Sunday, February 11, 2007

What's Not to Understand?

Last night we went to my husband's parents for dinner. God, I am so sick of him mom. The first thing that happened when we walked in, is that his boy cousin, who is five weeks older than Owen, wants to give him some cowboy boots and he put them in a bag like they were a present. So as soon as we walk in, him and his sister are grabbing at Owen and sticking a bag in front of his face. Now, we have a very quiet household, and transition is not that easy for Owen, especially when people just glom onto him as soon as he walks in the door. Of course, he got shy, and he turned to me. His cousin kept forcing the bag in his face, and Owen walked through the dining room to the kitchen, as if to get away from everyone for a moment. In the background, I could hear my MIL say, “See? He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that it’s a present.” The way she said it sounded like, “See? That’s how retarded he is, he doesn’t understand something like a present.” I was seething as I heard my SIL agree.

Come on, give the kid a break, just because your loud, obnoxious, typical kids who see everything and say “gimme, gimme, gimme,” and want, want, want are shoving something in Owen’s face, he’s supposed to respond with enthusiasm and joy? It just irritated me beyond belief. Finally, after I was able to get the two cousins to move back, and Owen looked in the bag, it was a pair of cowboy boots. Apparently, his cousin was so excited to give them to him because they were his favorite pair of shoes (and I’m not even going to comment on the fact that he is so shoe crazy…wouldn’t that be a hoot if the big, strapping boy turned out to be more interested in fashion than basketball?). The next day, after we had a chance to unwind in our home, free of the two screaming typical kids, Owen saw the bag, said, “Mommy, boots” and went over to it, pulled them out and spent the next half hour trying them on. I really even don’t want to tell my MIL or SIL that, because I just don’t want to have to defend my son’s actions when he first got there, and their obvious pity for his lack of understanding. He does get it, he just gets it when he wants to, and in my book, that’s okay.

I so wish people would just allow Owen to be who he is...I know that Erik's mom gets so upset, especially at Christmas and birthdays, because Owen doesn't just ask for everything he sees, and he doesn't tear open presents. So what? Kids today are so used to getting stuff that they push the envelope with their parents and just want, want, want. I'm glad my child isn't so materialistic and doesn't just want everything. Of course, a lot of it has to do with parents just giving their kids stuff. We go to the store and Owen grabs candy off the shelves, but I tell him, "Owen we don't eat that stuff," and we put it back. I know some parents whose kids throw fits and yell "candy" until they get it...hmmm, if you don't say no the first couple of times, of course they are going to work the system. What is wrong with parents saying no to their kids? I know for sure that Owen's two cousins get tons of things for their birthday and Christmas, and their parents just can't put a limit on it. So I'm fine with my child not wanting everything in sight. Maybe he'll be a little more conscious of the world and it's limitations this way...


Blogger Rebecca said...

Ugh. I am so sorry your MIL doesn't get it. Everyone should have at least one child in the family that is so easy to please, unconcerned with the material things in life.

Elainah would have been none to thrilled about an barrage of children up close and personal either.

5:35 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

I'm sorry, too. None of my children would have enjoyed the attention, and not one would have cared about the shoes...

7:01 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Oh, my. That sounds like an awful situation. I hate family tension; I have it occasionally with my in-laws too.

It's hard, but try not to let it ruin your day. Sounds to me like they're the ones with the problem; definitely not Owen!

9:24 AM  
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