Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Karma at the Pig Roast

I try not to comment or pass judgment on other parents, and especially not their kids. (With an intro like that, you know what's coming).

My parents, sister and her husband had a pig roast a couple of weekends ago for some friends, leading to a disparate grouping of young, working world 20-somethings, an older set of Polish family and friends and an older group of Japanese Canadian friends and acquaintances. The only other child that was there was a 5-year old boy who wheedled and ingratiated himself into everything Reiko and Kai were doing. That I could understand and appreciate, you're looking for peers and something fun to do. I get that.

But he continually jockeyed and manipulated others to get preferential treatment and attention. (Really? You're going to supplant my kids at their grandparents' place of dotage?) One example was the issue of seating for the meal. The rain that arrived altered the plan somewhat and seeing that there was going to be a conflict about the child-sized lawnchairs that were set out, I got Reiko and Kai's chairs that we had brought with us.

Naturally, the usurper wanted one of those newer chairs, despite his heated efforts to lay claim to the now-inferior seats. He sat and watched Reiko and Kai eat their meal, whined to his father and grandmother, telling them that Shelley said he could have one of the chairs (I didn't know if she did or not, but doubted it). When he pointed me out and asserted that I said he could have one, I had to disagree because I did not ever say that. At this point, Shelley had to point out the folly of arguing with a 5-year old. But still, I wasn't going to let him get away with an outright lie.

My sister's mother-in-law has always been very good to the kids, sending along little treats and gifts for them. She was there at the pig roast and had brought them each a Kinder chocolate bar. She happened to give out the chocolate in the presence of the other boy. Everyone could see what was about to happen next, so thinking quickly she sent my brother-in-law to get some other chocolate treats that she had brought.

Out came a large, bright, purple box of chocolate treats that she presented to the other boy. It was with great satisfaction that we saw him get his just desserts: chocolate-covered prunes. Smooth move.

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