I like to observe parents interacting with their children. It’s always a study in frustration – for the kid and the parent both. But you can learn things by watching. Mostly you hear things that make you say to yourself, “I hope I’ve never said that to my child.”
Children are great to watch interacting. I like to see how they work with other kids as well as how they deal with adults. Kids interact differently with kids and grownups. With kids they’re direct, with adults they manipulate.
With adults they might whine, say things like “Prettttttty pleeeeeease?” All the while looking at you, cocking their heads, and smiling. With a child they say, “Gimme that!” and grab whatever it is they want. They’re nothing if not direct with each other.
That’s not to say that kids don’t play well together. They often do. When I take my son to the park he plays with kids he knows and kids he just met. He has a terrific time playing, riding his bike, driving the electric car, playing with kids, swinging on the swings screaming, “faster daddy!” and simply being in the warm sunny park. And that, I suppose, it’s what so much of life is about.
Well, that and giving your parents a nervous breakdown. See, what happened was this, I was watching my son dig a hole in the sand box. It was about eight inches deep, four inches wide and a foot long. He was digging and digging and digging and then he stopped. He looked at the hole and, before I could say a word, put his head in it and did a back flip
Luckily, it was a perfect back flip. Had he fell to either side, with his head in that narrow hole down to his neck, he could have broken something he very much needs.
After the flip he got up, brushed off the sand, and could not understand why I was so upset. Just another day in parenting. Just another day of thousands yet to go.
If you want to know why men act the way they do, at whatever age they are, go back and reread the above.