There was a little incident at the beach the other day.
Some of my family members and guests wanted to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach.
We purposely went to a beach very few tourists know about. It's located in a small cove and doesn't get crowded. It's a bit of a hike, so even lazy locals don't want to be bothered. There are no public bathrooms either … another strike against it as far as the crowds go.
(By the way, we peed before we left … please don't pee in my the ocean. I don't want to swim in your piss! Do you want to swim in other people's bodily fluids?)
Some of my family/friends arrived first and they went to the far, far, end of the cove by the rocks. Then they went on the other side of those rocks where there's a narrow, very small, strip of sand available to sit on when the tide is down. When the tide comes up, there's no beach there at all.
Ah …. privacy!
We were having a great afternoon. It could not have been prettier.
Late in the afternoon, two boys (about ages 3 and 5) came running around the rocks. They were laughing and playing. My first thought, when I saw them was "CUTE!"
I like kids. I'm, by no means, a kid hater.
I have three kids of my own, two of which are boys.
The cuteness ended pretty quickly, however, when one of the boys threw sand directly in Briefcase's face.
Let me clarify, they weren't throwing sand while playing ….
Boy #1 looked right at Briefcase, reached down and grabbed a handful of sand, ran up to Briefcase and threw it directly into his face.
We were … stunned.
Boy #2 decided to copy his brother and did the same thing.
Boy #1 was running back and forth on our microscopic patch of beach. Back and forth right across our fairly small blanket, repeatedly, as a matter of fact.
Boy #1 threw sand in one of my friend's faces as deliberately as he had done to Briefcase just moments before.
After the second time, his (I presume) Dad, Grandfather, and another male adult appeared.
(I later saw the mom sleeping on a beach blanket at the other end of the beach.)
I normally avoid confrontations, but I said -as nicely as I could, "The boys are throwing sand at us."
"Oh, you mean they're acting like kids?" replied Grandpa indignantly.
"They're being boys," added the dad, clearly irritated with me.
Grandpa, Dad, and Other Adult Male stood there talking to each other – completely ignoring the boys and their behavior. In their eyes, I had voiced an unimportant complaint. None of the adults even bothered to look over and see what the boys were doing.
After all, boys will be boys.
All three men oozed with the attitude – There's no way OUR kids could be in the wrong. They're just being boys!
Sand throwing went on for awhile. Chasing one another across our beach blanket continued as well.
And yes, we did ask the boys to stop on both accounts. Neither boy even acknowledged we had spoken.
Finally, because it was clear there were no alternatives, we packed up our stuff and left.
As we were walking away, the boys grabbed handfuls of sand once again. I guess, since we were no longer easy targets, they ran up to their Grandpa and threw it directly at him. Grandpa was standing up, unlike Briefcase and my friend who had been at eye level with the boys. The sand flew against his body, not into his face and eyes.
Grandfather was pissed.
"No throwing sand," he scolded.
In response, Boy #2 picked up a handful of sand and threw it right at Grandfather again.
Grandfather's face turned red in anger. He began sputtering.
Right then Grandfather looked up at me.
We made eye contact and a light bulb seemed to go on in Grandfather's eyes.
We were leaving. We had informed them the boys were throwing sand AT us. They had belittled and ignored the complaint. Now the boys were throwing sand at HIM and he didn't like it at all.
The other adults, most notably the parents, made no attempt to say anything to the boys. Apparently, the word no is not in their vocabulary.
Can someone explain this to me?
Do the parents think they're doing their kids a favor by being "nice?"
Are they completely blind to the fact their kids are not learning behavior boundaries?
Don't tell me ages 3 and 5 are too young to understand the meaning of no.
© Twenty Four At Heart