Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My "well behaved" homeschooled children

You know, there is this commonly-held-by-the-public belief that homeschoolers are just so gosh darn polite and well behaved. And perhaps there are some gems out there, the ones who say "yes mam" and "no sir" and "can I help you carry the groceries in" all the time.

Yeah. Um...I don't have those kids.

I, instead, have these kids:

After my lovely offspring hinted around for at least a thousand days that the I-Dog at Burger King would be the coolest thing ever since god only knows what, I decide to swing into Big Bad BK and buy them a damn kids meal. We decide to eat in. Cheeseburger for one, chicken nugget crown things for the other. We find our seats. They open their bag, unpack their food, squeal in delight over the stupid I-Dog things, and delve into giddiness over the lame cardboard "costumes" that they can dress them up with. "Ooh, mom! Look! They light up, too!" Amazing, really. Now eat.

Grandma and I are trying to carry on some sort of conversation when suddenly, the I-Dogs can't seem to stay in the boys' hands. They are flipping across the table, falling on the floor. I remind the boys they should probably keep their I-Dogs under control. After all, you never know what's going to happen.

Well, "what's going to happen" turned out to be Iggy dropped his on the floor again and the lame cardboard costume fell off. And he couldn't find it. I'm not sure how hard it is to find a cardboard bat wing on the BK floor, but it literally disappeared. And that's when complete chaos broke out.

Side note: the boys are quite protective of each other. Like almost weirdly so. So when I said something to the effect of "Oh well, I guess we have to leave the missing bat wing here...let's go", not only was Iggy upset with me, but Ooky totally freaked out. Like I had just committed the most terrible crime against his brother and Ooky had been called out to be the avenger.

There were ear piercing screams and total close-to-a-seizure flailings going on. What is this? Do I have a two year old?? The first time, I grabbed Ooky's arm and quietly-but-firmly told him to knock it off. The second time it happened (which was about three milliseconds later) I said "That's it, we're going."

Side note: Yep, I'm one of those "take the kids out kicking and screaming" kind of parents. I refuse to sit and say "Honey...Mommmy said no....honey, what did mommy tell you, honey...if you do that again, I'm going to have to..."

Back to the story. So we're going. Seriously, the kids (especially my youngest, Ooky) completely became possessed by some screaming demonic freak-monster and made the biggest scene I have ever seen outside of a movie while leaving the Big Bad BK. I carried Ooky out kicking and screaming. I mean, really. Kicking. And screaming. Did I mention kicking? (I mean, WHO DOES THIS??) I managed to open the door while holding him by the waist under one arm. We got to the parking lot. I set him down. It escalated. I picked him back up and walked to the van (across a huge parking lot with people watching). We got to the van. There was a lot of kicking and screaming. His shoes ended up being thrown (by his mother) in the back seat of the van. He told me in no uncertain terms that he hated me. I refrained from comment and did his seat belt, then steamed while starting the van. My mom followed with the upset, but not nearly as loud or violent, older child.

Afterthoughts on the situation?
1. In this day in age, what can you seriously do when your kid is hitting and kicking you and you're in public?? Mind you, I didn't ask about after you get in the car or when you are at home...I'm asking about when you're in a restaurant or a parking lot people are staring at you. Because you know if you do anything more than look at your kid crooked, someone's going to have an issue...sometimes I think parents are "stuck" in situations like this.
2. Or maybe I should ask, what do you do when the kid just doesn't get it? Doesn't respond? Stop going into public?
3. I really wish that choosing to homeschool automatically made your kids sprout a halo. But apparently I missed the "how-to" email about that. Anyone want to forward that one on to me??

Your comments would be greatly appreciated. I'm still a little fired up about the day.


Sarah said...

Oooohh, lordy gal. I feel your pain.
We missed that forward too, Fuchsia has been in the midst of major-freak-out mode drama here lately. And Kettricken has been evil. Yep, no other way to put it--evil. Glad that it's not just a girly thing cause I was really getting sick of estrogen here.
See if you still lived up here you could still get away with a swat on the rear--and everyone in BK or the parking lot would cheer openly for you--just ask your DH, I bet he'd verify that. I love small-town ville!
But down there in "sivil-lie-za-sean" you just can't get away with a good wack to the fanny anymore. Nope, your parental rights have been revoked with a big red stamper. Ahh, move already! ;-P

OK, you didn't need that, but the truth is (cue X-Files-type music)
1. All kids act like asshats sometimes, at their parent's expense.
2. I-dogs need to go bye-bye if they haven't already.
3. You are being recorded for training purposes and to assure good customer service... act accordingly.
4. You did the best you could under the circumstances. In fact I'm applauding you right now. The jerks that were looking at you funny are just that- jerks who were astounded by your purely awesome motherhood.
5. I love you. Hugs and this time you get the sloppy wet kisses (but they're on the cheek 'cause I'm sickly today).
Good luck, mama!

Jennifer said...

People ask me how I get my kids to behave so well in public and it's because I put the fear of God in them before we even get out of the van, lol. It works for my kids - so far. You know that now that I said that we'll have a meltdown somewhere, lol. My days are a comin'. "J" is just a nervous breakdown waiting to happen for me, I just know it :o) THAT boy is out of control, lol.
I've come to realize though that most of the time people are staring because they feel your pain. They've been there, and are glad they're not there right now, lol. And anyone that makes a comment is already having a bad day and you're an easy target because you're too busy to kick their ass, roflol - cause you know you would, lol.
Next time you drive past BK I would just tell them "yeah, we could go there today but with the way you acted last time we aren't, and you remember that next time - if there ever is a next time". :o)

Amy said...

I loooooooove you guys. Anyone who can make me laugh after today's drama episode is a truly awesome friend...and a kick ass mama!! You gals rock my world.

jbantau said...

Nope, you did exactly right. I feel that people are more annoyed when you stay and keep telling them to stop or...

I did stop taking my kids to places where they caused me too much trouble. They know why I don't take all three of them to the grocery store.

I'm solution oriented and if I can't take you out in public without getting stressed out by your being an asshat, like Sarah put it, then we're just not going. Saves you getting in trouble and saves me a stroke.

They are much more well behaved when we do go because they miss it and what to got again the next time.

Beverly said...

I am laughing and laughing and laughing over this post. Sorry.
My first two kids are the polite little homeschool kids you hear about. Then I got smug about what a good mother I was, and I was given a wild child to teach me some humility.
My youngest has ripped my glasses off my face. She has bit me. She has done the kicking thing.
She is growing out of it, at age 4. It still rears up, though. I think it's partly just her personality, and partly because she is frustrated by a speech delay.
Anyway, my solution has been not to go out much. And if we do go out, I'll pick'em up quick, too. No, "mommy said no" for me, either.
And another thing, we also are the proud owners of those silly i-dog werewolf costume things, so you're not the only one paying good money for icky crown-shaped chicken nuggets!