Wawawawhy Won’t You Go Away?

I am easily annoyed by other people. It’s probably not one of my better qualities, but really it’s their own fault for being annoying. I include little kids in the “other people” category. There are those who think that just by virtue of being one or two or three years old, a kid is cute and adorable. And there are those who don’t. I would be in the latter group.

Not to say that I don’t think some kids are sweet and fun and adorable, because there are plenty of them around, and I genuinely like them. But a good 20-30% of kids as a population are not likable.

I’m sure that not everyone likes my kids either. I can accept that. Lord knows there are days I can barely tolerate them myself. But I think there is an unspoken rule out there that you always have to like children or you’re some kind of monster. I disagree. Just like there are adults out there that you would like to make disappear by opening up a trap door beneath their feet, the same goes for a certain subset of kids. Namely the ones I don’t like.

Case in point. Today at Cameron’s football game, a girl who looked to be about three, asked me if she could pet Penny. Sure, I said. I don’t mind at all when little kids come up to pet my dog. Most of the time they are very cute and sweet about it. Most of the time I’m not forced to get into extended conversations with them.

Not the case today. It’s bad enough trying to converse with a rugrat when you’re trying to watch your own kids, watch a game and take care of a dog, but when you can’t understand what the kid is saying, AND she keeps grabbing the damn leash and pulling on it, that’s a whole other story.

I know little kids sometimes have issues with speech. I understand that. It doesn’t mean I have to enjoy listening to it. Cartoon characters with cutesy speech impediments are not at all charming to me, they’re irritating beyond belief.

“Wawawhat’s your dog’s name? You had bwotters pwaying too? Wawawawhy you got a weash? Wawawawhich team is your bwotter?”

Even Penny was tired of the chatter.

I tried to answer some of these questions, but couldn’t understand a fucking word she was saying some of the time and so I’d just nod or start to try to spit out an answer that seemed like it was in the ballpark because she wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t answer her question. And her mom just sat there and let her bug me. At halftime I left my chair to take Penny for a walk. When I came back she was right there again.

“Wawawawhy you dotta ganna wat?”

“What?”

“Wawawawhy you tata doganna wat?”

“Oh, a walk? In case she needed to go potty.”

“You dotta tattoo?”

“What?”

“You dotta tattoo?”

“No, I don’t have a tattoo.”

“I dotta dog anna tattoo.”

“Oh.”

“Wawawawhy you not dotta tattoo?”

“Um, I don’t know. My guys sometimes have tattoos they put on their arms.”

Her mother chimed in. “She asked if you had a CAT TOO.”

Ok, one. Don’t get pissy with me because I can’t speak your child’s special “Nell” language. And two. Why the hell didn’t you offer up that information a little sooner when clearly I had no idea what she was saying. And three. Get her the fuck away from me.

She kept touching me and pulling on Penny’s leash. Even Alex was bothered by her. Every time she’d pull on Penny, he’d say, “You’re choking her!” They were playing in the sand, and Justin, who has as low a tolerance for people as I do, sent her on a mission to find rocks. I’m not sure if he really needed rocks for what he was building, or if he just wanted to get rid of her. Either way it only worked for a while. Soon she was back.

“Punda wat!”

“What?” Justin looked at her like she was a pod person.

“Punda wat!”

“She found a rock,” Alex piped in. He can apparently translate gibberish.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011

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4 thoughts on “Wawawawhy Won’t You Go Away?

  1. oh so sorry you got stuck with dealing with that. I LOVE kids but even on good days there are those that get on my every last nerve!

    bwahahah i love it “nell” language because that’s exactly how I heard it in my head.

  2. Hilarious! Well, the telling of it was, but I can so relate to annoying kids. I usually detest kids that make a ruckus in places that are meant for peaceful socializing…like restaurants. If a kid close to us is acting up, crying incessantly or talking IN A VERY LOUD VOICE, I usually mutter not so under my breath “Kill the kid!” I don’t understand parents who don’t teach their children how to behave in a public place. When my kids were small, if they kept on crying in a restaurant, I would take him or her out to the car and do the necessary (change a diaper, feed her, or just get him away from the busy noise of a restaurant). I taught them to sit still and behave themselves (quit breathing down the nice man’s neck and sit down on the bench, no, you can’t run up and down the aisles, because I said so). I was reasonably strict and they finally got the idea. Most people appreciated that at least I was trying.

    As for kids who couldn’t talk properly and struck up conversations with me, I tried to ignore them or pretend I was hard of hearing. The latter worked best because they got tired of repeating themselves (still unintelligibly) 20 times. At some point also, the mother would pull the kid over and tell him to sit down and quit bothering people.

    And yet kids like me. I have donated endless hours of volunteer reading at our local library. I was billed as The Happy Time Story Lady. If the truth be told, I did it because it was a hoot and a holler and the kids loved it. I still miss not being able to read to them.

    Kids are not little people. They are unformed personalities that need guidance to develop. Parents who miss that opportunity are going to have the joy of trying to raise teenagers and 20-somethings with unformed personalities.

    • Yes, there are definitely parents who refuse to see some of the uglier qualities their kids have. Instead of guiding them to overcome those character issues, they pretend it doesn’t exist. One of David’s friends has parents like that. They think their child is perfect in every way, heaven forbid if you suggest otherwise, even if you know he’s done something wrong.

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