Sunday, March 08, 2009

Flashbacks and Follies

A couple weeks ago I had a flashback involving a fourth grade student who happened to be a child I had taken care of in a daycare setting 8-9 years ago.

This last week I subbed in a class of fourth graders and I discovered one of the students had the same Russian last name as my elementary school best friend. I quizzed the girl about this person, thinking that perhaps she was related. Turns out, she is. She seemed confused at first, but then told me information that sounded like it could actually be her. My former best friend turned out to be this girl's aunt. I reiterated to this girl that I had wanted to get in touch with her aunt for a long time, but couldn't find any information on her. Now I know she still lives in this other state, is married, and has a daughter.

Friday night I walked into a babysitting night that was a bit of chaos. Dad taking the 4 year old to a class, leaving me with the 1 year old, Mom arriving home from traveling, and the parents taking two hours to get ready and leave the house. I sat in the living room waiting for them to finish their preparations and eat their dinner. It was... awkward. Of course it was only made more awkward by the mom talking down to me. I have no problem cleaning up the kitchen, or helping a mom figure out what has been happening when she's been gone, but I absolutely loathe when they treat me like the 14 year old girl from down the street. All I can think in my mind is that I've taken care of children longer than they've had children.... Oh, well.

Of course, what really puts me off is the eight year old kid at another house that I've seen 4-5 times in the last two months. He's an obstinate kid and our personalities do NOT mesh. When I explain consequences to him (you can't have any ice cream unless you eat a piece of pizza) or directions, he does not communicate that he's heard or understood what I'm saying, and I repeat it. He hates it when I repeat these things, and insists that I'm "bothering" him. Then he mutters under his breath "idiot". Well... I kinda lost it.

I had to give him a stern talking to. Any eight year old knows better than to call an adult, or any person, an idiot, and I refuse to take it. I also told had to tell him that I don't like talking to, or being friends, with people who call me an idiot. And I'm not sure my actions were correct or not, but I ignored him when a few minutes later he brushed it off and tried to make friendly conversation with him. Finally I said "I don't enjoy having conversations with people who are going to call me an idiot".

He finished his pizza, and then moved on to something else. A minute or two later, I simply said to him "______, I really don't appreciate it when you call me an idiot. Okay?" He said okay.

I have a heard time with this. I can deal with screaming babies for hours on end. I can deal with 4 year olds who refuse to follow directions. I am horrible with eight year olds who are rude. Aye yi yi.