Not So Cute

As parents of young children, we become accustomed to constant comments, words of affirmation and praise about our little ones.  We are always surrounded by peers who have young children, older parents who remember the "good ol' days" or loved ones.  All these people dote over each and every action and word spoken from our children.  It's the norm.

As parents of young children, we believe, although bias as it is, that our children are the absolute cutest.  We give them attention, clap at their singing and stop mid sentence to listen to them say just about anything.  We think they're cute and we expect everyone else to think they're cute too.

But what happens when people don't think they're so cute?

This realization occurred to us the other day... and we were a little confused by it.   Now, I know what you're thinking... "wait a minute, someone didn't think your kids were cute?  Impossible!  Blasphemy! Foolishness!"  I know... that's what I thought too! But alas, it is true.

One night, these acquaintances of ours stopped by to have a chat with my in-laws.  They are recently married and very young... the girl is still a teen.  They do not have babies on the brain and are no where near that life step.  So, I can see how they wouldn't be impressed with my children.

As they arrived and walked into the house, Marco became excited because he loves having visitors and he believes everyone is his "friend".  He grabbed Jonas' hand, lead him to the middle of the circle we were standing in and said "Hey, Hey guys, Hey!" trying to grab their attention.  But he failed.  They didn't even give him a downwards glance.

But Marco is not easily discouraged.  He tried again... this time, grabbing his coolest toy, Lightning McQueen and entering the circle once again.  "Hey, guys, look... it's Lighting DaQueen... Cachow!"  But still, nothing.  Not even an acknowledgement of his presence.

At this point, I felt a few things.  1. I felt heartbroken for Marco... he has never known rejection.  2. I felt upset... is it so hard to acknowledge someone?  I know he's not an adult, and you don't have to play with him, but is it so hard to say "hi"?

Let me make myself perfectly clear... I do not expect people to play with my kids.  I don't play with other people's kids.  But I do say hello to them... a kind comment... ask them a couple of questions... make them feel important and like they're a person!  This is common curtesy... if people acknowledge pets, why not kids?

Well apparently Mauricio was feeling the same things I was, but he had the to foresight to stop the cycle.  He grabbed Marco and lead him into the living room to play with him.  Mauricio felt that if they couldn't even acknowledge his presence, that he wouldn't acknowledge theirs... so he left the scene.

What about Jonas?  Oh, Jonas... the baby... he did receive some attention.  He got a couple, "oh, he's so cute" and "look at that"... but that's because he's still babyish.  The older these kids get, away from babyhood and into kid-land, they become less cute and more annoying to other people.  But I really don't think Marco is in the "annoying stage" yet.  Really.  We try very hard to keep him under control... to keep him kind, obedient, sweet and quiet around adults.  He is well behaved and we get compliments on his behavior all the time.

How should we, as parents, handle this rejection?  We still love our children with an intensity that is indescribable... but other people do not share the same sentiment.  Should we remove ourselves from such circumstances?  Should we come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to give our children attention?  Should we be ok with that?  I really don't know.  I'm at a loss.

This whole situation, which I'm sure didn't even cross the minds of the young couple, has stuck with me for weeks.  Maybe Marco isn't so cute after all?!

No way... that's impossible!

7 comments:

Angela said...

As a mom to 4 children ranging from 10 years to 6 months, I know exactly how you feel! I must say though, these visitors were rude. In any situation, when do you ignore someone who is speaking directly to you? It's not a matter of whether or not your baby was cute (which he is) it's about how bad the manners were of your guests.

Shawna said...

I know, I've always ooh and ahh'd over kids even before I had my own. Yours are obviously adorable, but even when they aren't I still fake it! lol. It's like how I'll never understand child-free wedding receptions....how could you not want adorable little kids taking over the dance floor at your wedding?! Craziness I tell ya ;-)

Allie said...

I love kids so I always ask how they are or say hi no matter what age they are. Those people sound very rude! YUCK!! haha

Your boys are adorable, all kids are adorable and deserve attention! That is nutso!!!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately people don't have manners. By what you've described, it really has nothing to do with Marco's level of cuteness (which is great,btw) it has more to do with the couple's lack of civility.
We live in a world where people care less and less for one another. But don't let that discourage you. I think this is a learning opportunity for you and Marco. Let him know from a young age that not everyone will act toward him in a like manner to his. Set the example by responding correctly, as an adult, and he'll grow up to know how to deal with disappointment and rude people.
As for you, don't over think it. Your kids are great!

Callie Nicole said...

Sheesh, that was so rude of them! Little things go a long way for kids, and I would never just ignore a kid like that! And he is TOTALLY cute, so they must have been blind. I was chuckling just at your description of his antics, because it was cute. :-)

Danielle-Marie said...

I'm sorry, I really just want to punch those visitors in the face right now. Come on Marco! I'll play with Lightning DaQueen with you! Cachow!

Heloisa said...

Nicole
Quando eu li esse post há 2 dias, eu fiquei tão chocada que não consegui nem comentar nada com você! achei esse casal ridículo e sem-educação, que Deus tenha piedade da alma deles, Seus filhos são lindos, e adoráveis, ignore pessoas assim...são POBRES DE ESPÍRITO!
beijos