Remember Don Mills Diva's recent post Shy Boy? Well as a mom to two former shy boys, this post spoke to my Mommy heart.
The other day while shopping with my almost former shy boy, who is four, we had a little encounter. We were standing in line to pay and chatting when an elderly man, being pushed in a store wheelchair by his wife, reached out to grab at my Monkey boy's arm. He was just being friendly I think, my Monkey is terribly cute and we were having such a sweet little talk.
My Monkey boy did not see it that way though. He got a bit frightened and clammed up. I told him that it was okay, he could say hello to the gentleman. Well, there was no way. So I did what I do in that situation, I modeled politeness for him. I said a cheery hello with a big smile. Both to reassure my boy and to be kind to the man.
The man however did not see it as I did. He pushed away and muttered, "Well that's sure the way to keep him shy."
What the heck?! I was unreasonably furious at his comment. He grabbed my son's arm. If he had just smiled and said hello, I am sure my Monkey boy would have at least attempted a polite response. Like hello maybe. Sometimes when Monkey boy sees elderly people, he just goes up and says hello on his own. Sometimes he even puts out his hand and says, "Hi, my name is Monkey, " to kids and grownups alike. Sure, he has always had shy tendencies, but he is slowly and surely overcoming them. How dare he label my son and be rude to my boy and to me. I am sorry, but you don't just grab kids you don't know. And you surely can't expect them to then be friendly to you.
I just hope the next time my Monkey boy sees a Grandpa-type he doesn't remember this guy and shy away. He has come so far, I would hate for him to withdraw now.
Oh, and don't use a wheelchair to butt in line! There was a long line at the checkout and the lady in front of me and I moved out of the way for the couple to maneuver through the isle. Instead of going past us, she just stopped with his chair now blocking the isle completely and stood in line. She even looked at the woman in front of me and said, "Oh, is this the line?" and we both told her that yes, we were standing in line and she just said, "oh," and continued to stand there. Weird.