Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Who is this boy and what happened to MY child?

Tonight Thomas and I went to Subway for dinner because Bob wouldn't be home for dinner. Any excuse for me to eat out and I'll take it.

So we're in line, waiting our turn and because there was nothing else to do, I watched the two guys working behind the counter. One I knew, and he's very friendly. There was a new guy and he was, um, well, not very enthusiastic about his job. Yeah, that's how I'll say it.

So it comes our turn and Thomas orders his sandwich. He asks for extra cheese. The guy making his sandwich takes two chunks of cheese and slaps them down on his sandwich. Normally, with that extra cheese bit, they peel them all apart so that you can distinctly see four pieces of cheese. This guy was just, well, not enthusiastic enough to do that. Well, apparently that made Thomas angry.

What happened next blew me away. Thomas said, in a very MEAN and NASTY voice: "I SAID EXTRA CHEESE." It was so rude. I stood there with my chin frozen to my chest. The guy behind the counter actually stepped back and gave Thomas the look of death. He then said in a nasty voice: 'THERE ISSS EXTRA CHEESE."

This was one of those moments that I was so stunned that I was speechless. I ordered my sandwich, paid and went to get my drink. We were taking the food home instead of eating there, so while I was at the pop dispenser, I told Thomas that we were not leaving this store until he apologized to the guy behind the counter.

Now Thomas is a very shy young man. Doing something like that is a huge deal to him. He started shaking and begged me to not have to do it. I stood my ground. There were so many people that we got in line again. The nice guy asked us if there was a problem and I told him "No, my son just needs to speak to that gentleman over there." We moved down the line and Thomas did it.

In a very nervous voice Thomas said, "I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to be rude." The guy stepped back again. A very big smile came over his face. He said, "Thank you, that's okay, don't worry about it." He stood there with huge eyes smiling at my son. Then he looked at me, I just smiled and nodded and he nodded back.

When we got into the car I told Thomas I was very proud of him, that it takes a big person to apologize and admit when they are wrong. I also told him that he just cannot treat people the way he did when he's upset. Thomas was just upset. I told him that he was rightfully upset, as the guy was a jerk. I'd been watching him and he was slamming things around. He had no pride in his work whatsoever. He had better places to be than behind the counter of Subway. BUT...that didn't matter.

What bugged me was the way Thomas approached the situation. He did stand up for himself, which was good. However, it was so powerfully rude that I just couldn't believe Thomas could do that. So on the way home we talked through ways that he could have been assertive without being rude. You know, a
you-can-catch-more-flies-with-honey kind of thing.

So why would I share such a thing on the internet? Because in the blogging world, we always seem to share the great things our kids do. We share the funny and crazy things our kids do. But kids are human and they make mistakes. While I want this to be a positive blog, I also want to be honest that life isn't always peachy, there are a few bumps in the road.

Thomas is a great kid. I don't know where that came from, but hopefully we've nipped it in the bud. I'm very proud of him, no matter what, and love him to pieces.


Angela, MOtherCrone said...

I love that you are keeping it real. I try to do that. I have already gotten reprimanding emails/comments that I need ot change it because I might give homeschooling a bad name. I thought I was giving it an honest face.
I also have been challenged because lately, I have been griping more about Scout than Girlie, so I play favorites. If I had been blogging 6-8 years ago, you would have thought the opposite, because Girlie was a terror and Scout perfectly behaved.
Keep doing what your doing...and screw the critics!

Hope said...

What a great outcome! You handled it so well and he rose to the occasion. Kudos to you both.

Hope (feeling much better now)

Kamrin said...

You go girl! That is the way to do it! I have had to do the same thing with daughter when she "insults" someone with her honesty ; ) As for the other two commenters, I am sorry those grown-ups didn't have mammas that took them back through the line! They might learn to keep their mouths shut! Happy blogging!

Frankie said...

Thanks everyone.

The only thing I can say is how could non-physical discipline give homeschooling a bad name? It's called parenting.

Becky said...

Good for Thomas and good for you :)

I tend to keep it vague, and positive, on my blog because I'm never sure just where things will end up in the blogosphere. I have a Google alert for my blog and for my own name and I continue to be astounded at where things end up. I figure, though, that I'm the one putting things on the blog, not my kids or husband, so I keep their profiles pretty low...

But then I'm a paranoid ex-NYer lol.

momof3feistykids said...

I absolutely agree about keeping it real! It sounds like you handled the whole thing very well. :-)

Ms.L said...

Well good for him!
It's easy to be nasty but hard to apologize and he handled the whole thing really well.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

What a wonderful learning experience for your guy.

Even as an adult, I have crossed the line between assertiveness and rudeness, especially if I am hungry or tired.

What is really wonderful is that Thomas' apology had such a big effect on the Subway Sandwich guy.
He will not soon forget it.

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