M. Giant's
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Saturday, March 31, 2007  

Teasing Boy

Turtle update: I brought her back to the vet yesterday and Dr. M. says her red blood cell count is up from last week. Apparently it's supposed to be around thirty. As of last Saturday, it was twelve. But now it's up to eighteen, which is at least out of the danger zone. She says that last week she wasn't optimistic, but now she is. So am I.

* * *

M. Small met his first asshole last week.

It was too rainy and cold to go to the park the other night, so I took him to the indoor one instead. The indoor park is great because it's this almost completely childproof environment where, if parents want, they can sit off to the side and keep an eye on their kids with a minimum of active supervision. But sometimes the indoor park is not so great because there are occasionally parents who sit off to the side and don't bother keeping an eye on their kids at all.

One of these kids -- I'm guessing he was about three or four, with one of those mean-kid permascowls like Farkus from A Christmas Story -- imprinted onto M. Small for some reason. There are these little saucer-shaped scooters around the gymnasium area, and this kid kept zooming them towards M. Small from across the room and stopping just outside the actionable radius. His mom, meanwhile, was busy studying, which meant that even though I'd only brought one boy to the park, I found myself in charge of two.

A bit later, they were working together collecting these miniature colored traffic cones. M. Small likes to stack them and line them up in long rows, but he knows enough to share. Not so the other boy. He started yelling at M. Small for not letting him have all the cones for the castle he was building. So M. Small just nabbed one and ran away, much to the other boy's noisy irritation.

While M. Small and I were hanging out together at the other end of the bleachers, I'm guessing the other boy got into a bit of trouble with his mom. Because he came over and offered M. Small a couple of cones. M. Small had lost interest in cones by this point, because he was occupied with picking up discarded candy wrappers that some other rude ass had left behind. The other boy made a big deal about how he was going to bring the cones back then. Which would have been fine, except that he didn't. Instead he stood and loomed over M. Small, who responded to this unwelcome invasion of his personal space the way he normally does: with an outstretched hand to steer the offender out of his bubble.

Some might call this "pushing," and this other boy was certainly one of those. He started screaming at M. Small not to push him. "Don't crowd him, and he won't," I told the other boy. I was about to intervene more actively, but the next thing I knew, M. Small was handling it way better than I would have. He just started yelling back, but laughing and smiling as he did so. Like they were playing a yelling game or something, and it was a lot of fun.

The other boy didn't think it was very fun, though. "Stop yelling!" he yelled, which only made M. Small laugh harder and yell louder. "He's not mad," I told the other boy. "He's only kidding. He's just teasing." "I’m teasing you!" M. Small guffawed in agreement. "RAHR! I'm teasing you!" I just sat back and proudly watched my son take down a much bigger jerkweed with humor and mockery.

The other boy failed to see the humor, however. After yelling "No you're not!" at the toddler who was telling him right out that he was only teasing, the kid returned to his mom to tattle on the two-year-old who was upsetting him so by yelling back. The last I heard, the other mom was pointing out to the other kid that he had started it, so that makes up for a lot. Flush with victory, M. Small asked me over and over, "Where's Teasing Boy?" I'm not sure if he was using the term in the sense of a boy who teases, or a boy who only exists for the teasing pleasure of others. I choose to believe it's the latter. Hence this entry.

posted by M. Giant 2:54 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

Sounds like you have a wee diplomat on your hands. Can I borrow him for family gatherings?

By Blogger Rachel, at March 31, 2007 at 4:41 PM  

Awesome.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at March 31, 2007 at 8:06 PM  

I like that M. Small just laughed at him--no better way to annoy a bully!

We have a young asshole at our indoor park too. While his mom sits and chats, he runs around pushing kids down (including babies) just for fun. However, my 3-year-old is much stronger than other kids her age (although she doesn't seem to know it), so when he gives her a shove, she doesn't even move. She just gives him a look like, "What the hell, dude?" As a result, he's been leaving her alone lately.

Young Asshole should consider himself lucky she doesn't understand how much stronger she is, because I think she could take him DOWN.

By Blogger chyna823, at April 1, 2007 at 1:42 PM  

When my stepdaughter was about 4, she had her first encounter with an asshole. This little boy kept chasing her around the playground and trying to kiss her, and she kept pushing him away. Finally, one day she had enough and proceeded to take the boy down, sit on his chest and pound him.

When my husband got to the principal's office (or whatever you call the chief authoritarian in a preschool), the father of the little boy was there, too, demanding that Mandy be punished. Brian let him rant, then looked at him and said, "You're just mad because my little girl beat up your little boy."

Assholes don't appear in a vacuum. They are created.

By Blogger SharonCville, at April 2, 2007 at 7:39 AM  

I hope my future kid is as awesome as M. Small.

By Blogger Teslagrl, at April 6, 2007 at 9:29 AM  

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