Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What would you do?

Let's say, hypothetically, you're the mother of a child whose speech and vocabulary have advanced light years beyond his ability to determine what is and isn't socially appropriate. Let's say that child is also not even a little bit shy, ever, not even when he's in a room full of total strangers. Let's say he walks up to the barista at Starbucks, who happens to be a person of color, and asks her "are you brown?" Just what do you do in that situation?

Then, let's say later on in the same day, he sees a tomboyish, possibly butch lesbian at Party City and asks her "are you a boy?" (But he says it in a really cute way, because he's really cute and the way he says stuff is cute with a strong hint of Mississippian, so it sounds like "arrrre yeeew a boiyee?") What is your next move?

And then, you know, hypothetically, the next day, you're at lunch and you hear him ask someone "where's your hair?" and you turn around and see him chatting with a woman who has lost all of her hair, presumably to cancer. What would you do?

Let's move away from the hypothetical child's vocabulary. Remember how he's not shy, even in a room full of strangers? Well, let's say you've started going to a new church. You know some people there, and these people love your child and talk about him frequently and so his reputation kinda precedes him. Well, let's say your child is very, very unsteady on his feet. Walking isn't the easiest thing in the world for him. As this hypothetical child is walking around, telling everybody "Mah name is ACE" and "Ah'm a boiyee," he has the tendency to stop himself by grabbing the nearest available steady thing, which in a roomful of people happens to be a handful of butt. Let's say that by your 3rd week at this church, your son has grabbed the butt of half of your fellow churchgoers. Really, what do you do?

Is this boy hypothetical? Have you met Ace?

14 comments:

HEATHER said...

Honey, just be honest, and apologize to the offended person, and say something to the effect, "I'm so sorry, we are working on what's appropriate and what's not."
For what it's worth, in my experience little boys in general are difficult to civilize, especially when they find burps and farts funny. Maybe you could talk to him and let him know about it's not nice to touch people's butts even if he is trying to steady himself. Maybe you could also mention to some of the church people that if they see him coming to maybe put out a hand for him to grab. Try not to be too horrified about this, most little ones do grab an occasional rump or boob. I'm sure his "grabbees" understand that he's not trying to cop a feel. He's such a sweetie pie and so dang cute, I'm sure he doesn't offend as many people as you fear.

Kayra said...

As the mother of two boys, my advice is don't sweat it. He is young and even if you explain to him what's appropriate and not, he may not 1)pay attention, or 2) care. talking from experience here.

HEATHER said...

Kayra is very correct!

Suburban Princess said...

People forgive little kids. Simple and easy. Now if you post about your husband grabbing all the butts in church....

Allison said...

Let's just say, hypothetically, that EVERYBODY LOVES ACE! Stop being silly.

Mommy said...

Nothing mentioned here is inappropriate so I doubt any of the people he encountered were offended. They probably wanted to pick him up and cuddle him to pieces! Now, come back and blog when he walk up to a very large person and ask "Why are you so fat?" Then I will tell you my trick I used to melt into the ground when my little neice did the same.

Katy said...

I'm guessing that "die laughing" isn't the answer you were hoping for. Ever tell you about the time I almost fell at a party, reached out, and grabbed a man's "business?" Even worse, he thought I was coming on to him. Stellar!

Laurie said...

Galen has done most of these things, except he grabs breasts (and he is NOT that tall...) Person of color parent response (asked of our very patient and understanding UPS man) - I asked Galen 'Why are you white? We're all different colors - you, me, and Aunt Lisa are all different colors. Makes the world more interesting!" Baldness parent response "Not everyone has hair. Remember when Gramma lost her hair b/c of medicine she was taking, and everyone has different hair styles, too." You're quick on your feet, Stacey - just keep thinking 'he's cute - people like him' and then you'll free up your mind from worry, and be able to think FAST of responses. ;)

i'm black betty said...

he's three, sweetie...no harm, no foul. the diva screamed across walmart one time asking if a woman (who looked boyish) was a boy...and even pointed at he.? know what i did? i ran!!!! LOL! cause she could have kicked my a**!!!

White Baby said...

I like Heather and kayra's response.

Watercolor said...

I think you have to see what the reaction of the other person is. If they are offended, apologize and say "he's three and still learning appropriateness, I'm very sorry" and remove Ace from the area. If they engage with him or smile at hime, let it be and let them talk.

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Hmmmm . . . a couple of years ago, I was hurrying through Miseltoe Marketplace, swinging my arms, when I accidentally kinda grabbed this guy's butt. (Hey, it was really CROWDED in there!)

I turned red and apologized profusely. He dipped his head, looked over at me devlishly, and told me that it was quite all right.

All that to say that I'm sure nobody really minds! I can't imagine somebody not falling in love with that kid within seconds of meeting him!

RhondaLue said...

awesome! I haven't mastered the "what you do" part yet. My 3 yr old associates everyone by the color of their shirt. She'll say, "mom that yellow girl is cute" or "the red man smiled at me" What would you do if you are in a dental office waiting room and a girl that just HAPPENS to be dark skinned is wearing a BROWN shirt took your 3 yr olds little game away and the 3 yr old yells really loudly, "That stupid BROWN GIRL took my game" OY Vay. onlookers thought she was a racist.

The joys of being a mom, right?! lol

Mommy Housewife said...

Stacey, the people at that church LOOOOOVVVVEEEE kids so much. Most of them have kids. ALL kids do this stuff. I PROMISE!!! When Jasmine was doing this about the age 3, i always, "oh, sorry! you know how kids are!" because they do. and you can even add "he just doesn't like falling and he's a little person"

but seriously, i used to think "these people are gonna think my kid is rude" no, its a stage. they're learning all different things and they are VERY curious. don't worry about it. He's not being rude by asking the questions, just curious. and as long as you seemed shocked or whatever, people know you didn't tell him to ask these questions and you are both automatically forgive...by most people.

ps the word verification is "foldi" thats what about to do with the laundry, according to joey.