Realization: I Don’t Hate Kids
Last night I was reminded that I don't dislike children. (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with not particularly enjoying the company of kids.)
SS12 had a baseball game and we took our little dachshund with us. He's incredibly sweet and adorable and always gets a lot of attention when out in public. Before the game, Dog and I were standing a little behind the bleachers when two little girls (ages about 8 and 5) walked up. The older politely asked "May we please pet your dog?" I said of course and we all knelt down, they let him smell them, then petted him gently. We chatted about him a bit. Then, the oldest thanked me for letting them pet him and they ran off to play. After the game, the older one ran over to say goodbye.
Thry were adorable, well-mannered and a pleasure to interact with.I remembered: I do actually like kids.
Now, they could be little terrors at home for all I know. But five minutes with two little girls I don't know was more pleasant and rewarding than any of the time I've spent with SS. They were engaged and engaging. Even when he was younger, SS was not.
He's regularly got an attitude. He's a know-it-all. He's spoiled and entitled and lazy. To be fair, SS is 12, nearly 13. That is not an attractive age, in any sense of the word. But he's always been that way, which makes me think it's not just his age.
Yesterday he came home with his report card -- all As and one B. Very good. DH was effusive with praise. I congratulated him but wasn't quite as excited. Why? He's a very smart kid. But last year, when he didn't like having to put in effort, DH and BM let him drop from advanced to regular level classes. He's not exactly being challenged. At all. He's below his actual skill level.
But, good grief, the know-it-all stuff drives us both nuts. He's frequently wrong about things, yet digs in his heels. Or, if he disagrees with something we say, he's a little snot about it. A couple of days ago, the news was on and DH asked SS if they were talking about the war in Israel at school. SS responded like DH was an idiot "No." DH said right, SS wasn't in history this year (he was last year). SS was scornful "this isn't history. Besides, our books were old." DH and I were patient and said our teachers would often bring up current events and, since he learned some about Middle Eastern history last year, it might have come up had he still been in that class. SS just said "No it wouldn't." in a very snotty tone.
Again, he's at that age where kids can be little &$;(&&6. But he's always had an element of it. Recently, DH has noticed more attitude at baseball. When SS screws up or strikes out or something, the coach will point out what he should have done (you know, actual coaching). He's had the same coaches for four years and they're great -- they don't yell or berate, are good teachers, and put together a fantastic team. Every time a coach says something, he walks away rolling his eyes. Normal 12-year-old. Except I think it goes deeper.
This kid cannot accept any sort of correction or criticism. He wants to be on his school's track team in the fall and baseball in high school. I kind of hope he keeps up the attitude issues because he might have actual consequences. Coaches aren't going to put up with a little snot who won't listen or follow directions.
I will say, yesterday DH pointed out a standardized test where he was 94th percentile for math, SS smugly said "That means only six kids in the whole country did better than me." So, maybe he's not as smart as I think he is...