The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Just a Kid Being a Kid

On August 31st, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

grandpa and grandson on pathBy now, most of you know that I have a couple of grandkids. If you remain in the minority of people not aware, just ask me sometime about them. I’ll talk your ear off with all the usual grandparental doting. Allow plenty of time.

The oldest is just about ready to hit 4. In recent times, he has discovered the word “no,” and he loves to use it repetitively in a torturous manner much like nails on a chalkboard. Given that, to date, I have found him to be absolutely perfect in all walks of life, this newfound show of defiance is rather disconcerting. The first go-around actually caught me a little off guard and, for a split second, hurt my feelings. After all, to date he has been perfect — and this pushback against Poppy (what he calls me) leads me to believe that he is just a kid being a kid and not a perfect angel. Nooooooooooo!

When I heard from his mom and dad that he was in a preschool class with 14 other 4-year-old boys, the future became crystal clear. What’s next? “Hey, Poppy, pull my finger”? His excessive use of “no” might be the least of our problems.

Mimi (his grandmother) had to remind him a couple of times during this past weekend’s standoffs that she would paddle his daddy’s bottom when he was a little boy for acting in such an unbecoming manner. He was unfazed. He flashed his Mimi a steely look of resolve that screamed confidence there was no way such an affront would be perpetrated on his little behind. He was right — and that made both Mimi and Poppy even more frustrated. “Be the adults,” we kept saying to ourselves — be the adults.”

There was some crying and gnashing of teeth (both on Mimi’s and Poppy’s part). Favorite grandson #1 just continued carving out his territory. “No,” he would not come back inside after playing. “No,” he would not change his clothes. “No,” he would not pick up the wreckage all over every floor in our house. “No,” he would not allow Poppy to wash his hair during a bath time that bordered on bamboo shoots under the fingernails.

Then it dawned on Mimi and me both — this angel of a child does not say “no” more than any other kid. It’s us. We’re not accustomed to hearing “no” in such an emphatic way and to such an extensive degree. In the adult world, we hear “not right now;” “let me see what I can do;” “maybe another time;” and “not sure that’s going to work for us.” Adults have filters that 4-year olds have not yet developed. He knows “no,” so that’s what we get — “no.”

Am I suggesting that Mimi and I would rather be with adults than our little buddy? Well, let me put it the way I heard it all weekend — “no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” I guess we just have to adapt. After all, we’re the adults in this relationship — I think.

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