My daughter and her three new friends from across the street stood at the end of the man’s driveway giggling. And, dare I write it, asked if they could have a stroller that had been left outside for weeks.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” he yelled.
And “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOUR PARENTS?” he continued.
To a group of four girls that range in age from eight to 12.
We know this man has children, I also know he is married and that his wife is a moron, too. When I arrived at their house to have a frank discussion about 1) why adults should never verbally attack children 2) to get his side of the story and 3) to politely move on, I found no one home. I left a note asking for the man to call me, tucked it into the front door and left.
The tough guy had his wife call me.
Who let me know that because her middle school-aged child is bullied at school, her husband doing the same thing to neighborhood children was okay in her book. I was told to never tell her husband “what to do” and that I was not to disparage the “man she loved” and that this incident was all my fault because “your kid was at our driveway.” Then she hung up.
Good luck having YOUR kid make friends now.
As a new family to the neighborhood, I said–without being overly mean–that I was sure this wasn’t the kind of introduction they wanted. Couldn’t their daughters and these three girls all play together? After all, my daughter is new to the neighborhood too.
Judging by the response I received, what was more important to them was being “right” even though they were absolutely, 100% wrong.
And then came the lesson. The “teachable moment” so-to-speak for me to explain to my daughter that not all adults deserve respect, that not all of them are good people and that this particular house was to be avoided and so were the children who live inside it.
“More so than anything,” I said “we let it be known that their actions were wrong, but sometimes you can’t convince or make other people change, sometimes you have to move on and be the bigger person.”
We can’t be friends with everyone. There are some people in this life not worth knowing.
What a bummer of a lesson, but if she can understand it now she’ll be way ahead of the curve.