Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In which I sound like an old fart.

My nephew Dr. Jones will graduate high school in a couple of months. In addition to being the smartest person I've ever met ever in my entire life, he's also in the top five of the most hilarious people I've ever met ever in my entire life. He's a straight A student. Tip top of his class. All around a really good kid.

He's more than that, though.

He's the Boy Child's best friend (per the Boy Child who doesn't take such a distinction lightly). He's kind-hearted, intelligent beyond his book sense, compassionate, and strong in his convictions (and I could really learn a lot from him in that area). He's writes beautifully, far better than his Aunt Steph could ever dream of. He's one of the brightest spots in my life and many, many times he has made me proud to know him. Proud to be related to him.

You may think I'm saying all of this because I'm related to him. I promise you that I have less enthusiastic feelings about many people I'm related to (including my own spouse from time to time. No offense, hon). Because my nephew isn't just a good kid. He's a good human being. There is a lot to be learned from people like him (that is if he's not the only one left) and the fact that he's in the world gives me a small glimmer of hope for the future.

Which is good. Because most kids his same age? Seem to be huge douches.

I knew that purple jerkwad Barney was a bad idea, what with telling children constantly how special and fabulous they are. This, along with giving everyone a trophy and never letting anyone lose, has created a whole bunch of kids who think that they are perfect and entitled. Granted, most parents probably don't have to smoke their children's butts at Monopoly because "it builds character to lose", but still. The whole "I'm special" thing is really starting to grind my gears.

Take yesterday, for example. I'm driving home and tragically ended up behind a school bus. The high school bus, if you want to get all specific about it. The bus drops about eight kids off at a side street and then the eight kids LITERALLY walk four wide, covering the entire street, so cars could not pass them going either direction.

They continued walking, carrying on a conversation, blissfully ignoring the fact that they were keeping at least three cars from reaching their destination. Not to mention they were on the STREET. Where CARS DRIVE.

Two days ago I was driving to the gym and two girls who appeared to be about fifteen were standing in a driveway of a house that I was about thirty feet from. They both looked directly at me and my car, which was traveling at approximately thirty miles an hour IN THEIR DIRECTION and then stepped right out into the path of my car. I literally had to swerve to avoid hitting them. I have no idea if they were trying to commit suicide via Stupid Dumbassery, but it very nearly worked for them. The best part though, was that after I swerved to avoid them, they then flipped me a bird. That was awesome.

In the last month, I've been nearly hit three time by teenagers backing their cars into the street, EVEN AFTER THEY LOOK AND SEE TRAFFIC IS COMING. I suppose in their world it's not only NOT ILLEGAL to back into the street, but lo, everyone must magically stop for you because you are somehow more special and better than everyone else.

I don't get this. I really...I just don't get this.

When I was a kid and rode my bike, I was allowed to ride in the street. If a car came by I was to immediately exit my bike and stand in the ditch until the car passed. We didn't have sidewalks. I literally stood in a ditch. There was none of this "share the road" stuff that bikers who cut in front of me to go through the guard shack at work first understand so well. It was, "Get out of the road or you'll get killed". And that was it.

And I did it. I'm no fool.

The worst part is, I really think most parents don't give two craps if their kids act like this. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that when two boys on the street next to ours tore down part of our fence and my spouse went to speak to their mother about it she told him to go f himself and that "my kids will do whatever the f they want". (She didn't say f, but this is a family blog. Or some crap) Jason called the police and the police came and guess what? She told the police office to go F HIMSELF. Right in front of her kids who now think that this behavior is not only okay, it's encouraged. Add that to the people who drive fifty-five miles an hour through the school parking lot and don't even stop at the crosswalks where there are, you know, CHILDREN trying to cross and then glare at me menacingly as I attempt to park in a parking space because they want to park their car crosswise covering three parking spaces so little Jr. Baby Sonofabitch doesn't get any rain on his new boots? I think basically it's just going to get worse.

Lord knows my kids aren't perfect. I can assure you that they are pretty far from it and their crap really stinks too. But, I would like to let the citizens of my county know that I have literally threatened to beat the taste out of their mouths if they ever behave in such a way. And if I found out they did? I would. Because let me also assure you that if they behaved that way in front of me? They would have to unzip their pants to brush their teeth because I would knock them down as many notches as necessary.

Also, I know this makes me sound two hundred. I'm not. But I'd rather be two hundred and say things like, "In my day..." than be an entitled little twatwaffle.

So thanks, Dr. Jones. May you someday teach classes to your peers on how to be a decent human being.


Allie said...

I'm so with you on this post, I hate that every kid gets a trophy, that's stupid and doesn't prepare them for life. I beat my kids at games all the time just so they understand that you can't win all the time and you need to be a gracious loser. I lose faith in humanity daily because of all the crappy parents I see, kids behave horribly these days and I would never stand for it. My kids aren't perfect but so help me, if they ever stand in the street like you described I would embarrass the crap out of them and escort them everywhere.

velocibadgergirl said...

I was concocting something intelligent to say, but then I got to "Jr Baby Sonofabitch" and nearly died laughing.

(And your neighbors, WT holy F.)

LzyMom said...

It really seems like common courtesy and common sense are in short supply. But I have found this behavior in old people as well.

I make my 3 year old look both ways before we cross the street. I make her say excuse me when we walk in front of someone, etc. At this point she has better manners than her father.

I think there's this elusive quality called "personal responsibility" that many people have forgotten about/avoid. Ergo the eleventy billion lawsuits each year.

So what happened after she told off the police??? Will we see you on Judge Judy??? :)

Jill said...

It's not old, it's just common courtesy, common sense, respectfulness. You get idiots with every generation, however there seem to be a lot of the "entitleds" in the 10-25 age group. I would tell you about my neighbors, but, well I gave up being mean about them for Lent, so I can't. Let's just say that our definitions of respectfulness differ on a scale of 1 to 1000 and while we trend toward the 1000 end of the scale, they peg closer to zero. Cheers and don't ever say its old fashioned to be respectful. It's just 'normal'..they are the abnormal ones.

Unknown said...

Well said. Now just to make sure my kids don't turn into those kinda people...I think it may be harder than it looks.

David. said...

First, tell Boy Child that his BFF misses him and can't wait to see him and hear all about his latest Pokemon exploits.

And second, you made me look WAY better than I actually am, but thank you for that. God definitely blessed me with an awesome aunt.

I love you, Aunt Steph.

Bethany said...

This stuff burns my ass too. I tell my kids I'll knock them into next week if they behave like that.

We were in the grocery store once and a couple of teens were acting like real asses. E-baby (who was maybe 4/5 at the time) asked why the big kids were so bad. They turned & were about to say something but I guess I had my "do it & I'll kill you" face on because they just walked away.

Wilma said...

"what with telling children constantly how special and fabulous they are. This, along with giving everyone a trophy and never letting anyone lose, has created a whole bunch of kids who think that they are perfect and entitled."

I say the same thing constantly.

Kim said...

Precious, my foster daughter willfully damaged a piece of furniture in here room recently. For her trouble she got two weeks of restriction, including two three day weekends, from every fun thing we have purchased for her-even Christmas gifts. She basically could read, draw or drool. When I told my counselor she nearly crowed with joy and called me a dinosaur telling me she wished more parents realized that they are training their kids for the future not just the here and now.

As a 4th grade teacher, I am constantly telling my students that no one owes them anything.

I stand and applaud you for requiring Boy and Girl Child to be reapectful individuals. I know it is exhaustingly hard work to parent well!

Mrs Catch said...

You know what's hard? Even as parents try to bring their children up with decent values, there are still so many examples of thoughtless and rude behaviour from others. It's impossible to be the sole source of influence.

OK well you can try, but then you get the opposite problem. Kids who have been sheltered and are now loose in the big wide world...Not a pretty sight!

I think Kids who are over-praised realise they are not perfect. Their behaviour comes from an deep uncertainty about themselves. They have not been helped to develop an awareness of their true strengths and weaknesses. Truly confident kids have an honest understanding of themselves. They don't need to prove anything with bravado.

Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

sara said...

So glad to know I'm not the only one who feels that way. My kids? They know about punishment and they know they get to work for some of the things they have.

And seriously? entitled little twatwaffle- that made my day! Totally going to use that, hope you don't mind!

Anonymous said...

I have had to let a couple of these kinds of teens have it lately and I am sure to do it again soon. They have no respect and I already am letting my kids (7 and 4) know that I, will not stand for it!

Angie said...

As much as I loved the post - the comment from your nephew was by far the coolest thing. . . ever!

Tamar said...

Sometimes I get to listen to academics bitching about the new classes they have coming through - these are eighteen and nineteen year olds, mind you. And while academics love bitching about their students (who insist that they can't hand in assignments due on, around or after the Jewish High Holy Days but then turn out to Methodist, for example) there's a new thing right now where the students are getting their MOMS to call in. I kid you not - they're nineteen years old, and Mom is on the phone to their prof explaining that darling Jr. Baby Sonofabitch really worked HARD on that assignment and thinks he deserves an A, not a B-, and also, he's having a bad time with his girlfriend so can he resit his final?

I wonder at what point raising your kid to believe that they're unique and special crosses over into raising an entitled brat...

Jenski said...

It's crazy what kids get away with! My sister struggles with hers' (5 and 8), but they are still good kids who know how they're supposed to act and say thank you...even if they forget sometimes. :-)

tiffany said...

I completely one hundred thousand percent agree with you!! My oldest(10) is currently in the hospital recovering from back surgery and even while she is a 9 or 10 on the pain scale and bawling she still says thank you to her nurses and drs that are trying to help to me its a different story,but its understandable i am mom.
I also whoop my kids hineys at games too....ive always said it builds character.I am great at board games,kids whoop me on it all works out.

Steph your awesome :)

Devon said...

I totally know what you mean about kids these days! It fries the crap outta me!! I used to have neighbors whose kids would do all sorts of stuff... and the parents wouldn't do a thing about it. Like the time the kids stole our chicken and claimed that they "found" it (yeah, we're rednecks with chickens.. lol)... or the time the one kid stole extra sections from my parents fence (because they had extra since it'd been smashed by a car--twice)... and used it to build a dog fence for another neighbor (he got PAID to do this). Then when approached about it... said that he found it in the burn pile. WHAT!? UGH... and the mom actually came over to yell at MY mom for confronting them about it. Stupid freaks. I'm glad to know that there are people out there like you that appreciate manners and respect. If I have kids (hopefully) some day... they better be a whole lot like yours!