” of moms at the park, school or play yard, a glass of wine big enough to make Jesus weep at the end of the day is not only well deserved, but necessary.

Yes. That kind of friend.

When out of nowhere, your Nescafe commercial moment is interrupted with a high pitched shrill, followed by silence (breath) and then the full fledged throaty cry. 

You recognize it immediately. You’ve been well versed in the many styles of your child’s cry. You could pick it out amongst thousands while enjoying a one-hundred piece orchestra.

You look at each other with the familiar, “Uh-Oh” look, as your child rounds the corner, holding his hand to the side of his head, trying to, but unsuccessfully covering what can only be described as a large, red, EGG.

You both rush to his aide, you kneel to his side to inspect the damage, when the tear riddle monologue begins. You catch the necessary words.

   “dhrytrtbbvaisojwot kaaosgiugtk  dhaoufe o WITH THE PIANO…ahdioiytoiahc cjaosuhfoa IT. WAS. MY. TURN. Ahiaoiwfhjbcjashiahaish cahf asucabjsa, GRABBED IT FROM ME. Ahfguoawiuhoiahcoaihs afiuae ac AND, I SAID, IT WAS afhiaof fhafuioefh oac acuoefa MY TURN ahuaow adgiaoaiyeoaho wfhoashcohasaoh agcua agfofauw aiuwrogfa 

AND THEN HE. Jfiaohfe… HIT MEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!!!!!!!”You both look to each other. You take your son and go for ice and she disappears to find the perp.

Now, I’m not overly protective of my kids in situations like this, I’m well aware that “kids will be kids”. But, this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s not even the second. This is now a pattern. A familiar scenario between these two and let’s just say, it ain’t my kid hiding in the bedroom awaiting punishment.This sucks. For this new favorite friend of yours who you know to be so lovely, funny and kind?

Her kid is a total asshole and I don’t get it. I’ve seen her parent, I’ve seen her discipline, I’ve seen her demand appropriate manners. I’ve met her husband who is equally warm, nice and approachable. I’ve seen his son run to him at the door when he gets’ home from work. 

All signs say this kids should be great.

But, he’s not. And your friend knows it too, chalking it up with excuses like, “he came out wrestling”, or “he just get’s so excited.” Or my personal favorite, which if I didn’t know better, would be a jab at my son’s masculinity, “He’s ALL boy.”

My son is “all boy” too (whatever that actually means) but he’s not clocking his friends in the skull with hard plastic toys.

So, I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what to do. 

Do we cease play dates? Do I end the friendship or keep it as a “mom’s night out” friendship only? I would normally have a conversation about it with the parent, but she already knows. I know she knows. I can see it on her face when she dutifully re appears 5 minutes later, holding her son’s hand as she walks him over to my son, to say the dutiful, “Sorry.” And, I believe him. He IS sorry. Maybe that’s why we keep coming back. 

The good news is that ten minutes later, the boys are off again, laughing and playing legos and we have reconvened at our table with our now lukewarm mugs and I realize there’s really nothing I CAN do. I cannot control her son and she seems to be doing exactly what she’s “supposed” to be doing.

All I can do is arm my son with the understanding that there are different types of kids out there. Some cry all the time. Some don’t share. Some whine. Some are shy. Some are really sweet and some are mean and some hit. I can tell him that this really doesn’t ever go away. That even as an adult he will meet people that are bullies or are too aggressive, or are just really mean. But, that there are really great people too and we have to learn how to handle ourselves and treat ourselves fairly when we come across the others. We can’t control people, we can only control ourselves and how we respond. 

So, instead of ending a friendship, which by the way, I would do if I thought my son was in real danger or the mom was totally oblivious., I will use this as an opportunity to learn how to handle all kinds of people in all kinds of situations.

(And also teach him how to throw a sweet right hook. Just in case.)


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