Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing like a little anti-social behavior, right?

The Setting

The park, complete with plenty of playground stuff to do.

The Set-up

My son (a.k.a. "Mr. Anti-Social") heads to a piece of gym equipment. He is headed off at the pass by a little fellow about a year or so his junior.

The Conversation

Little Guy: (to my son) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: (says nothing and walks past the kid while rolling his eyes and making sure their bodies don't bump into each other)

Little Guy: (again, in soft tone) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: (says nothing and looks at me like, "This guy is kidding, right?")

Me: Be nice!

Little Guy: (eagerly, knowing Mr. Anti-Social is in a bit of trouble) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: Eh. (looks at me, then looks at Little Guy) I... don't know. (shakes head)

Little Guy: Let's pway!

Mr. Anti-Social: (backs away) Nah...

Little Guy: Come on!

Mr. Anti-Social: (walks away from equipment) Let's go home.

Me: (to Little Guy's mommy who has been watching this whole discussion without any expression on her tired face) Uh... sorry... my son... uh... sorry...

Nothing like a fun time at the park, right? And I call myself a "lone wolf"... sheesh.

12 comments:

Aerin said...

There's a whole other culture of park moms. Ugh. I'm glad you let little Mr. anti-Social do his own thing.

Mary Witzl said...

That is a tough situation. On one hand, your heart goes out to a little kid who is pathetic enough to have to ask someone to be his friend. But you also feel for your own kid, who knows that you don't just force friendship, you build it by mutual consent. This happened a couple of times with my kids too, and sometimes other mommies got into the act. "Oh come on and play with him! He's only little!" I used to wonder how they'd react if I sat right next to them and asked them to be MY friend. Hmmm.

Aine said...

I guess it could've been worse. He could've said "ewww-- why would I want to be friends with you?"

I agree with Mary. Kids need to learn to respect others who have different needs and interests. It was a good lesson for both of them (I only hope the other mom seized this opportunity to teach...).

ChrisEldin said...

This is really hard. I know a few times I've told my children to be nice and play. But that's not right either.
It's really hard.

Hoodie said...

Ha- mine are the kid who ask anyone to be their friends. I end up having to apologize to other parents for my kids being too overbearing.

SzélsőFa said...

Did you actually watch my son when he was about 4-5 years old?

Beth said...

Oh my gosh, I mean, it's just funny. I laugh, but I know anti-social is not good. It's just, I'm cheering for your son and thinking, "People are just too dang needy."

I am a recluse and I feel like I imagine your son feels when accosted by people and invited places. It isn't, "Oh, I'd like to, but ..." it's "I don't want to, so I won't."

I say respecting your son's boundaries is a good thing for now. If he's a teenager and still like this, then I'd worry, but now ... he likes his space I think.

Richard Zowie said...

Angelique, I was very relieved to see by your photo that you're not the same Angelique I used to work with. That Angelique has turned out to be one of the most unprofessional people I've worked with in journalism. Always liked to talk about inappropriate subjects in the office, including the word that begins with an s and ends with an x.

Cool site. Nice to see you at freelancewritinggigs. that site has been an absolute godsend.

best,
Richard

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh! I have a little anti-social too! That's just nutty. He's always been so slow to warm, and people just don't get him. Actually, with me being such a star struck / "love me, LOOK at me" child, it's hard for me to get him. I'm so outgoing and he's so not. It took a long time to adjust our personalities. Now we sort of mesh ok.

Mary Witzl said...

Angelique, I've written my 'Random Weirdness' post and tried to comment on Breaking the Mirror, but I'm finding that I cannot post anything on WordPress blogs -- they eat my posts! (I've had this happen with three other WordPress blogs)

Just wanted to let you know I finally got around to it! And that I'm in there somewhere, trapped in your spam filter...

Ello said...

Awwwww too cute. See, I am anti-social so I can totally understand why he was hesitant. Sometimes you just don't want to be nice!

The Quoibler said...

Aerin:

Believe me, I couldn't stop him from being himself if I tried!

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Mary:

I know. Being a parent is really weird -- such a tightrope act.

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Aine:

Yeah, but I don't want him to just cowtow to any weirdo who wants to be his friend, either. (Like me.)

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Chris:

Sigh. Guess we just do our best and know that the kids will end up in therapy regardless!

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Hoodie:

Uh, oh... it wasn't your kid, was it? :)

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Szelsofa:

Ha!

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Beth:

I can understand him, too, and that's what makes it tough. He just wanted to do his "thing" at the park, and the other kid was in the way, so to speak.

I'm a lot like my child, so my sympathies definitely run in his direction, though I felt for the other kid, too.

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Richard:

Nope, I typically don't talk about sex life with colleagues. That's just never appealed to me. Sex should be kind of mysterious, not something you chat about over a working lunch.

Nice to see you here!

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Jennifer:

It's funny how they can be so changeable. I usually just try to direct him, then get out of the way!

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Mary:

I have to go read it now!

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Ello:

Oh, believe me -- I understood it, too. But you're supposed to be compassionate as a mommy, right? (sorta? maybe?)

Angelique