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?”
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?”
“Wawawawhy you tata doganna wat?”
“Oh, a walk? In case she needed to go potty.”
“You dotta tattoo?”
“You dotta tattoo?”
“No, I don’t have a tattoo.”
“I dotta dog anna tattoo.”
“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.
“What?” Justin looked at her like she was a pod person.
“She found a rock,” Alex piped in. He can apparently translate gibberish.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011