We had some of the boys' school friends over for a New Year's celebration. Overall, it was fantastic. Joe made up a scavenger hunt, which they sprinted through with great enthusiasm. Generous bags of candy and those little "popper" bang-snap thingies that pop you throw 'em on the ground were the prizes. We roasted s'mores over the firepit, and they played Wii, Legos, and Beyblades to their hearts' content.
Against my better judgment, I had let the boys extend a spur-of-the-moment, spoken invite to a particularly trying neighborhood kid, who happened to be in my house at the right time yesterday. Let's call him Jack. Oh, we were nervous. We've generously brought along Jack on several major outings, and had him over for countless hours playing in our house--all ending with his inability to be a reasonably kind human being. On independent accounts my husband and I extracted various promises from young Jack yesterday that he would behave nicely at our party, given that he is, almost objectively, a budding douchebag.
Suffice it to say he did not. Even after he had been gently ushered home (after all the other kids had been picked up), there was douchebaggery. And his parents weren't sorry.
The text conversation that followed between his dad and me went approximately like this:
Me: Your kid is throwing poppers [fireworks] at the doors of my house and leaving marks
(a few minutes elapse)
Lovely Neighbor Dad: My "kid" is on his way to clean it up and apologize with one of the other kids
I cleaned it up myself and told the LND to save his kid's apology; I was too annoyed to hear it right then. The other boy who was involved came knocking, said he was sorry, and offered to make amends. Most importantly, the parents cared enough to text me an 'I'm sorry". It is good to have good neighbors.
Now, it would seem that the latter is a case of the apple falling not too far from the tree. The emerging 'baggery of one second-grader who lives across the street (and the ongoing douche-cruise-shippery of his dad) is just a price we pay for happening to buy this particular home at this particular time in the course of human events. Besides, there was another kid involved (though not one I had just entertained for the last 16 hours). My kids are far from perfect; they regularly offend, and I am sure I regularly make mistakes in my attempts to discipline them. Why, then, should this incident make me so angry?
Possibly because I might be pregnant. We should find out in approximately 1-2 business days, or when peeing on a stick might elucidate things. And, as my friends who have children may recall, there is no rage like pregnancy rage. When I was pregnant with Elise I almost threw our blender away, free-throw style, because it couldn't (or wouldn't!) grind ice to my satisfaction for a smoothie. Joe pretty much had to hold me back from our kitchen appliance like an impending bar fighter. I am not proud of having been so irrational, and let it be known that the kids were not awake to witness the outburst, nor did this level of hormonal anger happen more than once for me.
If I am (and I do hope I am), I swear on a vinyl copy of Waylon & Willie
that I will treat all the children real good. Especially the ones that ain't so easy to love.