Monday, June 30, 2008

My Three Year Old Wears Rose Colored Glasses

We spent the day with family the other day. It was nice. I love my family. I enjoy seeing them. I enjoy having my kids interact with them. It's fun.

It can also be trying. There are a select few family members who are just not nice individuals. This is not about them. I could write a book about them. A textbook. An Abnormal Psychology textbook about them. C-R-A-Z-Y!

This is about my son and my cousin.

I come from a large family. My youngest cousin is 6 or 7 I believe. He's young. My oldest cousin is in their mid-30s. There are a lot of us. My three year old is drawn to my youngest cousin, we'll call him A. The boy is drawn to A because they are both kids. A is another playmate for the boy. Someone to have fun with in a party full of adults. Makes sense to me.

A does not see it this way. I really don't know how A sees it.

Every time we see A he has his handheld game system. It's the same one that the husband has. It's the same one that the boy loves to watch other people play on because they play better than him. He just loves to sit and watch people play. That's it.

Apparently, A does not like that. Apparently A does not like having the boy around. Apparently A only wants my son around him on his terms. A does not welcome the chance to play with the boy. As a matter of fact A treats the boy like, well, shit. And it makes me feel a lot of things.

Watching A walk away from my son on Saturday and watching him tell my son to leave him alone and watching him ignore him made me so mad and at the same time very sad.

My son didn't realize that A was being mean. He didn't pick up on the fact that A just wanted to do what he wanted to do and not deal with my son. The boy didn't get that A wanted to be left alone to play his game and watch TV.

Then the pool came out and the giant sprinkler ball. All of a sudden A was all about the boy. All of a sudden A wanted to play and have fun. Not necessarily with the boy but with the boy's toys. Part of me wanted to go up to A and tell him he didn't get to play with the boy's pool and cool ball. Part of me wanted to shake A and tell him that he doesn't realize how fun the boy is and how friendly he is and how he just wants to play. I was just so pissed.

Children are so innocent. My son had no idea that A was being a little jerk. He had no idea that A didn't want to play with him or have him around. I did. My husband did. Everyone did. It made us mad. It made me sad to watch my son being ignored and pushed out of the way by someone who is family. It upset me that I couldn't go over and change A. I couldn't go over and shake him and tell him to stop being such a snob and jerk to my kid. The whole situation made me sad.

At the same time I was glad that my son couldn't see what A was doing. I was glad that he had no idea that A was being a jerk and he just kept following him around. I was glad that my son could not be hurt by A's actions because he didn't realize what their intentions were. I hate when my son experiences pain and I especially hate it when it comes at someone else's hands. There are going to be so many more times that my son will know exactly what is going on. When he will realize that he's being excluded. When he will see that someone like A, or A himself, is ignoring him and not wanting him to play. I can only hope that we teach him that it's not ok to do that to other kids. That it's not ok to make someone feel that way. That it's not ok to exclude someone just for the sake of exclusion.

I was so sad for my son on Saturday. It still makes me sad to think about it. My son's innocence is a precious quality that I know he won't have forever but for now, I am glad that he is immersed in it. I am glad he sees the world and those around him with mostly rose colored glasses, I hope they stay on for a long time.


Helen E.M. Wright said...

We have a similar problem. We too are thankful that our son does not see what's going on but at the same time, one incident happened where our son after being bullied started to hit back. We just let it happen. We were tired of our son (who is younger) always being on the end of this behaviour.
I do see, in years to come, our son not wanting to be around the child. At the same time I have to keep telling myself it's not the child's fault, it's the parenting.

LunaNik said...

OMG, I could have written this post. My daughter LOVES other kids (you saw that at the park that day) so at family functions she runs off to play with her older (5 & 7) boy cousins who taunt her and exclude her as much as possible. She doesn't see that they don't want her around. She doesn't see that they are being mean. It's heartbreaking to watch. I can't wait until she's in tae kwon do and then I can instruct her to go and demonstrate her kicks on her poor, wimpy, unsuspecting cousins whenever they are being mean! =)

the MomBabe said...

ugh, I HATE that. We have a huge family and I just can't stand it when my nieces/nephews are being rude like that. I cannot handle the mean spiritedness.

Alison said...

I can totally understand what you went through...I have felt the same way with my daughter at is very painful...did his parents intervene at all, or were they aware of the situation at all??

Stella said...

Helen- I have to agree with you on the parenting. That's why I am so conscious of how my son treats other kids and plays with them.

Luna- Our kids can take on everyone together. They'll be like the bully-bashing team! We'll get them little uniforms and all! :)

mombabe-I think that's really what got to me. He was just so mean. I guess I don't realize that kids really do have that capacity. Maybe they aren't as innocent as I think!

alison- I don't know that his parents were aware of the situation. I think they have witnessed it in the past but I think they brush it off as him just being older and not wanting to be around a 3 year old. They really didn't intervene at all and that bothered me a lot, too!

Michelle said...

It is so difficult when we realize that we can not shelter our children from all the pains of the world.

I found your blog through another, and I am enjoying being here.

Immoral Matriarch said...

I cannot stand it when children are rude to other children. I work every day with my girls on manners, fair play, sharing and politeness. They will NOT be 'A'.

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