Monthly Archives: September 2014

“YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ON AN EPISODE OF COPS, AL.”

After a swimming play date with a school friend, we sat on our porch and chatted with the mother while the boys scootered and played. Suddenly, I heard our newest elderly neighbor shouting at the boys from his balcony. They needed to quiet down and stop playing! Oh no he di-in’t.

What I wish I did next: I wish I had calmly walked over and said, “Excuse me, sir. There is no reason to yell at the children. If you have a problem with them, you may come downstairs and discuss it with his father and me.”

140922-MrKvechy01What I wish I didn’t do next, but actually did do: I stormed over hollering “Excuse me?! Excuse me?!” My son must have seen this as a green light. He started hollering too.

Luc: “Oh no you may not yell at me, Old LADY!”
Me: “Luc, go inside. Sir, you may NOT EVER yell at our children! Don’t you EVER yell at these children!”
Luc: “What? Why?!”
Me: “Luc, just go. And other thing, SIRRRRRR….”

At this point, Reed came over to tell the man to stop yelling at me. The man went on to complain that the children’s behavior was unruly. That the common areas are not a playground and that they should not be so loud at that “time of night.”

Reed: “Sir, it’s 6:30 on a Friday evening. It’s not late, and the kids have every right to be playing with their scooters in the common areas. Come on, Al.”

I should have gone with Reed at that point. I really should have. But the guy just stood there glaring at the children (who had not gone inside) from his balcony. I didn’t like it. So, in pure COPS episode form, I anchored my feet, put my hands on my hips, and glared at him.

140922-MrKvechy02Reed came back and physically pulled me away. But, as he did, Old Man Kvetchy mumbled something about being unpersonable. I don’t remember much about what happened next. I think flaming serpents shot out of my scalp.

Anyhoo, after a “You clearly don’t have children or didn’t participate in raising them if you do!” and a “Sir, either go inside or come down here!” (go Reed!) and a “If you ever yell at my child again, I promise you there will be trouble!” I finale’ed with: “I HATE this place! I HATE it so MUCH! I want to MOVE!!!” And burst into tears.

Keepin’ it classy, folks.

White Kid w/ Few Black Friends Said What?

The kids in my son’s 1st grade class are good kids. The parents are nice. The whole group seems to genuinely like each other. But our life has become uncomfortably lacking in dark skinned African Americans. To the extent that most of the people don’t even recognize this as a problem.

On Friday, a classmate told my son that he wanted to scare somebody’s sister. The white child suggested my black son hide in a dark closet b/c “it would be scarier.”

Over the years, we have managed to find out about a few incidents like this. But never from our son. The only reason we found out about it this time was because the kid’s mom was standing there when it happened, and she came to us right away.

Later, we asked him about it. After what felt like decades of convincing him to open up to us, he said it made him feel “bad.” He said he scowled and walked away. Pretended to look for something in his backpack. Initially, I thought that was a good way to handle it …Because I’m an idiot!!

My son’s teacher and teacher assistant are both African American. The teacher was out today. So I was only able to talk to the assistant instead of both of them. But I think that was a good thing. The teacher is a woman, the assistant is a man. He said he knows very well how my son felt. He also suggested that he could have said, “Hey dude, that’s not cool,” and stood up for himself.

Duh! Light goes on for pea-brained white mommy. I wish I would have told him that instead of praising walking away. He doesn’t have to let people treat him like that! He should totally stand up for himself!!!

Sometimes I wonder how this incredible child is going to mentally survive having a white mom who can never, no matter how much I want to, fully understand life as a black man in a white man’s world.

Throw Up On Each Other

At the breakfast table, my son started biting his nails.

Pertinent Historical Information: We actually let him bite his nails. He is so insane about having his nails cut that nail biting is preferable. We are not indulgent parents. We are scared someone will call the police. He picks one sentence to repeatedly shriek at the top of his formidable 6 year old lungs. Some gems from the past: “NO! STOP! GET AWAY FROM ME!!!” and “SOMEBODY HELP ME!!” and “YOU ARE TORTURING ME!!!” True story.

Anyway, I told my son that if he kept biting his nails at the breakfast table I would throw up all over him. He replied that if I threw up all over him, he would throw up all over me. That got me all excited to draw us throwing up all over each other. So, I jumped up from the table, grabbed the first piece of paper I could find and drew it.

Was this one of my finer parenting moments? Probably not.
throwing up on each other

The Camero … again

Hardyharharharrrrrr. That earlier gumdrops-and-lollypops drivel was written by a naive little girl who was blinded by the joy of not having been scolded for several days in a row. She was a fool. A FOOL I TELL YOU!

Today, at the pool while my son was swimming with a friend:

Me: Hi, [I.T.] John! How are you doing?
I.T. John: Not so good.
Me: Oh no, what’s wrong. Are you sick?
I.T. John: No, I’ve got another dent in my car!
Me: That stinks. Who did it?

It's your fault! It's your fault!

It’s your fault! It’s your fault!

I.T. John: You park too close to me! You need to move those toys on your side of the garage!
Me: Well, I know I definitely didn’t do it. In fact I wrecked my car against my toy chest yesterday trying to give you enough room.
I.T. John: Well there’s a dent! Do you want to come see it?
Me: I can’t leave the two young boys you may have noticed in the pool to go see a dent that I didn’t cause.
I.T. John: You should come see it!
Me: I’m not going to go look at the dent right now.
I.T. John: You need to move your stuff so you have more room!
Me: That may be, but it’s a different subject. I know I didn’t scratch or even touch your car yesterday. But I said that last time. So, I will check with Reed and have him get in touch with you.

[Conversation with a sane, rational person would be over at this point, right?]

I.T. John: You guys need to be more careful and you need to move the toys!
Me: I can’t speak to any of this. Like I said, I know I didn’t cause any damage, so I’ll ask Reed to call you.
I.T. John: Well I’m not going to let this happen anymore! You aren’t going to beat up my car!
Me: You can talk to me as long as you want, but we both know I didn’t do it last time, and I didn’t do it this time. You did get my card with the money and cookies, right?
I.T. John: Um, yeah. That was nice and everything but I won’t allow you to beat up my car!
Me: You aren’t going to figure out the solution until you talk to the person who caused the problem. Like I said, I’ll ask Reed to call you and discuss it if he caused the damage.
I.T. John: Yeah, well.
Me: Okay, I’m sure you two will figure something out. Bye now.
I.T. John: Yeah.
Me: Bye now.
I.T. John: Bye.