Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Liar, liar, pants on fire

This is one of those posts where I come to my brilliant readers for advice. I'm not quite sure what to do and would love some feedback. We were at an appointment for Jamo yesterday afternoon. Roo, Sugar and I had an hour in the waiting room to chill. They did a fantastic job of sharing, playing nice, etc. I was really proud of them. About 10 minutes before it was time to go, Roo got tired of playing with the toys and got out his Nintendo DS to play. I have no problem with him using his DS in a waiting room. I think waiting rooms can be boring too. The problem is that this other little boy didn't have one. Roo was willing to let him watch, and might have let him play had it been more than a few minutes. BUT, this little boy goes and complains to his mom that he doesn't have his DS. The mom says to him, "You aren't allowed to play with electronic devices here. Do you see that sign? It says "No electronics." The boy of course whines, "But he has one!" She replies, "Well, he is breaking the rules." Um, excuse me? I see 3 signs hanging on the wall:

  1. Please enjoy the toys but clean up when you are done.

  2. Please inform the secretary that you have arrived.

  3. Please do not use cell phones in the waiting room.

That's it. Nothing about electronics. So the boy goes and tells Roo, "You are breaking the rules." Surprised, Roo asked, "What rules?" The boy points to the signs. Roo, who has read chapter books since pre-kindergarten, says, "I don't see that rule anywhere." The boy comes up to me, "He is breaking the rules." I kid you not, the mom was sitting right next to me. She had to have heard all of this. Did she expect me to lie to him too? I'm sorry lady, but just because you lie to your kid doesn't mean I'm going to go along with it.

I said, "Oh really?" "Yes. Look at the sign." Resisting the urge to walk him over to the sign and read it word by word to him, I said, "Thank you." I called Roo over and asked if he could put it away since it was causing problems. He did, to his credit, though disappointed since they rarely get to play with their DS during the school week.

Now my questions: What would you have done in my situation? Would you have lied to the kid and said, "Oh yes, it does say that." Would you have told him it didn't and maybe read it to him too? Would you have said something to the mom?

Keep in mind I have 7 more weeks of this as it is an 8 week course. Do I let Roo bring his DS next week??

Advice is appreciated!

14 chocolate lovers:

Laura said...

I think you handled it perfectly. I would still let him bring the ds. Waiting rooms are boring. Maybe that mom will come to her senses and let her son bring his to the next appointment. Or, better yet, maybe you'll get lucky and they won't be there the next time. :)

Melinda said...

oh h3ll no :)
I would've said to the other kid, "The sign says no cell phones, he's allowed to play his game." That mother was out of line and just bitter her kid wasn't cooperating and behaving like your kids.

Bea said...

Yikers! That is an awkward situation. I would let him bring it to the next appointment. I am like you and would have had a tough time saying anything to the mom or the kid. I hope she's not there when you go again, but if she is, I'd probably go with Melinda's advice and tell the kid Roo is allowed to play his game.

Jayson and Victoria said...

How awkward! Other children's parents!!...I swear, are worse then the kids sometimes. I think you handled it really well. It's hard to know what to do right in the middle of the situation and hindsight is always 20/20. I think what I would do is talk to her one on one (not in front of the kids) and just let her know you didn't appreciate the situation you were placed in and next time you will not expect expect your son to follow suit becuase she chooses to lie to her children. Such a shame, but you I am sure you didn't want to point out to her son that his mom is a blatent liar, that just would have made him feel bad.

ChristyLou said...

I would have done the same thing. I definitely wouldn't have lied to the kid, and I don't think saying something to the mom would have been helpful. I would perhaps talk to Roo about what happened and see what his thoughts are on the could be confusing to a kid. I'm guessing the other mom was avoiding a fight with her kid through a fib. Too bad she allowed her kid to drag you all into it, lame.

I also think I would keep letting Roo bring the DS. He's not breaking any rules and I take anything I can to make waiting rooms less of an ordeal. Best of luck!

Smart Helm said...

I agree with the other commenters. I think you handled it perfectly, although it is annoying. Ur kids had a good example. Good luck with next week!

sayitrahshay said...

I hate when people use others to parent their children instead of doing it themselves! Not to make this a 'me' moment but I have had people use the library lady as everything from getting their kid to leave to reading books.

I think you did a great job. I would not have assisted the lie either. I would continue to let Roo use his DS. If it comes up again I would address it but I should hope she brings something to engage her kid in the future!

Jenn said...

Seriously, this makes me mad. I might even go as far as saying, "You know, it says cell phones, not DS's, maybe your mom can't read." Okay, I wouldn't say that last part, depends on how mad I was. I've told Ellie that (loudly) "It's rude to smoke by doors and by babies" when people smoke by doors and babies. :)

Musings of a Housewife said...

OMG. You have GOT to be kidding. I would SO let him play the DS!!! What is WRONG with people?

Sarah C said...

I totally agree with you and the others that made comments. I would have not dealt with it as well as you. You are a great mom. I would let Roo play the DS and if the mom makes a problem about it next time I would tell that mom to step up to the plate and tell the truth!

Liz said...

I think you handled it just fine. It's clearly not against the rules, but when I think about the spirit of the "no cellphone" rule, it likely has to do with disturbing others with noise. To that end, if you bring the DS next time, either have a rule that the volume has to be down, or bring headphones.

It didn't sound like there was a volume issue in your situation, but if noise could be heard, it's possible the other mom took a pretty liberal interpretation of the rule and didn't view her comment as an outright lie. I do think she handled the entire situation horribly! She could have just talked to you instead of trying to guilt you into solving her kid's problem.

Diane said...

Oh, I would bring the DS and several other electronic toys along out of spite next time! LOL! I would think the "no cell phones" referrs to not speaking on the phone. There is no way I could spend an hour in a waiting room without checking my email on my phone. I think you handled the situation well and your son was wonderful with handling his disappointment. Is there someone sitting at a reception desk? If the same woman is there next time I might make a point of asking the receptionist if it was ok for my child to use a DS, so that everyone in the room understood the answer. Just a thought!

Erika said...

I'm sure that, under my breath, I would've said 'Wow. They must be changing the meaning of the words in the English language because that is NOT what I gleaned from that sign.' Out loud? Smile and nod. Smile and nod.
Been doing that a lot lately.

handmade_mama said...

I would have completely ignored the mom. She was way out of line and misinformed her kid, who in turn, misinformed yours--very ignorantly, I may add. I most certainly would NOT have lied to my own child about the instructions on the signage. At the end of the day, you know in your heart that you didn't lie to your kid. The other woman did.

In talking to my child, I probably would have employed the use of an pleasant tone of voice and told her that it says that cell phones can't be used, but doesn't say anything about DS's, so she could keep playing until we went in to see the doctor. However, waiting rooms are cramped and could feel even smaller in an awkward situation. You probably did the right thing with having your son put the DS away (and good for him for following your directions during a stressful time!), and you DEFINITELY did the right thing by not pandering to that seemingly bitchy mom.