Our lils, like many smalls that I know, have adopted a little bit of a Jekyll and Hyde performance when it comes to their behaviour. They frequently save their absolute best behaviour for when they are in public or away from us, and their absolute worst for the times they are home with us. The line has blurred somewhat in the last year, as they have tried to cope with the changes we have thrown at them.
We know that they are well behaved, kind, caring children. Their behaviour is not unlike that of many of their friends. It’s better than what we see it to be, and not quite where we want it to be. Yes, they both have traits that drive me a little crazy (and yes, they both inherited those same traits from me), but those are easily surpassed by all the good.
This past year has marked the first time that I have been exposed to children whose behavior caused me to raise an eyebrow. I’m not talking about the occasional acting out that every child does, I am talking about consistent patterns of behaviour that demonstrate that the child is likely to be labelled a “behavioral challenge” in school for many years to come. Things like the little boy who tried to hold Woo’s head underwater in the community pool one day. Incidents like this have been rare, and have helped to reaffirm that our lils are pretty good eggs.
I often wonder if others see what I see, and note that some children get away with far too much, or that their parents don’t seem to be aware of their bad behaviour. Recently, our cook Lakshmi told me of a trip to the park that she took with Woo. The two of them were happily playing, when one of these boys came along to play with them. He seemed to want to be involved, but wouldn’t share or listen, and was disrupting the play despite the best efforts of Lakshmi and Woo. Finally they separated, but not enforce the boy’s mom came to Lakshmi to ask how she got him to listen and play nicely. ”It’s because he’s a good boy”, she responded. I am not sure if the mom caught the implication, but I did, and was relieved to know that at least one other person saw what I saw.