Monday, July 16

Children

I love this painting.
It belongs to my Neice, & I am sorry I cannot remember the name of the painting or indeed the artist.

It so moved me when I visited my Neice, I took this photo of the painting.

It was purchased in Queensland, from the Artist, by my Neice when she & her husband were over here on holiday. It now lives in New Zealand.


Over the weekend we have seen a fair bit of our Small Grandson. Some of it has been slightly less than attractive. He seems to have developed a habit of almost hanging, physically, from his mother, when she is trying to converse, or give attention to anyone, other than SG.

He does not act like this when he is here alone with us, & it is very vexing for his mother.... as well as the onlookers. I confess, my fingers itched a little, & perhaps if he was my son, he would feel the sting of a clip about the legs.

DJ does not believe in hitting children, to her credit, but I cant help but feel there are times when a well timed little smack can work wonders.

As things have worked out, our two grandchildren, who are both our daughter's children, have ended up being raised as 'only' children. Our Granddaughter is an adult now, so she is (almost) done with her childhood. And now our Grandson has all his growing up to do, more or less as an only child.

I realise children get bored in adult company, & it is always harder for a lone child to amuse themselves, than it is for children with siblings. Though some children seem perfectly capable to do it alone, & our Granddaughter was never as demanding as SG seems to be.

I was lucky to be raised with my brother for company, and our children grew up having each other for company.

Over the years I have often felt sorry for lone children. I realise life doesnt always work out the way it may have been planned.

I have a friend who had a son, & tried & tried to have another child, but it just didnt happen. Then, when the son was 5 she had 3 more children in quite rapid succession- to her dismay.

The eldest was by way of being a 'horror child'. Not sure why, but he did some very bizarre things, to both animals & other children, his siblings included. We never left him alone with our children.

And the worst little witch 'darling' only child I think I ever met, was a girl of about 6, who was the only child of a couple who had achieved the pinnacle of material goods. A huge mansion of a house in the best suburb, a huge yacht, with membership in the top Yacht Club in the city, a successful business of some type.

I was invited for a day out on the yacht. Shouldn't have gone. Loathe being on the sea. In it, yes. But not on it.

Anyway this child was the absolute darling of the aging parents. The beautiful but faded & very tired looking wife, whose lined face, & drooping hair seemed to belie the money that must have been available to spend on pampering. (Though, it was in the days before plastic surgery, & botox etc) The posturing husband, who, I swear tinted his hair, & seemed decidedly vain. Wearing his sailing get out, complete with appropriate cap, to denote his standing in the Yacht Club.

And the child, who was an uglyodd looking duckling- & who knows, she may have grown into a swan- whined & whinged & was rude to all who were invited for the day's outing. I caught the eye of my girlfriend, & she pulled a murderous face behind the child's & parents back. My girlfriend's fiance was intent on impressing the father, so he was being treacly sweet to the child.

The final straw came when the child gazed up at my girlfriend & said, very slowly & loudly, "You are ugly!"

There was a horrified silence, & my friend, who was in fact a young & pretty girl, just shrugged & went bright red.

But the mother's reaction just floored me. She smiled in her faded way, & said dreamily, "They say children tell the truth."
I was so shocked I wanted to lash out & slap both the child and the mother. I had to leave & go up on deck for some fresh air.

As I see it from this distance of time, I suppose the mother was jealous of my girlfriend's fresh youth. I suspect her husband was a flirt, if not a playboy.

I think the parents did the poor little child a disservice, but who knows. Perhaps she grew to be a complete B!tchlovely person.
I suppose it must be very hard, when parents have longed to become parents, & cannot believe their luck when they actually do have a child, not to spoil that child, & give it every possible thing it ever wants. But surely raising a child with so little disregard for others, in such total indulgence, is not really doing the child any favours?

I loved my kids, possibly too much. But there were certain boundaries they were taught, & certain morals and rules to respect others.

Sure all children will blurt out inappropriate things, at inopportune moments. I am sure there is not a parent alive who cant recall some redface horrifying utterance from a child. But there is a vast difference between that, & actually condoning & reinforcing a child's utter disregard for the feelings and rights of others.

OK I will get off the soap box. I am sure I made as many mistakes raising my kids as anyone else.!

And, I have known many lovely people- & children- who were only children, & their parents didnt make them into monsters!

Phoebe Snow, Sweet Disposition.

18 comments:

ancient one said...

On the subject of children, my grandmother and I once discussed, how some people try to do all the right things and their children turn out so wrong. Such as a mother who made sure her children went to church, they had prayer and devotions in the home,etc... two of the children did ok and one went to prison. Other children raised by drunken parents, turn out so different, determined to do better than their raisings. I always felt sorry for only children too. I was the oldest of seven children. None of us were spoiled...LOL

Pieces From Me said...

The Bio-womb was the oldest of 5 kids and all of them turned out "ok" except for her. She was a hyperactive little girl and always in trouble. Her sister was probably the cutest little girl you ever saw. I sat back at age 17 and could not belive the favortism. Children are a product of their environment, I am more careful to judge now though as MANY times I have wanted to put a sign on my dd "NOT MY MOM'S FAULT...SHE JUST GOT ME"

Tracey Petersen said...

The painting is beautiful - quite inspirational...I can see a quilt in it.

Stomper Girl said...

Sounds maybe like SG is a bit stressed about something?

Tanya Brown said...

It's hard to imagine a ruder, spacier response to one's child saying "You are ugly" than the one you cited. I'm sorry for the embarrassment it caused your friend. The people who should have been embarrassed were the parents, of course. Rudeness on top of rudeness.

Aunty Evil said...

I know its true, that some people spoil their kids, but I don't necessary believe it is restricted to those who have waited a long time to have a child.

I have known some right little terrors in my life, and I have also been waiting a long time to become a mum. If I am lucky and that happens, then I will be more determined not to let my child run rough-shod, I can't stand brats, so I definitely don't want to live with one!

joyce said...

Love the painting. When my oldest GD was about 4, a lady was telling her about a cat that was very fat. The GD asked, "Was it as fat as you?" in all innocence. The lady was gracious enough to laugh so we could all laugh. Maybe because she wasn't all that fat. There are a lot of similar stories about that GD because she was not shy and would say anything to anyone. And did.

Jorja's Nanna said...

Totally agree, a quick well timed slap on the back of the legs is all that is needed to pull a little terror into line.
There is a vast difference between beating up a child and a slap, if the so called 'do gooders' can't tell the difference, then God help us. LOL
The picture is very nice too!
Jenny

Thimbleanna said...

Ah, Meggie. You always make me laugh. Your friend should have just looked the little terror in the eye and said "Well, you're ugly too!" And then laughed. Very nice picture!

sheoflittlebrain said...

meggie, you tell a story so well!
I get a great visual picture of all the people you write about. That rude child on the boat seems like a case of like mother like daughter!

Joke said...

I sometimes wonder if some nefarious traits manage to worm their way genetically...

-J.

jellyhead said...

See, this is why I love your blog Meggie - you are always so straight-talking and you tell a story in such an entertaining way!

That painting is gorgeous. I'd love to find somthing like that for my home.

Have a happy day Meggie

sMC said...

Personally, I don't think it matters being an only or one of a few. Children come through us not from us, they each have their own choices in life......but it is our duty to teach them good manners and respect. Probably just a stage with the SG. Love the quilt.

crafty said...

That painting is just beautiful.
When my son was 3 1/2 he said very loudly and enthusiastically "Look mum, that man's got -BOOBS-" within earshot of the man. I was so embarassed and pathetically tried to cover it up mumbling something about the fact he was wearing braces to hold up his pants, which totally failed and resulted in an even louder 'NO MUM, HE'S GOT BOOBS!'

fifi said...

Ha! What a horid child-but a horrid family too y the sounds. Sometimes i think the trappings of wealth act as shallow compensation for unhappiness.
Having said that, as a teacher at an exclusive school, teaching the most privileged of children , I came across surprisingly few actual horrors. Mostly very delightful abd well-meaning, so it isn't coming from money which corrupts one's pewrsonality.

My own daughter was a clinger and hated me speaking to other adults, but I believe it is her personality which led her to do this!

btw the artist is Alison something, she has a website and is hugely successful. If I recall, she was born in South Efrica.

Emma said...

I know there are some charming 'onlies' out there, but I do agree that it's great to have multiple kids. I have seen a big difference in the level of compassion in children with younger siblings compared with onlies and virtual onlies. I watch a virtual only (her older sister is an adult), and she is challenging simply because she's not used to the little kids.

All my friends and family seem to go for larger families, and we're all grateful life turned out this way for us :)

h&b said...

Great post, Meggie.

That was a horrific story about that nasty little girl. i wouldn't have been able to bite my tongue so gracefully as your friend though, and would have looked deep into the little girl's eyes and said "I think I look a lot like you".

And yes, her mother was definately jealous, and she DID do her daughter a disservice. No doubt she grew up to be a prize b*tch.

I too would not like to be an 'only', even though I enjoy my own company. Siblings are sobering, for both the children and parents. There is a tendencey to dote a little too much on onlies, and I know i'm as guilty of it as anyone.

Because MY son ?
Is perfect ;)

:p

anne bebbington said...

Kids will always blurt things out and embarrass you at the most inopportune moment - the big mistake is to not correct them and explain how rude, offensive or just plain tactless they are being - sadly they won't learn this without adult direction and there are way too many examples in the adult world of people who were obviously never corrected as children!