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middle finger right back atcha, twerp

If you’re a parent or a caregiver for a child, does your kid have a schoolmate or friend that you just CAN’T STAND?

I ask because, oh my god, the baby has this school friend that he’s just apeshit over and I really do not like the kid (henceforth: That Kid). I feel bad saying this for a number of reasons. That Kid is only six years old; it’s probably too soon to pass judgment on his character, but it’s really not looking good. That Kid has older siblings who are tweens/teenish and I’m sure that they’re infusing him with all of their assholish behaviors right at this very moment. That Kid’s mom is pretty nice. And I know that many women marry and/or breed with total dickwads, so it’s possible That Kid’s dad just sucks.

In other words, life is like that. I just don’t understand why MY kid has to associate with THAT Kid. They were friends last year and I vaguely remember the mom telling me that That Kid was moving to a different school. And we said, “Awww,” when we really meant, “See ya!” But, lo and behold, That Kid was there on the first day and (&#%*(&%(#()#@)*(!!!!

Since last year, my kid has picked up a number of really shitty behaviors from That Kid, including such gems as:

– making fun of the way Chinese (Chinese being, I’m sure, a generic term for all Asian people) speak, resulting in this totally charming My Little Racist routine full of really offensive shit that I probably don’t need to, and will not, spell out for you. This was especially awesome when we were on vacation and the Beijing Olympics were on. The baby, in front of my dad’s friends, would whip this out and I would just die right there. Shit. Just call him Tom Cruise and make him the Last Samurai.

– hating the Indian kid in their class FOR NO GOOD REASON. I know this is starting to sound like White Guilt Hour on kdiddy.org, but seriously, racism is never cute, especially not in little kids, and I’m really pissed that this pint-sized bigot is hanging around mine.

– Earlier this evening, the baby said, “Today, That Kid was doing this *gives me the finger*.” Dude, seriously? SERIOUSLY? Look, I know that I have a mouth but the baby KNOWS that he’s not allowed to swear yet. As far as I’m concerned, he has not yet earned the right to toss fuck yous around.

– The baby thinks That Kid is awesome. I don’t want to tell him who his friends should be, but the baby knows that I don’t really care for That Kid and I’ve encouraged (though not demanded) him to play with other kids more often.

Argh, I don’t know what to do. What I want to do is talk to That Kid’s mom, but like I said she seems pretty nice, which makes the whole, “The fruit of your loins is rotten,” conversation THAT much more awkward. And also, why can’t she just raise a non-sucky kid? BLARGH.

Please tell me that I’m not the only one with this problem…

11 comments to middle finger right back atcha, twerp

  • kim

    You are not alone and it can start even earlier than six. Last year my son’s class of two year olds had one little girl I can’t stand. It could be due to her attempt to remove my infant daughter’s leg at a potluck. I find her dad pretty offensive too, perhaps due to his lecturing me that I bought a crappy minivan. Then there was the weeknight birthday party invitation to a sketchy area with the party starting at the time my son goes to bed. At least we had an excuse to skip it!

    I was so hoping she would not be in his class again this year, but she is, of course.

  • Rachel

    We have a few That Kids in our neighborhood, fortunately all boys with whom Eva wants nothing to do with.

    And I can tell you, no, you can be ANY age and be a jerkwad. These kids are all brothers, and they’re about 2, 5 and 7, and the 5 year old is the WORST. The mom’s this ditzy ass blonde who never owns up to her kids bad behavior. The 7 year old is in Eva’s class, and we’ve made it perfectly clear that if she HAS to be paired with him or be on a team with him in gym or something, that’s fine, but we’re not hanging around them. She’s fine with that because the 7 year old one time pushed her around and the 5 year old try to kill her with a loaf of bread.

    Good luck. So far, her friends are all pretty decent kids. The one girl is a bit of a whiner, a poor listener at times and can be a bit disrespectful to her parents (not me), and it sort of rubs off on Eva when she’s with her and she acts like that, but unlike the girl’s mother, I give Eva the steely mom eye and tell her to watch her mouth, and it has the desired effect I need and she shapes back up quickly. But Eva really is a pretty good kid, as it rolls.

  • alison

    I’ve got one of those too. Thankfully, he’s not in my stepson’s class and he’s afraid of my dog, so we’ve managed to keep him away for a little while now. It also doesn’t hurt that the kid’s parents seem to dislike us back.

  • Well, you know me, I’ve got no kids over here, so I can’t offer much advice. What I can offer, though, is perhaps a little perspective? Don’t forget that your kid has absolutely no sense of the cultural or moral significance of what he’s doing. As far as he’s concerned, he’s just copycatting something that probably sounds funny to his ears and made other kids crack up. You seem like a radical mom, so I’ve no doubt that you already talk to him about cultural diversity and tolerance… I’d say just keep it up, and maybe try to compare what he’s doing and how it might hurt others to a time when he also had his feelings hurt in the same kind of way.

    When I was about six, I was mocking the way deaf people talk with a friend when a neighbour overheard and blew his stack. I remember feeling really ashamed and embarrassed, and while I wouldn’t recommend the blow-up route, I can tell you that it sank in that day that deaf people, uh, actually had feelings like me. And look how great I turned out!

  • (Ugh – was that patronizing? Sorry.)

  • Cheryl

    My daughter started pre-K last week, and already her “best” friend is a little girl who says that if T doesn’t play the games she wants she can’t come to D’s birthday party/D won’t be her friend. And if I suggest that she play with another kid for a while, she says, “No! I want to play with D!” I have no idea if it’s That Kid proportions, but I hope it’s not the beginning of my kid being attracted to That Kid types.

    So no, you’re far from alone.

  • as a product of 13 years of catholic school, i had LOADS of experience with “That Kid” – the ones that were sent to catholic school to “straighten them out”. it’s everywhere. you are CERTAINLY not the only one going through this. just keep your head on straight, and when little man gets out of line (which, i’m sure you know, he WILL do, with or without That Kid’s influence), you pop him back into place.

    i am again speaking from personal experience on the kid end, not the parent end., but
    the WORST thing you could do is to try and “forbid” him to hang out with That Kid.

  • I used to “talk to the mom”, because that seems like the most honest and reasonable thing to do. But it has usually backfired on me. And then in some shape or form, has been taken out on my kid. So now I just usually continue to let my own children know my concerns, without coming across as too judgmental because that makes “THAT KID” more enticing….At age 6, you have a LITTLE more control in who he hangs out with when not at school. I do think that eventually, the natural consequences of their racist, obnoxious behavior gives them a reality dose. Someone will call him on his shit. Even though it will suck for your child when it happens, it has always been the best teacher in my household. It just means more sleepless nights for me!!! Good luck.

  • My kids seem to be magnets for “those kids…” My oldest has a friend that we can’t get rid of. He calls ALL OF THE DAMN TIME. On my cell phone. While I am at work. And I say “Johnnie, I am at work. This is my cell phone.” and then? He calls again the next day. I usually let it go to voice mail, but that little fucker is on to me and just calls back, blowing up my phone! Once, after one of his visits, we had to take the oldest to the ER to have x-rays on his hand. I used to try to teach him manners, but have long since abandoned that cause and just swear under my breath at him.

    My youngest seems to have befriended the neighbor kid who can’t sit still and asks a thousand questions…and doesn’t listen to the answers…and when my kid has to go in for dinner, he offers to wait right on the porch for him to finish, which really means he peers in the window at us. Awesome!

    So…sorry about “THAT KID” but you are so not alone!

  • kristaly

    Do you think it’s possible that That Kid’s mom doesn’t know? If my daughter was bullying other kids or throwing out racist crap, I’d want to know. Because she’d never leave the house again till she cut that sh** out.

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