Monday, October 03, 2005


I took the Friday off from work. NO, I'm not a lazy bum! I did have plans but they fell through and I don't want to talk about it. Ok so sometimes I'm a lazy bum, but I don't want to talk about that either. I decided to surprise my son and go have lunch with him at school. As a treat I brought him McDonald's, which by the way was breakfast because my son eats lunch at 10:30!! Fucked up, I know. Anyway, I always like going to his school or chaperoning fieldtrips because I get to meet the other kids and my son loves it. However Friday was, well let's just say it was an experience.

I already know most of the kids because we live in a small town and a lot of them have been in one of his previous classes. There is one boy, Adam, who I have not had the pleasure of meeting but I have mentioned him before in this post. Every incident that Ethan has gotten in trouble for, Adam has been his accomplice. My son is a handful as it is and with Adam as his partner in "crime" he's more like a dump truck full. Anyway, I arrived to the school a few minutes early so I waited in the lunch room for his class to walk in. When they did, Ethan's face just lit up with joy. I just love that, it's one of the best things about being a parent. I asked Ethan to show me where his class sits, and this loud, obnoxious boy jumped in front of him and yelled, "OVER HERE!" He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the table. I said, "Hi sweetie, what's your name?" He yelled (I don't think he knows how to talk in a lower volume), "ADAM!" The first thing that crossed my mind was, I should've known.

This boy was wearing jean shorts that were 5 sizes too big and a tee shirt also too big that had G-UNIT printed on it. This explains why he told my son that wearing really baggy jeans and XL tee shirts are cool. He wants to be a rapper! Ethan, Adam and I sat down and Adam says, "Do you like rap?" I say, "Yes, I like all different kinds of music." He asked, "Do you like ICP?" I said, "I don't think I've ever heard of them." He said, "They sing a song called Fuck the World." THAT'S RIGHT. This kid just "matter of factly" looked at me and said the word FUCK. My jaw didn't just hit the floor, but it broke into a million pieces. Ethan's whipped his head in my direction and had this look on his face like, 'OH NO, WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO?' I said, "Don't say that." Adam looked shocked at what I had just said, "Well that's the name of the song." Now, this is not something I'm going to debate with a 7 year old, in the lunch room, of an ELEMENTARY school. "Adam, I don't care if that is the name of the song. It's a bad word. You're not going to say it again while I'm here. And if I find out that you're saying it again, I'm going to call your mom and let her know that you're listening to music like that." He replied all snotty, "My mom bought me the CD, so she knows I listen to it. She also bought me Eminem, The Game, Ludacris, and 50." I didn't say what I wanted to because it wouldn't have been nice, and I don't need some pissed off mom calling me up.

When Ethan got home from school I told him that he is NOT to hang out with Adam anymore. I feel kinda bad for that because they are just kids, but I don't want my son to think that kind of behavior is "cool." If anyone has any suggestions on a different way to handle this situation, please let me know.

Another boy, Zane, was in Ethan's kindergarten class and is also in his class this year. Zane is about a foot taller and 40 pounds heavier than my son. During their kindergarten year, Ethan and Zane were constantly fighting. During one of our parent/teacher conferences the teacher explained to us that Zane comes from a not-so-loving home and that if we could ask Ethan to try and be Zane's friend, it might improve Zane's behavior. We had a talk with Ethan, and things actually did improve. So during a field trip that year, I made sure I gave Zane extra attention, which he responded to amazingly. I brought him an extra snack and let him sit with me on the bus and he just loved it.

Well when Zane saw me in the lunch room on Friday, his face lit up just as much as Ethan's did. He ran over and gave me a big hug and asked if he could sit next to me at the table. I told him that I would love it if he sat next to me and I'd save him a seat. I noticed when he hugged me that his hair smelled horrible, his shirt has holes, his shorts had dirt on them, and his shoes were big enough to fit me and also covered in dirt. I wanted to bring him home, give him a good shower, get him a hair cut, and take him shopping for new clothes and shoes.

After Zane sat down I asked him how he's been, which he said good, but I could tell that he felt otherwise. Then I asked, "So how are things going at home?" He put his head down and said, "My step-daddy left." I asked, "I'm sorry sweetie. Why?" He said, "Because he was cheatin' on my Mamma." I wanted to cry and it took everything I had not to. So I asked, "What about your real daddy, do you get to see him?" He said, "No, I haven't seen him since I was 2 . But my Mamma told me that he cheated on her too." What kind of a mom tells her kid this kind of shit?? I then put my arm around him and told him that if it's ok with his mommy he can come spend the night at our house one weekend and we would take him and Ethan to the movies, skating, bowling, the arcade or where ever they wanted to go. His eyes got so big and he said, "Do you promise Miss April?" I kissed my pinky finger and said, "I pinky promise."

If that didn't break my heart enough, a little girl sitting across from me said, "I just moved in with my Granny and Poppy because my Mommy and Daddy don't love each other anymore." Then the boy sitting next to her said, "My Mommy tells my Daddy that she doesn't love him anymore all of the time. But my Daddy just pushes her away and tells her to shut up." Then another little girl says, "Well I don't even have a daddy, but my Mommy has 2 boyfriends."

I just sat there in utter shock. I don't know why I was so shocked because I know that most marriages don't last these days. And I was their age when my parents got divorced, but I didn't talk about it like they were doing. I'm really happy that they felt comfortable enough to talk to me about it and I hope they turn out alright.

On top of all that, my son said, "Mommy you didn't even hardly talk to me."



schmims said...

WOW! I think it's good that those kids can talk about that stuff. My dad lost his job when I was in the third grade and I went to live with my grandparents. My dad was never there. I don't know where he was. My mom hated living there because it was her in-laws and my grandmother can be pretty tough to deal with. I had stomach ulcers in the 3rd grade because i kept it all in.

The Lily said...

all of that is so horribly sad. Parenting (from what I have heard) is a tough job, but it's about the little things. Aside from the necessities I don't think it takes much to make children happy.

And it's just so amazing to me how selfish people can be to deny their children the little things.

Maine said...

Kids have rights, but they're not adults. If a 7 year old said "fuck" to me (even if I had just said it myself), I might have thrown him out of a window. Double standard? Yes. They're kids. They've still got to learn respect.

Getting Ethan away from that kid is probably a good idea. That boy needs some boundaries and a few smacks in the mouth. And for his mommy to stop buying him that Insane Clown Posse bullshit.

Aren't parents supposed to be authority figures? Aren't we supposed to keep the kids in line when they won't do it themselves? Am I wrong?

Nessa said...

oh how sad. I hope you get to eat lunch with them more often - I'll bet that you lit their weeks up!!

april said...

Schmims-Oh my, I'm so sorry that you had ulcers at such a young age and that your dad was never there. Maybe that is why he is so hard on you like you mentioned in one of your posts.

Clairebell-You heard right. It is hard. Kids are so easily influenced, which is one of the hardest things to "fight."

Maine-NO, you are not wrong at all. Too many parents are not authority figures in their childs life. That sucks!

Nessa-I wish I could eat lunch with them more often. Unfortunately work makes that hard for me to do. But when I can, I do.

Kira said...

Well, if you really think that Ethan won't hang out with Adam...I think he will continue to do so, but only at school where he can get away with it. Sometimes, telling them no way to a friend makes them want the friend even more. I have no idea what I'd do, but since this is a brand new friendship (and not one that has gone for years), it MAY work to tell him to separate from Adam and reinforce it. Reinforcing it would be offering him plenty of opportunities to play with kids you approve of instead of Adam, thereby forging stronger bonds with those kids.

The stories those kids were telling you were honest and forthright. My daughter's pretty honest about what has happened too, and I always nod approvingly when she decides to discuss her parents' situation with her friends. It helps for them to get it out. I'm still sad for them, though. I wish all kids (including mine) could have what I had: two parents who adored each other and still do, never fussing, always in love, raising their kids. Hey, I still may get that out of Alex, though!

With the "Fuck" issue, what I've told my children is that just as the law demands they be 21 to drink alcohol, the rule is that only when they are much older can they curse ;) That way when I slip up, I remind them that I'm old enough to both drink alcohol AND say crap at will! They seem to get it and listen and obey. Whew!

pickett said... just amazes me what parents will burden their kids with. It is hard enough when your parents separate and you are older, they tell you stories and try to get you on their side. But to try these things with a young child, that should be considered cruel and unusual punnishment.

I agree, if you encourage the time with children you approve of, hopefully, your son will steer away from Adam.

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