Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Annoying, Condescending, Know-It-All

The kids, Hubby, and I attended a birthday party last weekend. The guest of honor, was turning 3, and it was a barnyard theme. My friend Jessica, his mom, had arranged some games. For one of the games, charades, we all wrote down words associated with the farm on little pieces of paper, and then threw them into a cowboy hat. Then, one at a time, we would pick a piece of paper and act it out so the rest of the party could guess.

Immediately this little 4-year-old boy spoke up and loudly proclaimed, "I should go first, because I can read!" His bragging tone was hard to miss as he ran to the front and grabbed the hat.

The braggart's parents smiled proudly and nodded. "Mason, maybe you could be in charge of reading all the papers for the other kids!" the mom suggested, looking around to make sure we were all listening.

All of us other parents looked around, a little confused. There had to be other kids at the party that could read, because I know for a fact that some were up to 7 years old. But no one said anything, just smiled politely.

"I think my son would want to read his own!" I called out, pointing to Volcano.

"Why doesn't each kid read his own?" Jessica suggested sweetly, "And if they need help, they can ask their parents."

Mason marched back to sit with his parents, looking disappointed. His dad patted him on the back in comfort.

When it was Volcano's turn, he looked at his slip of paper. Then he began to hop around, very low to the ground. The other guests started to guess. "Is it a bunny?" "A grasshopper!" Finally someone said, "A frog!"

"Right!" Volcano yelled triumphantly, pointing to the winner and smiling. Everyone clapped.

Mason stood up and announced, "I was going to say a frog, but frogs don't hop. They are amphibious swimmers, and live mostly in water. Toads live on land. So he actually looked more like a toad."

The crowd was silent, as Mason's parents looked on with pride. I couldn't hide my rolling eyes as I knudged Hubby. I was getting really annoyed with this kid. Who did he think he was? At age 4 he was already a pompous little @$$#ole.

"Well," I sighed loudly, looking at Mason with a fake smile. "Since there's no water around for him to jump in, I think he did the best frog he could."

Everyone laughed uncomfortably and I faced forward, catching a glimpse of Mason's parents returning my fake smile with a tense glare.

The party went on smoothly, we all sang happy birthday, and cupcakes were served. I settled in to chat with my friend Kim, who began to tell me about her gardening dilemma. Apparently she had little rodents digging up her vegetables. "It's kind of like a gopher, but with a longer tail," she described.

The Annoying Mason suddenly appeared and interrupted our adult conversation. He pointed a little know-it-all finger in the air and informed her, "I think rodents like those are only indigenous to desert locations, so you must be mistaken."

This kid was really pissing me off. Now he was interrupting our conversation, and correcting an adult. "I think you're mistaken." I told him. "You're thinking of meerkats or prairie dogs. Gophers like moisture. Makes it easier to dig." That shut him up for the rest of the afternoon.

Hey, I'm all for kids being smart and stuff, but give me a break. This little boy was just annoying, showing off his knowledge as a badge of superiority. And I blame the parents. We are supposed to teach our kids humility and manners, not just facts from a book. This kid obviously did not have those lessons. Parenting is not a competition to see who can teach their kid the most. Its about teaching your children to use what they know wisely, and to make the best choices based on those facts.

19 comments:

Lanxi said...

You are right. It is the because of the parents. Would be hard to invite him the next time around. Wonder what he's like without the ever affirming mommy and daddy.

Sweepea said...

That kid's going to take his sister to the prom.

emma said...

I can't believe kids like this really exist. It's like something from "The Nanny Diaries."

Darleen said...

my kids are 11 and 16 and as the years have gone by i've seen them all....put your seatbelt on and get ready for the ride!!!! P.S. prepare yourself to pick up your jaw!!!

Carol said...

My goodness I am actually speechless.

What have those parents done to that poor child? They have made him socially unacceptable at the age where they learn best through play. So sad!

Chelle said...

Ugh! I am cheering you on for shutting him and his family up :) I just don't get some parenting skills...and for the parents to actually think his behavior is okay is even worse! Happy POW!

lindsay said...

That kid is SOOOOO getting beaten up in high school. You're right: it's okay to be smart, but SHUT UP about it!

The White House said...

I can't think of anything funnier to say than what sweepea said. What a dork that kid is! Oh, that kind of sounded mean, he probably would have corrected my use of "dork."

Formercitygirl said...

Poor kid. Now we know who is going to be sitting alone in the cafeteria.

Mamasphere said...

I have a feeling that was his last party.

Simply Shannon said...

Yikes! That poor kid. I hope that he somehow survives High School. Shame on his parents.

McMommy said...

Ok, I am sitting here all annoyed and I wasn't even AT the party with that little know-it-al!!!!

Jenny said...

SO annoying! I woulda smacked the little brat!

kristi said...

Oh my...and the parents were clueless! He'll probably live home til' he's 35.

Innocent Mason said...

You hurt my feelings...
Mason

georgia said...

Hahaha! Which just proves Pixie's point: only a dorky kid would be reading a blog at age 4! Hahaha! :D

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