So today the boys had a playmate over. There are a couple of kids that are about the same age as my boys, that live down the street a-ways. All of which I limit their time with. So today they were exuberant in (finally) having a buddy over.
There used to be even more boys that would gather at our house... but a couple of them, brothers *W* and *G*, have moved out of the area. *G* was Zach's best friend, or at least he thought so. They were only in first grade together for a couple of months, but somehow they bonded. tightly. I did everything in my power to keep them apart. I even went so far as to ask the school teacher to separate them as much as possible while at school. But still.. they were drawn together. Zach's teacher was baffled at the attraction too. She said they were miles apart in their behavior and intellect. The poor boy didn't know his birthday or phone number. And he had been held back in first grade once already. *W* and *G* were kids that could be very sweet, but were left to fend for themselves. a lot. On more than one occasion *W*, the little one, who was only 4 years old, could be found literally wandering the neighborhood alone, in the dark. One day while it was storming really bad, he showed up on my doorstep, barefoot and soaking wet, asking if my boys could come outside to play. It was heartbreaking.
Then it occurred to me to allow this boy to come over openly. Obviously he and Zach loved each other and who knows what type of good influence our family could be to this kid. So he started hanging out in the house and a couple of times I took him on errands with us. One time, on a trip to Costco he needed help tying his shoes because he didn't know how. Zach readily helped his friend. This small gestre of my child really spoke to me that day. It wasn't much too long after this picture was taken that *G* moved to another state. Zach was sad for several days. He even cried about it.
Now there is another boy who also lives down the street, *R* who used to be kinda like the 3rd wheel when *G* was around. He came over today. He was the playmate. I went against my better judgment and allowed it to happen. Without fail, every single time this kid comes over, he gets sent home for bad behavior or language. I feel bad for my kids because they get caught between their friend's antics, and their mom's rules. But guess what? I'm bigger.
It's not like they are horrible, but even minor infractions, when added up become too much. Bashing the plants, climbing on or hopping over the fence, getting into things that are not theirs, typical boy stuff. Usually, it's this kids' language that shocks me. This kid knows things that my 7 year old isn't even curious about yet, not to mention my 5 year old with his super-sonic sized ears. Today was no exception. He spouted off that he "has three titties". Gulp. Okay, now that's enough.
Now I'm not the kind of mom that places blame solely on other kids. I am fully aware that my child's behavior is completely voluntary. It's fun being naughty and to say things that are off limits. It's not so fun to get busted for it.
So I keep a close eye on things when this kid is here. I spied my boys outside today learning from the Master's hand at how to make fart noises under their armpits. And how to tackle in the mud. And how to make a skateboard swing like a teeter totter. All in good fun, they were just boys being boys. When they came inside to watch a movie, because the heat was getting too intense, I marveled at the weight of the stench that came off of this kid's sweaty feet. Way beyond his years, I tell ya. He had the smell of a man.
Now I don't feel like I shelter my kids from nearly enough. We are careful with what we allow them to be exposed to, but they have caught their fair share of curse words flowing out of their mother's mouth, have played fighting/shooting video games and have even witnessed an occasional passionate scene on TV. But for some reason, when the message comes from a little person, a kid their own age, I internally freak out.
So while *R* was here today, Ty came and told me that he and *Z* took a postcard I had and were oogling at the model, who was wearing a bra and panties. *R* was telling *Z* to 'kiss the hott lady' (in the picture), who then turned and said the same thing to his little brother. Oh great. And so it begins.
I immediately sent this kid home. Then I made *Z* confess to his dad what they had been doing. I don't want to be known as the mean old lady of the neighborhood, but really? They are 7 years old!
Needless to say *R* won't be coming over again anytime soon.