I’ve never been a fan. I don’t like their squealing, whining, quizzling (a word I made up in the post Furious Spurious Lexis) and inability to comport themselves in a non-screechy manner. Even when I was a child, I wasn’t really a big fan of children. The kids I hung out with tended to be older than me. My sister was, and still is I suppose, four and a half years older than I am. When she was ten, I was five and a half. No ten-year old in their right mind wants a five-year old hanging around, but I always did anyway. So, my natural leaning was towards things and people older than my years.
Fast forward to last month when some very dear friends were slated to stay at my house with their four-year old child. I was a little reticent about the offspring. I don’t enjoy the company of children probably because I am not around a lot of children. It’s a vicious circle of anti-children. I’m never quite sure how to talk to them. I can never seem to gauge their intelligence level, and most importantly, I swear a lot. I don’t mean to, but I, quite literally, am required to swear at my job and it has pervaded all other aspects of my life. I was a little worried that I would break out with a “cock-sucking, motherfucking cunts!” while the boy was in my presence and there would be a four-year old repeating my filthy, potty-mouth words. The child would forever be scarred, unable to make it through a job interview without yelling “cunts!”, and his career prospects would be ruined forever because I am unable refrain from swearing for five measly minutes.
Well, after spending some time with him, I am now a fan of one child. This child is quite possibly the most awesome child ever. He ingratiated himself to me from the first moment we met. He didn’t yell for no reason, bite me, destroy anything, demand unreasonable amounts of attention, and most importantly, he had manners. If I gave him something, he said thank you. If he asked something, he said please. He realized that the entire world did not revolve entirely around him, which is far more than a lot of adults can say.
He is the kind of child that makes you want to do things for him because he didn’t demand anything. His expectations were realistic. He had an amazing imagination and was perfectly capable of entertaining himself. We went out to breakfast and he didn’t crawl around on the floor, throw food or start squealing like he was on fire.
He was never bored. When they first arrived at my house, we were all sitting outside in my yard. While the adults were catching up, the child walked around my yard hunting for snides. He was the self-declared snide king and my dog was the snide queen. She followed him everywhere he went. It was, quite possibly, the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He was perfectly content searching the yard for snides with his queen.
I was sad to see him go. I miss him and his parents now that they’ve all gone back up north. I never thought that was possible. Before they arrived, I assumed that the child would be something I tolerated while they were here. I never suspected that the kid would worm his way into my cold wizened heart and stay there, but he did. This morning, I got a message from his mom that said, “This evening, while drawing he said to me ‘I think Goldfish is my favorite lady that I’ve met.’ High praise from a boy who LOVES the ladies…” I responded with, “Well, he is my favorite kid.” I meant it. I may have to rethink this whole not liking children thing.