Hereafter to be known as BYS. Because, clearly, typing the boy in the yellow shirt and reading it would become quite tedious by the end of this post. And I'm pretty sure this post can be tedious enough as it stands on its own.
As a refresher I will remind each of you that we went camping over Memorial day. There was fishing and golfing and croquet and general good times for all....
I learned this year that apparently, some people do not properly supervise their obnoxious children. Mind you, I try to supervise my kids as little as possible, but fortunately for the rest of the world they are not rude and obnoxious. Just ask anyone! Look at that face! Could you ever perceive that as anything but sweetness and light? Of course the little girl in the above picture is not actually my child, but her face is pretty stinkin' sweet!
Another family was having a family reunion at the pavilion in the park we were staying at. There were only 3 kids with them, 2 sisters and a brother. They crashed the fishing party my dad was supervising. I came along with refreshments to see BYS using my girls pole. No big deal, I'm happy to share...Until he began to say "This is the stupidest pole set up. The bobber is too light for the weight. It keeps sinking so I have to reel it in. That is why I'm not catching any fish."
My dad patiently explained that this was our very last bobber as the rest were strung up in branches over our head, much like Christmas lights, but hopelessly out of reach. Also, we didn't have any smaller weights, so the bobber that we swiped from my cousins tackle box was all we had.
He continued to complain. And be rude. And generally get on my nerves. My dad ended up going back to camp...
"This pole is stupid..." He started up again.
I had enough. "Did you bring a pole with you?"
He looked completely dumbfounded by this question. "I never bring a pole with me."
"Well, if you don't bring your own fishing equipment, you can't complain about how they are set up. You have to just use what's provided."
The little BYS didn't get the hint and continued to complain.
Supper time rolled around and we headed back to camp. He and his sisters followed.
And proceeded to call each other names like "pervert" and use other such lovely indecent for small children vocabulary. By this time Studmuffin, his brother, and wife were back from working cattle in the heat..
"My son does not need to hear those words. He learns enough stuff at school."
Glad for the excuse, I got up and calmly walked over to the merry go round where the inappropriate language was taking place. "Excuse me. We do not allow our children to use those words or call each other names. If you are going to talk that way you need to go back over to your group." And this statement was met by a chorus of "yes ma'ams."
I returned to my hot dog, feeling like a cranky Mrs. Wilson, yet confident that they would now straighten up and act right for fear that the mean lady would come back and correct their manners again.
I set up our croquet set where I got to teach a new generation the ins and outs of this highly sophisticated lawn game. It was my 12year old nephew, my 8 year old nephew, my cousin's 8 year old son, and my five year old niece, and myself.
The BYS and his sisters showed up to watch the action.
And started throwing mulberries at us.
"Please do not throw mulberries at us. It will stain our clothes."
"Umm, these are blackberries, not mulberries," and BYS's sister rolled her 10 year old eyes at me....
I seriously think sweat popped out on my forehead I was so annoyed with these ill mannered little wretches..."Actually, blackberries grow on a bush. Those are on a tree. And they're smaller. That means they are mulberries." And I proceeded to trounce the little kids at croquet...
Yes, I could have let them win, but where's the fun in that? Who wants a hollow victory? And, truthfully, I totally thought my oldest nephew was going to beat me, but at the last minute I had a lucky stroke and won....
I went over to get some water and celebrate my win...
My cousin Ben and his roommate approached me. "Hey, did you see that kid in the yellow shirt?"
"Yeah. He's been driving me bananas all day."
"Well, he just broke your croquet set."
"He just took a mallet and swung it at the post as hard as he could, broke it off, jerked it out of the ground, and hammered it in upside down, then took off running as hard as he could."
Gentle Reader, there was nothing gentle about me at that moment. I was fur.i.OUS!! My cousins Matt & Ben got a huge kick out of it. I sat down to try and calm down for fear I'd go chew out a kid I didn't even know, and they started going into detail of exactly how he did it, got me all riled up then said, "Man, we feel like tattle tales now...But you should have seen it! It was unbelievable!"
Matt continued to laugh at me and joke about how hard I was swing my foot with one ankle crossed over my knee and such. "What's the big deal? It's just a croquet set!"
"It's the principle of it! He didn't even apologize! He's been rude all day, then he shows up and breaks our stuff and runs off! He better not come over here again, or I'm going to find his mother."
No sooner did I finally calm down, and the little BYS showed up to borrow my cousin Jaime's little girl's bike...
I jumped out of my chair and yelled "NO!!!"
Then, I took a deep breath and called him over away from everyone else...."Pretend you're Dad....Pretend you're Dad..." I mentally chanted to myself. My dad seldom lost his temper growing up. Instead he'd talk in this calm, quiet rational voice, and interrogate you and express his displeasure in your actions and by the time he was done you'd be a puddle of goo at his feet groveling for forgiveness. It was a very effective technique.
"Did you break my croquet set?" I quietly asked.
"I didn't mean to." His voice was shaky.
This was getting off to a guh-reat start..."Okay. Well, the thing is, when you come over and play with other people's stuff, and break it, it's bad manners to not come and admit it. And apologize."
"I didn't mean to." His blue eyes are like saucers in his little freckled face surrounded by a cloud of white blonde hair...
I'm starting to feel guilty that I'm totally chewing this kid out who doesn't even belong to me, I have no clue what is name is, and yes, my voice is calm,but I'm so angry I'm all quivery inside...
"Well, that's okay. Next time admit what you did and apologize..."
The relief flows over his little body. His shoulders relax. His face clears up...
"So. Can I ride the bike?" He asks in an enthusiastic little voice.
"NO! You can't ride the bike! (my voice is no longer calm, and conversational, just so ya know) It's not even my bike to give you permission to ride, but you can't ride it! Go ride your scooter."
And he ran off.
And I felt better to get all of that off of my chest.
But the little BYS still didn't apologize. And he still continued to hang out at our camp.
Clueless that he had ever done a single thing to get on my nerves.
Obviously I need to work on my dad's verbal confrontation technique.
Or, I could just stick to the redneck screaming across the neighborhood technique I've mastered over the last nine years...