I often watch my kids and their interactions in amazement. You know how they say “kids are cruel”? I think it’s because kids under a certain age are brutally honest. The other day I had the privilege to observe Kid Sensation and his peers at the new library play area. I have to say, not only are kids dead honest, other kids handle this honesty quite well.
I saw a little boy who was contentedly playing alone with some blocks. Another boy came to join in the block fun. The first boy stares at the other kid, sighs heavily and gets up to go somewhere else. Now, a stare, a sigh, and bodily self-removal only mean one thing: I don’t really want you anywhere near me, but since I can’t ask you to leave, I’ll go instead. To me, this is even ruder (ruder? Is that a word? Well, there’s no squiggly red line, so I guess it is) than being asked to leave. This is basically being told that you stink. As a grown woman, I would fight someone who did this to me—they obviously just told the world that I stink. I feel very strongly about that because I don’t stink. The kid who must have stunk didn’t seem to take this too badly, though.
I saw a little girl horde baby dolls. I mean, chickie-poo wasn’t letting anyone touch the babies because everyone else had germs. Those were her words. “Don’t touch the babies cause you have germs.” The funny thing is, I am pretty sure I know who this girls turns out to be. She’s the mom that begs for playdate that turn out to be absolutely zero fun because no one can get dusty or touch anything. Notice I didn’t even say dirty. The girl managed to remain un-beat-up, and other little girls kept approaching her. It probably won’t be until middle school that people start to avoid her like the plague.
My kid, my innocent darling Kid Sensation, shooed another child. Like, he said the word, “Shoo!” to someone else. I swear to god, if another adult, (besides my mama and Grandma of course) said shoo to me, I would lose it. Shoo? SHOO? Like I’m some sort of fly with poop-covered feet? No dice. However, Kid Sensation remained unscathed.
One little girl told another girl that her hair was ugly. The other little girl shrugged and moved on with her life. This is not something I would have been physically capable of. If another grown woman had decided to straight up tell me that my hair was ugly without the usual dancing around the subject (you know, the “ Ooooohhh, you got your hair cut. It’s, um, different.” Or, “that color? Humph. Well if you like it…) there would have been no further words exchanged. It would be all “Eyewitness reports say that the suspect, Vida, somehow turned into a wolverine and ripped the offender to shreds. Reports say that the suspect keeps muttering the phrase, ‘They told me Tuscan Honey would look good on me. They told me Tuscan Honey would look good on me’”.
When do we lose the capability to be so honest and accept such honesty in return? Are kids better people than adults? Maybe. But they don’t pay bills or have jobs or do laundry, so maybe not.