December 8, 2011

The Story of a Little Boy


It’s a tough situation when a little boy shows up in a house inhabited mostly by grownups. These grownups have no idea about the interests of a modern child around the age five. What books does he like? What cartoons does he watch? Does he even watch TV? What food does he eat? What kinds of things, in general, entertain kids today?

These questions become very relevant and personal when your friends call you a few minutes before the beginning of a party and tell you that they haven’t found a babysitter, and could they come over with their boy? Despite the fact that you’re absolutely not ready for it, you tell them that yes, of course they could. You’re not going to say “No; admission into my house is not for minors”. Or “Come over when you child grows up”.

You’re overcome by slight panic, because a good host needs to make it so that the guests wouldn’t want to leave, and indeed felt wonderful throughout the entire evening – no matter what.

And so he comes over. He’s so small and a little scared. There are so many adults, and everybody is looking at him. There must be something they want from him. What could possibly be expected from them? It wouldn’t do any good to cry. You can’t hide behind your mom’s legs. Especially because dad had said that he is relying on you, hoping that you can behave yourself.

Everybody settles down around the table. The boy is given an extra chair, and now he’s firmly positioned with his mom and dad on either side. It turns out that he doesn’t want to eat what is served on the table. All the prepared dishes are unfamiliar, and don’t look like anything his mom gives him. They smell strongly and incomprehensibly. The boy shuts his eyes. He responds to his dad’s questions on the subject of whether he would like this or that with a “No”.

Then you start to ask the child – “So, what do you want?” Then you have a brilliant idea – maybe pizza will do.

He knows all about pizza, and he likes it. The boy quickly starts to nod his head. The beginning of dinner is further postponed; you need to order pizza.

The other guests – whose children were left at home – say that of course they will wait for pizza. They’ll just entertain themselves with some good talks until it is delivered.

Finally, everybody is eating and drinking. The boy has received his pizza, and is now wiggling in his chair, because a child couldn’t possibly spend as much time at the table as the grownups.

His dad said “He’s very independent. He can keep himself amused.”

The parents take out the books and toys they brought from home. However, by this time, another object has become the center of the child’s interest – the cat.

The cat doesn’t want to be friends. He snorts and runs away under the bed. The boy crouches and starts talking to the cat. The cat looked at him with distrust, and isn’t won over by the conversation.

I enter the bathroom, switch on the light, and yelp in surprise. The boy is sitting on the floor by himself, forgotten by everybody. “What are you doing here?” I ask. He says “I’m thinking”.

I tell him to come join us for cake and tea.

39 comments:

  1. I could never cope with a situation like that. Especially as I have never had children of my own!! I am not sure what I would have done if asked the question!!!!! Diane

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  2. Hello Olga:
    Confident with cats, yes, but children, well they are another country so to speak. As we have never had any children of our own, we are full of admiration for how you managed this most tricky of situations. Perhaps little boys rarely get time to just 'be'? It seems to us that he was perfectly at home with you and, may well, invite himself back again soon!!! More Pizza!!!

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  3. Something we would never have done and so unfair on the hosts and the child. :(

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  4. Well, I'm a pre school teacher by profession (though changed profession a couple of years ago) so I was the one everyone threw their kids at even before I got kids of my own. That could be really fun - or the absolute opposite. The thing with working in a pre school you see, is that the parents are not there... Because usually, the kids listened much better when that was the case - no need for them to try and push any buttons..!

    So generally I had a blast when I had the kids ONLY..! :-D

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  5. Aww poor boy! Hopefully your house (and the cat) were left in one piece after your unexpected little visitor.

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  6. Good thing you found him Olga. Poor thing. =) Good point - do kids even watch T.V. nowadays? I've yet to see this. I love it when kids are curious about animals. I really enjoyed ready this story.

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  7. Each baby is unique.
    The conviction that you love your child, your child loves you, and therefore that the best you can do is the best he can have is very important.
    Having fun is a big part of it.
    Paolo

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  8. I enjoyed your story Olga, and I was just waiting for the moment when the little boy discovered "the cat". It seemed to have turned out okay all round, pizza was a good idea, and Deniska was not too mean to him :)

    my Murphy Cat would hiss at little children and become very territorial of the whole flat! The child would start crying, the parent would look at me accusingly and Murph would look proud of himself for having saved our possessions from this wee person!

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  9. I'm so used to have children around, that the odd thing would be the other way around :-)

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  10. The poor little guy must have felt out of place. It was nice of you to be so accommodating and kind to him.

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  11. It is quite sad that children now grow up with choice of food such as pizza, fast food burgers, and soft drinks ... and becoming such a universal truth !

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  12. Magnifique conte, et pourtant bien réel. Malheureusement...
    Mais c'est vrai!

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  13. The mug is a perfect period to your post!

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  14. I have a boy too, and I would have elected to stay home with him instead of putting him (and you) in that situation. I might have still sent my hubby to the party to "represent" the family so one of us at least could enjoy your cooking ;-) You were very kind to him Olga, and a gracious hostess, but come on... Some people are just too much! -- Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  15. Great piece and the writing is fantastic. :)

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  16. Well done for rising to the occasion, but a social no-no by the parents. You told the story beautifully.

    Love the mug.

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  17. I feel sorry for the little guy. He felt out of place for sure. You did the right thing.

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  18. Wonderful! Children always find their own way of coping. I would have hidden away,too, happy in my own company, until required.

    I love this post because you tell it so well and have picked up on all the relevant details.

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  19. Какой рассудительный гость вам попался!)
    Амелия тоже тушуется, когда все на нее смотрят, хотя, с другой стороны, ей очень важно взрослое внимание.
    И с едой проблемы - взрослой едой не накормить. Поэтому надо меньше вокруг чада бегать, позволить ему спокойно освоиться и дать что-то со стола, когда сам попросит.

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  20. I enjoy what I am seeing here. Lovely photography. This story is great. I had a older boy visit last December and he was so grumpy. I asked what was wrong and he told me it was being in my home. Oh dear! It was a difficult evening.

    Love your cat, it reminds me of mine. They are so funny and entertaining.

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  21. Hi Olga, you are funny! You remind me of my sister who has no children and goes into mild panic if asked to have one of her neices for a spell. I myself being a bit of a kid seem to make children go a little giddy!
    Many thanks for your visit and lovely comments. I hope you enjoy the run up to Christmas, love Linda x

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  22. Hello Olga,
    the story is common to the whole world. I have lived a similar situation, in fact more than one. Sad but, after all, we've all been children!
    A hug and a good weekend

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  23. Hi Diane,
    I understand you very well. Certain things that you know you won't be able to do are better to be avoided.

    Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    I'm impressed by your perceptiveness. The boy really was very pleased at the end of the evening.

    Hi Lindy,
    Certain young parents can't quite picture what other people feel in the company of a small child.

    Hi tinajo,
    I assumed that you are very experienced with raising boys, seeing as you have two. I didn't know the rest of the circumstances - it was interesting to get to know you from that point of view.

    Hi Spangle,
    Our cat becomes stressed very easily. Children are alien beings to him :)

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  24. Hi Sandy,
    Yes, children are very curious about animals. Which is why some of our little guests might go home with scratches on their cheeks :)

    Hi Paolo,
    I was just thinking about how every child is unique, and has unique experiences. You never know what's the best way to act around them. Our cat scratched the boy a little, but, when the boy was leaving he said "I forgive him".

    Hi Dolly,
    We have several of these funny stories about young guests and our cat. I think our cat is confused - are they oversized cats? Are they a different kind of animal? :)

    Hi Pet,
    This is what I have always assumed about the people who have young children at home. They think that kids are an essential part of life.

    Hi My Little Home and Garden,
    Children can change their mood pretty quickly. A piece of cake often makes all the difference :)

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  25. Hi Randy,
    I can tell you that, at the end of the evening, the boy was very pleased - not with the cat, but with the cake :)

    Hi Wong,
    I think that pizza and other foods are favourites among children are because they are familiar to them, but it's true that they aren't very good for them.

    Hi Richard,
    Oui, mais la vie est la vie, mais ce n'est pas toujours aussi prévisible que nous voulons.

    Hi Lydia,
    Thank you. I have completely forgotten about my cartoon collection. I posted it at the last moment.

    Hi Veronique,
    For me, challenging situations during parties are a normal thing. I think that there is no such thing as a perfect party, at least in my experience :)

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  26. Hi Chyrel,
    Thank you. I appreciate your comment :)

    Hi Sarah,
    I'm actually very patient with guests. I don't think that there is such a thing as a perfect party.

    Hi R. Jacob,
    If only you knew what funny stories take place with our friends' children :)

    Hi aguja,
    It's true, children sometimes like to be by themselves, not only at home, but as guests. I really respect that.

    Hi Ирен,
    Да, я тоже так считаю, что когда они освоятся, то начинается совсем другая история. У нас вокруг одни мальчики. Только сечас должна одна девочка вскоре родиться. Мне кажется, что я девочками проще. По крайней мере. я знаю чем их занять.

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  27. Hi Marilyn,
    What a story! At least mine was small enough not to tell me what he thinks to my face :)

    Hi 1-2Punch,
    Thank you very much. It was definitely a lesson for me :)

    Hi Linda,
    I get along really well with children, generally. However, in this situation, there were too many other factors and concerns as a hostess. The evening ended well, because there was some delicious cake :)

    Hi Antonio,
    Yes, I think it's a universal situation. We shouldn't afraid of these situations; they are quite normal, and soon we'll remember them with a smile.

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  28. Lovely history... a great leason, dear! Thank you!!!
    Warm hug.

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  29. Beautiful store with a poignant lesson!

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  30. Olga, you are a kind, gracious and generous soul, I don't know if I would have been so good in that situation.

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  31. Olga, this is wonderful - you've captured his spirit perfectly.

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  32. great inspiration! love the first pic!
    thanks for sharing!

    if you like we can follow each other on bloglovin :)
    let me know!
    STYLE DECORUM

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  33. Great and well done ideas i find here.
    http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

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  34. Beautiful story. I like the lovely photo as well!

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  35. Hi teca,
    Thank you for your visit. I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

    Hi floweringmama,
    If only you knew how many other stories happened in our house when little guests visited us :)

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Thank you very much. My experience gives me the ability to make quick decisions when there are challenging guests around.

    Hi Talli,
    Yes, this boy was full of spirit :)

    Hi Jen Umm,
    Thank you very much. I'm glad you have visited my blog and enjoyed my posts. I'll visit your blog really soon :)

    Hi Clara Turbay,
    Thank you for the link. I appreciate your visit, and your attention to my blog.

    Hi Romance Reader,
    Thank you very much. I'm really glad you liked this post.

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  36. Your daily shots are amazing!! Good eye and feelingas as always!
    Merry Christmas, Hermes'bag and a happy new year!
    JBaiao and family.

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  37. aww poor kid.
    But I wouldn't feel too sorry for him. Kids are resilient.
    I remember when my parents had parties I had to stay in my room.
    That was no fun.

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