Another Shy Guy

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.


  1. Hmmm...I think Monkey boy had good instincts thinking these people were a bit...unusual. Don't you??


  2. I have a really good comment for this post, but it may not be appropriate for everyone else. So, I'll bite my tongue and figure out a way to send it to you later.

    Anyway, it sounds like you handled the situation the right way. You cannot expect kids to come out of their shells until they're ready. Maybe your "Monkey" is really a "Turtle Monkey." I have niece that is very shy with most adults. You really have to work at it to get her to respond to you. I know she'll outgrow it and I know that she loves me. That's just how kids are.

  3. People are sometimes rude and crazy and out of control - aren't they? I'd have not been happy with that man's comment - NOPE!

    Have a good day - see you later - Kellan

  4. I think little j-man is actually quite wise. We want our kids to be polite but careful of strangers. YAY monkey!

    And I agree with the other posters. sounds like this couple was just a teeny ;-)
    Takes all kinds I guess!

  5. I don't usually reply here, but I agree with you guys, he did just fine. I want him to be polite and friendly, but I don't expect him to go against his better instincts just to please a stranger.

  6. That got my blood boiling for sure, MMM. People drive me nuts with that stuff.

    Give Monkey Boy a hug for me for handling it as well as he did.

  7. I don't like when anyone, old or not, touch my children. I think it's good that he was a little wary.

  8. Absolutely he did just fine- as did you! That gentleman was overstepping his own boundaries both physically and verbally. HE was the rude one, in my opinion!

    And yes, it is truly dangerous to teach kids to ignore their own instincts and judgement in the name of being "polite." He was alarmed and he acted on that feeling by retreating and letting you take the lead. Smart boy.

  9. He sure did do just fine. I'm amazed at how rude people are!

  10. To quote Stephanie Tanner from "Full House" - "HOW RUDE!" I hope you watched that show because otherwise this comment will mean nothing to you. HA!

  11. There must be something about older folks, toddlers and shopping spots this week. Little Elvis and I made an old man mad at us in the grocery store this week.
    I can't believe that man grabbed your son's arm. That would be scary for me as an adult.

  12. I seems like grabbing little kids is the way to get to know them, that is for sure.

  13. that is totally weird.
    The other day we were at kiddie kobbler and a man (missing a hand, a leg and many teeth) zoomed in on a riding wheelchair and asked my son if he wanted a ride!
    Matt ran over to me terrified, and this man called him shy and thought it was rude he didn't go for a ride. It was very odd.
    Matt is not the least bit shy. But, I didn't blame him nor would I have allowed him the ride.
    I also didn't quite know what to say!
    Some people are weird.

  14. I'm sorry you had to meet one of those RUDE people. I'm not sure why strangers think it okay to touch people anyway....I particularly disliked all the strangers that felt that because I was pregnant it was okay to reach out and touch my stomach. Hello?


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