Thursday, August 10, 2006

You got off easy!

You know I'm sitting here and I could cry. You must think I cry a lot. Not really, except when I write things that touch something inside.

Tonight when I got home from work, we ate quickly and headed out to a local park. The night was clear, humidity low; the kids ran around enjoying the freedom. We're here to hang out and enjoy a free concert so blankets and chairs are spread everywhere. The musicians are just warming up.

Now I have mentioned a bit about Julian. You see, sometimes he walks around without awareness, i.e., across blankets, kicking a ball in his path, sitting in someone's seat - it's all fair game. Sort of the Mr. Magoo of the Preschool set. He has certain sensory integration issues where his body doesn't always signal "too close", "take a step back", "don't lay across that child".

Tonight, children are criss-crossing in their various activities. If you are not tracking Julian's every move, it may go okay, it may not. Sometimes in the mayhem of settling in, we each think the other is watching. I mean we're there with friends, he's within peripheral vision. The other thing is sometimes in the mayhem, Julian's not sure what to do when he finds himself in the center of 50 kids running this way and that. I'm scanning and I see him. A child has just fallen down. Oh very nice, he's going over to help him u - oh not very nice, he's going to lay on top of the kid. As he is in motion to do so and has pretty much accomplished this feat, I yell out "Julian!" and at this time the kid's father takes Julian by his upper arm which isn't too much bigger than my wrist and waves the equivalent of a red flag in front of a bull - he exerts a slight pressure. Now I get there of course in .0125 seconds and say "Don't put your hands on my son - didn't you see me coming?!". To which he shoots back "Well that's only the third time". To which I say, "I am here, you see me coming, don't you ever ever put your hands on my child - EVER.". Now at this point I have the Queens Crazy Bitch look and I'm thinking I'll rip his head off and kick it across the field. It seems he senses this and turns and beats a hasty retreat to his yenta wife on their blanket. Luckily Scissors is not there in this moment. We may have been like sharks in a feeding frenzy. Don't get me wrong, I correct Julian, redirect him, don't let him get away with actions with impunity. But here's the thing, he has no idea, there is no malicious intent in his actions. It's a work in process learning all of these social ques. I certainly would never and have never put my hand to someone's child period.

Julian has taken this opportunity and has now struck off on the great squirrel hunt. When I catch him, he does not want to hear about his misdeeds, and is quickly on the path to the old story change "so then it's just pathetic! pathetic!" both hands gesticulating about as he tries to escape around the tree. He doesn't necessarily mean this about the present situation, but these are the words he can call up. As I think back it is just pathetic, no less than 3 people gave him "a look" when he stepped on their blanket or went to sit on a stool with one of their kids. It's downright cruel. I would never be mean to a child, just never.

Believe me, I understand Kathleen Turner's role in the movie Serial Mom.

Next time I won't be so nice.

35 comments:

neva said...

BRAVO!! and remind me to tell you about the time i totally chewed out a kid (i made him cry) for pulling a prank on my very sensitive 12 year old. don't even get me started on how i'd have reacted to anyone, big OR small when it came (comes?)

Serial Mom? only one of my most favorite movies of all times. really... screw with my son? yell at my kid? wear white shoes after August? not on my watch.

you did good, NBFF... glad you're on *my* side!! xoxox

neva said...

...uh... "when it came (comes?)..." to my kids when they were young (or old) i'm a mama bear, and that's a fact.

that's what was supposed to go at the end of that line. more or less. i mean i really can't remember, but i'm sure it was something like that. what? i had to put in *something*, didn't i? too bad it's so freaking easy to hit "publish"... sigh

whatever... LOVED THIS POST!! xoxox

G said...

My only solace is that we hung out, had fun to the point that Julian fell asleep on the blanket under a cool breezy summer sky as the crickets competed with the band. And when I saw that guy with his family, he had some angry puss face on. So - "wherever you go, there you are". G'night.

actonbell said...

{{{{G}}}} I agree, people can be so cruel--and it never ends. A little understanding could go a long way.

brian said...

Morning GQ,

I came over here to thank you for your comments on WA yesterday.

You know my feelings towards Julian, and of all my hot button issues, this one is the hottest. Yes, that ****** got off easy.

Please folks, treat children with respect, please.

Joel said...

It's amazing what your kids tend to bring out...on more than one occasion a teacher or two has been way less than understanding of our kid's issues than we felt appropriate...one going so far as to humiliate boy #2 in front of his class in the most inappropriate way. We shocked our normally mild mannered selves with the level of pain we inflicted upon the offending parties. Ya gotta protect and advocate...it's the law.

weirsdo said...

It's hard for me to know how to respond to this one. I hope you won't get mad at me (please!) if I say that had a child who seemed merely to be acting up stepped on my blanket or lain on my child I would have had no hesitation in telling him not to do that or in pulling him off my child. If it was evident that the child had issues, of course more understanding would be in order, and of course violence (squeezing the arm) is unjustified. But there are so many inconsiderate parents out there that I do believe it is sometimes acceptable to tell other people's kids they need to stop whatever rude or inconsiderate thing they are doing.
Again, I understand that Julian was not being either, but could the other parents tell?

First Nations said...

people are idiots. in large groups they think they can get away with shit, too. would you ever, ever think of putting a hand on someone elses child much less leaving a mark? PLEASE. as if there were knives involved?
i was a 'helper lady' in my daughters primary grades and yeah, i'd meet some children you'd like to drop kick and who maybe even deserved to be drop kicked but do you act on that? NO!
WHY?
BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN.
DUH.
if a little kid needs direction, then yes, you do that, but CORRECTION you take to the parents. period.
(buit you get to take it to the parents with both guns blazing. thats the fun part!)
gracious, just remembering those times gets the ol heart a pumpin. my oh my.

Jenna Howard said...

Grr. A bully is a bully is a bully. What a jerk.

G said...

I'm sorry I haven't been here much today, but I think it's just a topic that I can't lightly address or comment upon and I was busy in the office. Thank you all for your sweet words.

I think what the world is lacking in is understanding. We need everyone to behave a certain way. We have no tolerance for those that don't fit the mold. Well, that's too bad. Do we need to see somebody is visibly handicapped in some tangible way to help us have empathy?

And Weirsdo, leave it to you to inject reason into my emotion :) Look, I realize completely what you're saying, I have seen some unsavory little characters in my park days. Having said that - the blanket is in the park, some almost touching the next. If a child mistakingly steps on yours as Julian did in a misstep, a remark or look is unwarranted, I'm sorry. It's not like the blanket is on your bed and he just hopped up on it. Or that he marched across their blanket. He did so with a stumble in fact. I am sensitive when it comes to my children, but not overly so. Julian was just being a child, he did not hurt the other child as he didn't really land on top of him. He was party inspired by the other kids who were incidentally behaving like well children who were throwing cut grass around and jumping on top of each other. I'm not defending his actions, the other parent most certainly may have seen him as a threat to his child. But don't put your hand on my child. I was running up to grab Julian and apologize.

I myself try not to chastise other's children unless there is a physical harm and the parent is unresponsive. Touch another child? Never.

Oh and FN: make no mistake about it - had this individual left a mark, I would be typing this from the holding pen as I awaited bail.

Pavel said...

g: I'm sorry you had to experience that. I don't know what issues your son has but he's a child, regardless, and unless you were completely and blatanly responsive (which you weren't since you were on your way there) then the father was unreasonable and mean.

My older son is autistic, yet he doesn't look the part. He's quite verbal and looks very normal (nothing like rainman or other stereotypical autistics you see in movies) and so people don't give him any leeway when he does something that's innapropriate, and that's not fair. I know they don't know, but he's still a child and I'm usually very responsive and have an eye on him.
One time (this is funny but it's not) we were at a restaurant and couple sitting next to us got up to go to the buffet. I was at the buffet already and I looked to where my son was; he was sitting at the couple's table eating their food! I was completely embarrassed and told him it was wrong, walked him back to our table. The couple was not anywhere near as understanding and were pretty mean about it when they asked their waiter to throw away their food. I was upset with it because he's didn't know better but he's still a kids, and , besides, it's a buffet! Go get another plate and use the opportunity to be nice. Sheesh.

Anyways, I'm sorry you had to go through that...

G said...

Pavel: Without going into detail, I'll link you to a post that talks about Julian.

I laughed when I read that - the funny not funny part because it is funny when you break it down. Then it is so sad how people respond. Julian deals with learning difficulties in that he has various developmental delays. Looking at him, you only see an adorable little 4 1/2 year old. So when he does things that are a little out of the norm, I am continually flabergasted at the lack of charity within peoples' souls. Long before I ever had Julian or children for that matter, had your son sat at my table, I would have laughed it off and invited him to join us.

Well my dear Pavel, we have what to commiserate over. For now, have a good night and having read this before bed, really made mine. Thank you.

pinky said...

G, I'm proud of you for handling that so well. Children are children and they are learning social norms every, freaking day! I cannot imagine what I would do if someone put their hands on my daughter. Oh, wait, yes I can, but it involves police.

Most parents today are inconsiderate of their children. Or at least that's what I see. A lot of children go unattended and un-appreciated until another child steps in and lays on them. My daughter has a hugging problem. She hugs other kids too much. Most parents are so uncomfortable with this simple sign of affection that it baffles me. And I get looks, but I just smile at her and tell her to let go of______.

I've, luckily, only had two people ever cross the line with my daughter. Bad thing is, they are both family. Good thing is, they are family and I can say whatever I want without the fear of jail.

Anonymous said...

Pinky: Thanks for your sweet words. Weirsdo above injected some interesting persepctive to the post. It gave me pause and actually I really did think(in hindsight of course) "you know, he doesn't want to see his son hurt any more than I do mine." My only real issue with him in particular was of course then turning around and touching a hand to my child. Not very mature of him. And a look of anger directed at my sweet child.

Oh see - we should get our kids together for hugs! I promise I don't mind.

G said...

Apparently I've snuck into my own blog and commented as Anonymous. See what happens when you stay up too late.

G said...

Pavel - Also that looks like it should link, but it didn't. It's the 6/3/06 Here Comes Choo Choo post.

pia said...

I still have those problems, and they're not fun. I'm always standing in the wrong place, getting into peoples way

It's become easier in the past ten years since I have understood that it's a part of Aspergers--something nobody would think that I have by looking at me or talking to me

Julian is lucky, I know that doesn't sound right, because his problems were identified at a young age and he can be helped.

I am so sorry that you and Julian have to go throught this

G said...

Pia, we're very lucky to be living in a time where programs like Early Intervention exist. I can't really say enough about it.

I wish I could say other peoples' attitude or reactions didn't bother me, but any time something like this occurs, I am stung anew.

I'm glad things have gotten easier for you. Life is hectic, people are often insensitive. Here's to my hope that we both don't have to deal with it often.

Enjoy your vacation.

First Nations said...

my three year old casually wandered up to the neiboring table at a resteraunt one day and started eating fries off the guy's plate AS HE WAS EATING FROM SAME.
people just cracked up, including me, and i lifted her away, issue finished.
not everyone is an asshole, thank heavens. people who are shitty to little kids deserve a special place...i say trapped inside the tank of a septic pumper.
i blog with several people who have aspergers. aspergers people, to judge by them, are rockin. they tell things straight out. also somewhat above the average in intelligence, too. (can you say 'masters' degree from OXFORD'? i knew that you could!)
g, hugs and hugs.

G said...

FN: Now those are the kind of stories I like to hear - both the french fries and the master's degree from OXFORD.

Using Pia as my guide, I have to agree with your assessment.

Big hugs right back.

Enjoy the weekend all!

Lights out.

~ good girl ~ said...

If someone ever laid a hand on children I don't as yet have but will someday have hopefully 3 of...errmm...where was I??

Oh, yes. If anyone touches my kids, they're dead. I will smash vodka bottles (I have many) over their heads and claw their eyes out with my heels (This, I have even more). I will then set handsome, intelligent, protective husband on them (Ok, this, I don't yet have. But no matter.)

You got all that? Hokay. Good :p

Smooches,
GG xo

Miz BoheMia said...

I cannot believe I almost missed this post! Dios mio! A post must just not be missed! For shame BoheMia!

I am with you G! My husband sometimes gets worried at the complete about face that can occur from sweet and caring and tender to total lioness-bitch-do-that-again-and-I-will-tear-your-fucking-head-off-right-here-right-now actions/looks/words if anyone big or small dare mess with my child.

Once when we only had Lil' B and she was 1 1/2, we drove down to visit Loverboy's sister and her husband. Loverboy's parents were there too. The sister never went to any trouble tidiying up and had an apartment full of baskets with magazines all over the place, her room had baskets, on the floor mind you, full of chokable items and the like...

At 1 1/2 Lil' B wanted to explore, touch everything, run around... sweet soul had toughed out the ride from SF to LA, and car rides being something she hated which meant there was much shrieking, and did nothing but give these people beautiful smiles... and all in all do things little kids did. The whole time there I had to run after her and say no to everything. They did nothing to make our stay there comfortable and Lil' B did nothing but cry. And god forbid if Lil B made any noise because then she might wake their baby whom they insisted on putting to sleep in the livingroom, the only room where Lil B was "allowed" to be... the breaking point came when Lil' B went into the guest room to play and LovaSista's husband grabbed her to take her out. I walked in and saw him making a face, holding her as though she were this diseased thing by grabbing her by her pants with one hand and her arm the other to kick her out of the room.

Needless to say not much fun was had afterwards and they were told, in no uncertain terms what I thought of them, as I stormed out with Lil' B no longer to return.

After that I hung out in a store in Westwood where some guy had the misfortune of picking on me, and questioning my choice as a parent for a toy I was about to buy Lil' B. Normally I would advise against doing that with me, and if angry already, then RUN! To this day I am thankful to that man for being the object of much pent up anger and a HUGE release as I told him exactly what I thought of him and where exactly he could shove his opinions and to get the fuck away from me and my daughter before I really got mad!

There are numerous such stories and living here in Spain, well, HAH! Let me just say that I am not all that popular!

As for my reaction with other kids? Well, in the US most parents were aware and on top of things and so all was well. Here? Parents barely know where their kids are to begin with and there have been moments were children pick on mine or are violent. I will nicely but sternly give them a warning but if it continues they will get what is coming to them in the form of a nice and loud yelling... not the greatest thing but not my responsibility to nurture the children of those who care not about their upbringing... my responsibility is to my children first...

You did great and I am with you on it all and understand these frustrations. And the worst part of it all is when you have an adult so lacking in compassion and so unaware of the child and their childish ways and ready to pounce down without rhyme or reason!

Serial Mom? I have actually gotten quite a few emails advising me to watch that movie as it "suits me to a tee"! Hmmm... I know it is John Waters and I know the cast though I have yet to see it and now I am intrigued to say the least!

Have a beautiful and peaceful weekend dear G and enjoy the beauty that are your kids! Besos to one fabulous mama!

Miz BoheMia said...

I just read Pinky's comment about her huggalicious daughter and am laughing my ass off as that fits my kids to a tee! Lil' B was a hugger and a kisser since she was teeny tiny and Lil' M is a rougher version of that. He may fall and take you down with him in his hugging attempts but his intentions are tender ones... so far, no problems with that except for on my end when I saw them running either a) towards huge and unknown dogs to hug and kiss 'em or b) dirty and unkempt kids and though that may sound snobbish, I am soo not into that so nuh-uh thank you very much!

And I cannot believe your child having gotten such a reaction over something so sweet Pavel! I would have definitely invited any child that did that to stay and live it up with us fo sho!

And it is not to bring my stuff up but recently I did a post on what I consider a form of child abuse over at the Daily Kos, BIO and Mothertalkers... at MOthertalkers the reaction was one of shock and a desire for change but at the Kos it was heartbreaking and bottom line was that no one gave a damn... it is a bittersweet world we live in where some times things point to a caring society and othertimes the peeks we get into what is out there, like my experience at the Kos (110 comments and most of them absolutely off the cuff and lacking in compassion!), are downright disheartening...

I guess all we can do is breathe, take those babysteps and put up that good fight when we need to!

No?

G said...

Ah my dear GG where were your heels and vodka bottles when I needed them? Although I'm sure my hands were itching to do just that. I have no doubt that handsome protective husband and you and your three babies will all be very happy together :)

MizB: Sorry this is a quick response, my sister is visiting and I just wanted to check in quickly. On a total sidetrack - we made the hippy salad - we all LOVE IT! We even took a picture of it - that's how pretty it looked. It was the centerpiece of our Friday night Shabbat meal and we just had some for lunch with salmon and some other brown rice and veg courtesy of Scissors' excellent culinary skills.

Sidetrack over.

Boy could I feel for you in that discussion of your visit with Lover's family. There is no worse feeling then being in a place that almost seems set up with booby traps for you and your child. Thanks for your thoughtful comments and support. I will get over during the week to read your articles mentioned (although I may not have the stomach for the one on the KOS, but I'll do my best). That's all for now, must be quick as the park awaits us.

Love to all - hope you're all enjoying what is a beautiful weekend in New York.

x0x

Miz BoheMia said...

YAY! You liked it? I am so happy and excited to hear that! Plus to think my ran-out-of-things-so-let-me-see-what-I-can-make-out-of-what-I-have-at-home invention from a decade ago is being eaten in New York now, ten years later!

The full version originally included some hard tofu, cut in small pieces and fried with onions and seasoned (while being fried) with pretty much the same stuff that goes in the salad... it works even better if the tofu is marinated overnight in the three main liquid ingredients...

The funny thing is salmon is a specialty of Loverboy's and he tends to have that salad with his salmon! Small world my friend!

As for the post I wrote, it is the same one that you read over at BIO only that at KOS it got 110 comments so a more in-depth look and sociological type of view was given me as to how people react to such things and it simply wasn't pretty!

Hope you have a lovely weekend with your family dear Gina and bon appetit!

Or as this website told me to say so if it is wrong their fault not mine... Est gezunterhayt... ;-)

Minka said...

G, I worked with an autistic boy here in Iceland for 5 years. This boy had a fancy for legs...man, women or children...it didn't matter. Soemtiime swe went to a swimmign pool or somethign and he would touch passings legs. People would turn and look around, stroke him over his head and continue on their path. It was beautiful sometimes.
But once a man started screaming at him and I went ballistic...
So, i totally understand your rage and why you cry.
Julian has a lovely mom!

G said...

MizB: I realized that that must have been the post at Daily Kos (I don't think I have the stomach for the commentary there on this one). Thanks for your sweet wishes - it was indeed great to visit with my sis. Zay gezunt.

Minka - Even though you're in Iceland, I'm feeling better that there are people like you in the world. Thank you for your sweet words and kind understanding. So glad to see you back in town.

Pavel said...

Mizz Bohemia: That's because you're cool and some folks aren't!

G said...

Pavel - here! here!

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I'm not a big fan of children, but I would never reprimand someone's child. I hope Mr. Sour Puss got his toe run over by a Bugaboo on the way home. ;)

G said...

Anomie: Your honesty is as refreshing and clear as your blue eye.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Thank God you were nice.

You proved your point and the mean dude got the message.

God bless.

G said...

Thank you OO (may I call you OO?) for the reminder of what is important here, no matter what - how we treat others.

Kyahgirl said...

you know g, I doubt you'll even see this comment but I wanted to offer you and Julian my heartfelt empathy. When I see someone about to impinge on my kid I get a bit protective and wary, like the guy in your story, but I always 'check it out' before acting. I'd never assume the kid laying down on mine or doing something with mine had bad intentions. I'd never grab another kid unless they or my child were in imminent danger.

Kids are kids...they beauty of their lack of boundaries is very refreshing.

You and Adrian are great parents and Julian and Tali are great kids.

And really, the thing that gets me stirred up in reading this story is that he's only 4 freakin' years old. why the hell can't adults act like adults and let a kid be a kid, regardless of any social difficulties he may have.

sorry, I'm not coherent but I wanted to comment.

G said...

Of course I will Kyah! I would hate for someone to take the time to write and me not see it.

Kyah - Agreed. I even thought back and wondered - "Hmmm did he feel threatened by Julian?". But come on, I'm running over and Julian is a little boy. I just hope for more undertanding in the world. I try to give it myself. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.