You know how some people are quick thinkers and some people are not? I am a quick thinker. Most of the time anyway. Some may find my grammar and spelling would suggest that I am not particularly well educated or that I am not as ‘sharp’ as I would like to profess to being 🙂 I assure you that I am both well educated and sharp! It’s just that sometimes (well lots of times) my fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts and I am (ashamed to admit it) not a person who re-reads things and edits them! Eeek! Probably shouldn’t have said that!
Anyway, I have observed today in a discussion with someone on the phone, something which I have observed before. It is quite obvious to me when the person I am speaking to is used to dealing with people who are not as quick as they are, or who may react badly to what they have to say. This is most common in bank tellers and public servants. The person I was speaking to today was a very intelligent and bright young woman who was wanting me to agree to a new type of play therapy session that I will be doing with my Son at his special school. Naturally I, being who I am, was thrilled to be given a chance to be even more involved in my Son’s therapy and welcomed the idea that I could do it while being ‘coached’ in certain things while playing with him. The sessions will be once a week for 1 hour and all this was explained to me within the space of 5 minutes conversation. I agreed heartily and expected that the call was now finished. No. I suspect that this person is used to dealing with people who are confused by the concept of ‘play therapy’ and therefore require more detailed information on the academic theories behind it and whether it’s a proven method of treatment etc. Or maybe she often gets the response, “But I DO play with my child! That’s not the problem surely! He’s just got something else wrong!” etc etc. I think this because the next 10 minutes!!!!!!! of the conversation were her telling me and re-telling me about it and speaking in a way that sounded as if she were really trying hard to convince me to be involved and that it was a really great idea! It became quite frustrating actually. Especially since I was in the park trying to supervise my son on the play equipment at the time and had told her as much! Anyway, I eventually ended the conversation by saying, “Great! That sounds fantastic! I’ll be there and I’m very willing to be shown what to do! Bye then!” She got the hint and said goodbye thank goodness!
I do feel sorry for her though, because she did seem a little shocked that I both understood what she was talking about and agreed to it so quickly. I think sometimes people have already rehearsed their part of the conversation and just need to get it out despite what happens during the call. Market Research interviewers do that a lot too.
Something else I observed today is also something I have suspected for quite some time. Parents of children who never wander past their mothers arm length and do everything their mother tells them are a lot less tolerant of other children and the things they do. For example. There was a little boy at the park. Probably about 4 years old. He was playing in the sand with some toy trucks and stuff which his Mum had brought with them. His Mum was sitting on the sandpit edge working on some word puzzle in a book. My Son marched up to them and asked the little boy if he could play with his truck. Now you might think I would be proud that my son had done the right thing? Sort of. What he actually did, was march up to the boy, take the truck he was playing with out of his hand and as he walked away with it said, “Can I play with your truck.” More like a statement than an actual question. These social graces are one of the hard things to teach a child like mine. We’ve been working on this since he could walk, but he just doesn’t get it! If a child did that to him though….. watch out! There would be tears and the child in question would very likely have something thrown at them or find themselves flat on their back in the sand wondering what had happened! Anyway, this boy just gave my son a very weak “no” and then ran to his Mum with teary eyes. Seeing this I was already on my way over to reprimand my son by gently trying to point out what he had done wrong. OK not so much ‘gently’ as ‘firmly’, but you get what I mean!
So I said, “(son’s name), you need to ask before you play with someone else’s toys.”
Son “I did!”
Me “Well you need to wait for their answer before you take it then”
Son – Heaves a big sigh, looks at the other boy and then tells me “But I don’t have a truck like this one and I REALLY need to have a go! He said I could play with it anyway!”
Me “Right, well you need to double check with him please”
Son “Can I please have a turn with your truck?”
Other Boy – very very quietly from under his Mother’s arm, while she glared at me “No”
Me “Ok, he said ‘no’ and that’s ok that’s his decision so you need to please give it back to him now.”
To his credit my son gave the truck straight back instead of throwing it at his head which was what I expected. The mother glared at me one more time then went back to her puzzle. Meanwhile, the ballistic missile which is my son’s temper was heating up.
He left the sandpit in big striding steps and with tears streaming down shouted over his shoulder
“This park is STUPID! That kid is STUPID! I don’t have a truck like that and I’m not coming home with you because I’m just TOO upset! You can leave me here and I’m going to live on the path!”
Me “Hmmm It’s probably going to get quite cold on the path. I really think you’d be better off coming home with me. There is no dinner here on the path and bugs might come out of the bushes when it gets dark”
Son “No! Just go away! I don’t care! I’m going to go home with (Visting child from the other day play date was with us and so was his Dad) V’s dad! He’s not mean and you are!”
Me “Right, well, V’s dad is not going to buy the truck for you either so does that make him mean too?”
Son “Yes! I’m going back to the path then! Just leave!”
I got in my car and drove out of the car park and left him on the path. I parked just outside the car park so that I could see him and he started running over to the car so naturally I thought ‘great! I’ve scared him and he’s going to come home now’. He opened the car door and shouted at me
“You can’t trick me! I told you to go home! I’m not coming with you no matter what you do!” little bugger….
So what did I do? Oh the usual….”ONE! TWO! Get in this car immediately or you will NOT be allowed to watch Astro Boy!” He stamped his foot, screwed up his face and…….. got in the car! Phew!