Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sour Saturday

So we get up this morning, early, my son and I, hop in the car and go to breakfast. Biscuits and gravy for DS and eggs for me. After breakfast, we hop and skip on to the church where we will start a scouting adventure. We are to deliver bags house to house for scouting for food.

Tons of people show up, all are parent-with-child. Then one in my den shows up and the mom says, "Frankie, can I just drop Fred off? I am going to be at work and he can walk to work when you're done. I stood there with my mouth open. You mean to tell me you are too lazy to take your kid on this project? Get off your duff, set an example, be a parent. The man next to me said, "He can ride with us" because I was so dumbfounded I couldn't speak. Then I literally did the head shake thing getting myself back into reality. I said sure, and she had him go with us.

So we get our assignment -- all of three blocks, another idiotic move from the simpleton, and head off. Fred immediately calls, "I'm riding shotgun, runs to my van, hops in the front seat. Okay. Somebody needs a lesson in manners. I open his door, have him get out of the front seat. He's glaring at me. I told him, first of all, you do not call dibs when riding in someone else's car. Secondly, you are not tall enough to ride in the front seat. Air bags kill children. (My car doesn't have passenger front seat air bags, it's that old, but he didn't need to know that, it's still unsafe.)

So Fred and my son get in the back seat. Fred was not speaking to anyone at the church before we left so I knew he was in a bad mood. It got worse. This is how the car ride from the church to our designated area went:

ME: How are you, Fred?
Fred: Tired. (Said in a short, blunt, rude manner.)
Tommy: Hi Fred.
Fred: No answer.
ME: How was school this week, Fred?
Fred: Fine. (Short, blunt, all the answers were.)
ME: Why are you so tired?
Fred: I read last night.
ME: What did you read?
Fred: A book. (Extreme sarcasm.)
ME: What book?
Fred: A Christmas present.
ME: What was the name of the book?
Fred: I dunno.
ME: Was it good?
Fred: MMM.
Tommy: Have you been playing Runescape lately? What level are you up to now?
Fred: No answer.
Tommy: Oh, cool, look at that house, it has a deck on the roof.
Fred: So what.

long silence

ME: Okay. When we get to the first street, how would you guys like to distribute the bags?
Fred: I'm choosing which side I do.
ME: Uhm, is that okay with you, Tommy?
Tommy: Yes.
TOMMY: Did you know we're going to work on our engineering badge this week?
Fred: So what.

I parked the car, gave the lecture not to walk through lawns and to make sure the bags don't fly away.

The boys get out. Fred picks his side of the street and DS starts his side. Fred proceeds to walk through every single lawn. We have a strict rule to not do that because it is disrespectful. Fred also takes his sweet time. He's slower than molasses. My son finished his side and I told him to start on Fred's side. Fred got really ticked off about that, but we're not going to stand there and watch him -- what a waste of time. If Fred had his heart in it and a good attitude, I would have had DS wait in the car.

We get in the car, go to the second street. Fred refuses to speak when spoken to. He glares when I ask him to put his seatbelt on. I ask him what is wrong, and he snorts: tired. We stop the car, Fred throws half the bags into the back of the van, more on the floor and jumps and runs out of the car. My son had to pick up the bags that he threw on the floor. Fred started screaming at my son, "This is my side of the street, go away."

I wasn't thinking. I should have had him get in the car and taken him to his mother's work right then. Why wasn't I thinking? He refused to talk the rest of the time. He was such a snot. We finished the third street, this time I just had my son get in the car while we waited and waited on Fred.

As we were driving back, my son started asking him other questions which Fred totally ignored. I asked him a question and he ignored me, too. I pulled the car over, put it in park, turned around and said, "You are being very disrespectful to Tommy and I. You are also hurting our feelings." He just stared at me. I waited at least a minute. I said, "Perhaps you didn't hear me. You are being very disrespectful to Tommy and I." This time he eeked out an "I'm sorry."

I started driving again, my son started trying to start a conversation again, was being ignored. I dropped him off. He squeaked out a thank you and slammed the door.

I was fuming.

I left a message on his mom's answering machine but she hasn't called me back. When we drove away, I told my son if he ever acted like that he would be beat and grounded until he was 18. I don't beat my son, I don't believe in spanking, but I was ready to tear my hair out with Fred.

Fred comes from a good, fundamentalist Christian family. He goes to a parochial school. His parents are always preaching, they even have one of those bible-phrase email addresses. I have always been a little lenient with Fred in the past because his parents harp on him continuously to the point it is almost verbally abusive. Those days of my being lenient are over. That kid was rude. It was bad enough he was rude to me, but it was inexcusable how rude he was to my son.

So I'm going to give a big lecture at our next den meeting on manners. Big. I'm not naming names, I'm not pointing fingers, but I'm going to talk about it ad naseum.

After that, both DS and I were in a bad mood, we didn't need that crap while trying to do something good for our community! We pull into our driveway and nearly run into boys from a different pack. We hop out, ask them if they need help. The leader said they had half the city to do and only these five boys showed up. My son and I were eager volunteers. He gave us several blocks to do and more bags. So we delivered the rest of the bags. In peace.

What a morning. On a different note, I was very proud of my son today. Before we got to the church, I asked him to just leave his hat in the car because I didn't want to deal with the simpleton. He looked at me and said, "But mom, if I do, we're letting "him" bully us. Smart kid. He proudly wore his cap into the church. He's learning to stand up for his principles when I want to take the easy way out. Good job, Tommy.


M__ said...

Good for your son, he sounds like a nice, normal boy. Fred sounds like a little shit. Hopefully someday, your son will rub off on him.

BridgetJ said...

Ugh, Frankie. I'm embarrased to say it sounds like my son. I just don't know what is going on with him lately. One day he was such a sweet and well-mannered boy; the next he was an eyebrows-raised, shoulder-shrugging, got something to say about everything tween.

Good for you for calling him on it.

Your son sounds like such a sweetie. Wanna trade for a year?