Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why the Braun's avoid boomers like the plague

Last weekend Aaron and I had the genius idea of taking the kids miniature golfing because nothing says love like miniature golf, that and we enjoy torturing ourselves.

Jake, being the highly competitive kid that he is, decided to get a hole in one, and then another one, and then just to really rub it in, one last hole in one. For an instant I was sure that Andrew might completely lose it and start going king Kong style right there at the kid friendly amusement land of family spending. I thought for sure he would start swinging his golf club around while banging his fists against his chest and topple the entire fake wooden city that is shabbily constructed on hole 6. That's how intense the laser beams of anger that he was aiming at Jacob were.

I had a flashback of 8 year old me at the bowling alley with my sister. My sister always consistently kicked my ass at bolwing. She managed to effortlessly and elegantly throw strikes. I always awkwardly rolled my ball toward the gutter. The only way I avoided the gutter was to completely humiliate myself by doing the granny roll between my legs with my butt in the air. Michelle had this obnoxious taunting dance she would do after each strike that involved a hip wiggle and a little hand jive. It took every ounce of will power for me not to chuck the ball at her freckled face. Oh, sibling rivalry how I miss thee.

My sister was always better at everything then me, she made the pom pom squad when I was unable to do even a cartwheel, she got a 4.0 in high school, she was 1st
singles on the tennis team while I was 3rd and lets not even discuss her massive boobs that developed in junior high while I resembled a little boy. I so understand Andrew's agony and was quietly hoping he would make a comeback that involved his own long drawn out victory dance. That comeback never came. As a result instead of experiencing the boomers commercial of smiles and giggles ours was a wretched, angry, and whiny round of miniature golf.

Aside from the hole in ones, miniature golf proved to be extremely frustrating for Amelia. In fact, Amelia lost it completely after Andrew's ball dared to knock hers out of position. Oh the agony! Her reaction was monumental. She didn't throw a simple fit, oh no, this was a spectacle full of sobs and those little gasp of air that people do when they are really upset. To make it even that more memorable, she did a little face dive onto the synthetic green stuff while kicking and banging her fists. It was quite the magnificent display.

Being the inappropriate parents that we sometimes are, and knowing that really there is no use in getting all uptight in these situations, Aaron and I laughed so hard that we had tears rolling down our cheeks. We were paralyzed with laughter for a good five minutes while the nice woman with her well behaved kid waited patiently for us to move on, their mouths gaping open, in utter astonishment at the circus that is our family.

Amelias little fits of outrage continued for the rest of our miserable game. I am certain that the story of our family's miniature golf experience will be retold during the thanksgiving dinner of the poor woman and her well mannered kid stuck behind us.

On the car ride home, Jake, after going on and on about how awesome he is at golf asked if we could come again in two weeks for his birthday. I don't think there is enough valium in the world for me to go through another boomers trip.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Bully

This year Andrew is in a combined class with third and fouth graders. I was under the impression that it would be really great for him. I thought that he could be competitive with some older kids while at the same time soak in some of their lessons. Little did I know that the fourth grade class would have a kid with the personality of Gargamel (the evil villain from the smurfs whose goal in life is to destroy them!).

He takes immense pleasure out of making Andrew's life as miserable as possible. I have actually witnessed it first hand and it took all of my will power not to revert to a ten year old and call him poo head. He makes fun of Andrew's voice, the way he eats his lunch, how he plays sports, the cartoons he watches, his book reports, and lots of other random ridiculous things. It has gotten so bad that Andrew doesn't even want to go to school. He panics every morning before we go to school and pleads with me over the most mundane things

"Mom, don't put salad in my lunch, Paul will make fun of me!", "Paul says that I don't know how to talk and that I sound like a baby!", "Paul is going to make fun of the book I read for my book report!"

I wouldn't be surprised if bully kid mocked Andrew's intake of oxygen. The kid is ruthless!

For the longest time I had no idea who bully kid was. I had never seen him. Finally last week I got to put the name with the face. I was shocked! He wears his shorts hiked up to his belly button and he is tiny. He is probably about the size of Jacob only a ton skinnier. Not only that but his face resembles a rat. I am not just saying that because he makes fun of my kid, he really does have a rat face. Regardless of what he says about Andrew if I saw him on the street and had no clue who he was I would think to myself "that kid would play a great rat in some theatrical production." When I pictured the bully I envisioned a big kid perhaps a freak of nature who was growing a mustache at age 9 not one that resembled Martin short .

After seeing the kid I wanted to tell Andrew to suck it up your bully is a dork. Even though there is a huge part of me that wishes my kid would hurl back some insults, clearly there is a ton he could say; I know that he should not stoop to that level. Instead I have encouraged Andrew to ignore him, to act as if he could care less about what this kid thinks about him and above all be nice to him. Chances are that bully kid has a miserable life. Someone must be really hurtful to him if he needs to take it out on Andrew. I explained to Andrew that Kids who are mean need the most love of all because there is always a reason for their meanness. I am hoping that this little road block in Andrew's life will help grow him as an even stronger little person. I hate seeing his self esteem so bruised by another kid. Maybe in the future when something similar happens to Jacob or Amelia I will be more prepared and better equipped to manage.

Martin Short: