I had the lovely experience the other day of being behind a little four year old boy in a check out line. He was sitting in the passenger seat of his mother’s cart. He had brown eyes and dark curly hair. He was such a cute kid!
That’s where it ended.
He smacked the check out attendant with a roll of wrapping paper and Momma just laughed when she said “Now, don’t do that boy, you say you are sorry now.” He just grinned and started to do it again. Thankfully, he dropped it. He was never made to say he was sorry.
I suggested that he might want to be nice to the sweet lady, of course in my teacher voice with a smile on my face. If he had another roll of paper he would have smacked me! In fact, if his Momma had one, she might have done the same thing.
I said it in a nice way, but with authority. Ah, the joys of being a former teacher and seeing children behaving badly…must be an undiagnosed syndrome or something.
At any rate, Momma finished unloading the cart and sweet little Bubba started in on her when she moved back in front of him. She was actually trying to write a check, to no avail. He wanted down. He wanted gum. He wanted candy. He wanted to run. He wanted attention.
Of which he received.
She put him down, and he took off. She ran after him and he did come. But the entire time he was yelling at her, hating her and demanding candy and he promised he would be quiet.
Of which he received. And he grinned again. I think he actually winked at me as if to say “look at the control I demand and get…”
“He just turned four, he likes to be the boss. I guess he is ready for us to go!” She looked at me for understanding.
Of which she did not receive.
I wanted to take her to the side and beg her to quit indulging the little stinker. I wanted to tell her that she wasn’t doing him any favors. I wanted to ask her if he was this way all the time, or just in stores where as a parent she was afraid to discipline him in public.
Unless there was an undiagnosed disability, this was uncalled for. I knew this much.
But I didn’t pull her aside. They left. She was trying to hold his hand and he was demanding yet more candy. They finally got out the door.
I was still thinking about the situation when the clerk informed me that this kind of thing happened all the time. She said she was almost used to it.
I walked out of the store thinking about that mom…and that kid when he was a preteen. I have seen it happen over and over folks…teach them manners and respect now, or there will be consequences later. Trust me.
I do know SOME answers.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
IN CHRIST ALONE
*personal images, NIV Bible, pixabay