Monday, December 27, 2004

Not my kid!

Perhaps only people who routinely have behavior problems with their children can appreciate how delightful it can be when someone else's child is acting up. Oh, sure, the uncontrolled whining and crying of inappropriately disciplined children can be annoying, but running under it is a secret, delicious current of: It's not my kid this time! How sweet to be the disapproving one for a change. Parents who have known this guilty pleasure will appreciate the joy it gave my world when, at my in-law's house for Christmas dinner-and-gifts, it was my 5-year-old nephew throwing the constant, constant tantrums and not my own dear son, who was upset by his cousin's perpetual squalling but responded nicely to whatever remedy I came up with. It was particularly gratifying to note that Tantrum Boy was the only one of the four children present without special needs; I'm so acutely attuned to the behavioral needs of the neurologically challenged that it's nice to see that typically developing children can be a pain in the butt, too. Not a bad Christmas present, that.

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