Monday, March 14, 2011

Me and Kids

W. C. Fields with his 'dining partner'

Like W. C. Fields, I have a reputation for hating kids.  Also, like W. C. Fields, he didn't really hate kids per se.  What he didn't like was a bratty kid.  Same here, I don't like an undisciplined, spoiled brat of a kid. 

W. C. Fields relished his reputation but those who knew him in real life knew that he had a soft spot for kids and kids really did love him.  

What I really don't like are those parents who take their kids out in public like restaurants and let them run wild.  I've eaten in more than one Cracker Barrel restaurant and had to endure more than a few kids whining and screaming for attention and running around the tables playing tag while their parents sat blithely unaware and/or uncaring.

"Somebody lose a child?"

Yesterday, I met one of my blogger friends.  He is a regular reader of my blog postings and has read more than one blog where I mentioned how I hated to eat at restaurant with screaming kids.  Thus, he was somewhat concerned when he visited me that he would upset me by bringing two of his kids along.  He didn't have a baby-sitter for them for he had no other choice.  He promised me that he would bring the two 'best behaved' ones.  

Bill and Mark yesterday at our former home in Pennsylvania

We met at my former home in Pennsylvania situated on 6.875 acres of open wooded land.  He brought his six year old twin sons, Jacob and Joshua.  Well, what happens when you have two, healthy six year old boys who live in the city (Harrisburg) on a small lot to an open area in the country on almost seven acres of land?  They are going to take off running a screaming, chasing each other.  As soon as they started to do this Mark (my blogger friend) told them to stop.  I told him "Oh no, let them go!  They're two little boys having fun."  You see, I don't have a problem with kids being kids.  In fact, I find enjoyment in being around and watching young children having fun.  Running, laughing and enjoying their young years because all too soon they grow up into their teenage years and those carefree, joyful days of the innocence of youth disappears.

I know what it's like. I used to be six years old too.  I had two younger brothers and we used to have run around and have fun.  Of course we were well disciplined.  Whenever we were in public we dared not cause a ruckus or else we would have to get The Look from our mother.  And even worse, if we misbehaved (like fighting) we had to face POP.  We faced POP (our father) a few times and believe me, it wasn't a pleasant experience.  

My four nieces and one nephew 1969 Christmas

My brother Isaac's kids sit on me Christmas 1976

Both of my brothers had children. I am an uncle to four nieces and one nephew.  All of my nieces and one nephew were well behaved and they liked their Uncle Ronnie (I think) and I liked them.  When they were young I always got them Christmas gifts.  

Bill being attacked by my nieces Christmas 1976

But what was really interesting, my nieces and nephew really took to my partner Bill.  Wouldn't you know it, the same thing happened yesterday with Mark's two boys.  They took to Bill right away.  Kids always take to Bill.  I should be jealous.  For a time Bill had a good friend in Damon who had ten kids.  All those kids loved 'BEAL', as they used to say his name 'Bill'.  Unfortunately since we moved to Delaware Bill doesn't see his friend Damon's kids.  He misses them.  

Bill's friend and 7 of his now 10 children

When I agreed to meet Mark yesterday I wasn't sure if I should tell Bill.  I didn't know how he would react.   Bill is a very private person.  I wasn't going to tell Bill that Mark was going to 'drop by' but Mark said that wouldn't be fair to Bill.  So I told Bill that a friend may drop by while we were visiting our old property.  Bill said "Okay".  He didn't seem concerned about it so I said no more.  

Bill likes to wander around our old property when we visit it.  I planned to stay with Mark and the kids.  Guess what happened?  Those kids took to Bill like fleas on a dog.  I should be jealous.  

So I am here to set the record straight...I don't hate kids.  What I don't like is those parents who raise who are rude, undisciplined and disrespectful to adults and other children.  

Yesterday was a joy meeting Mark's two adorable six year old twins.  I hope those twins realize what a good dad they have in Mark.  

Me getting a BIG HUG! from Joshua Himes

A note about the picture above; Mark sent me that picture.   As Mark was leaving he told his kids "Big hug!"  I was getting ready to take a picture of Mark and  his kids leaving in his van when this little ball of energy attempted to tackle me by the legs.  Joshua was giving me a BIG HUG  the best he could, given that I was a little bit taller than him.  This is the first picture I have of me being hugged by a kid.  History was made yesterday.  

Me and my brother Isaac, 1947
YES,  I was six years old once too


Cubby said...

Something tells me Joshua is going to grow up to be a defensive back.

Ron said...

I wasn't expecting to be tackled. He almost took me to the ground! I guess that's why I'm laughing, I was caught unawares.

Will J said...

Look at the retaurant photo - looks like you got a buddy. I feel that it is always helpful if children can develop healthy relationships or friendships with adults who are not their parents.

Ron said...

I agree with you, I think I have a new buddy. I also think it is healthy for children to develop healthy relationships/friendships with adults who are not their parents. I did when I was a kid. And look how well I turned out. :)

Vương Tử Trực said...

I think not only you but everyone loves well behave kids.

Tiger Tsuki said...

It's not Mark's kids you have to worry about, it's Mark (or so I hear...) ;)

Mark said...

Joshua's head is in a sensitive area. Good thing that he didn't hit you too hard...
I was suppose to bring Claire, not Jacob. But Claire wanted to stay with my Mom. So instead, I brought Jacob who fights me on most things. So in fact, I didn't bring the easiest kid who would have been Claire. And I was very proud of them for behaving in the Restaurant like they did. But they know that if they don't, I will come down on them like a hammer. I don't play games and I have been known myself to tell people, around me, to get control of their own children. Someone has to be the parent.
Thanks again for everything.
Your Friend, m.

Ron said...

I didn't realize that Joshua was in a 'sensitive' area until I saw the picture and I was a bit surprised that I didn't know! Actually, my knees are the ones that took the 'hit.' Joshua did the best he could to give me a big hug, I was just too tall for him. :) I think both of your boys were just fine. I was happy to see them running around, doing what little boys do, at our former property. And the magician at the lunch was the icing on the cake. The day couldn't of turned out better.

Ron said...

I am always surprised at how many parents let their kids run wild out in public, especially restaurants. I don't understand it. My parents never let me and my two brothers carry on that way. We wouldn't dare. I think too many parents these days think their kids are so special that they dare not discipline them in any way. To me there is nothing more attractive than a well behaved child. That is one of the parents main responsibilities in raising children, teach them manners.

Ron said...

For real? Mark?