Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spy School starts early...

So, here’s the scoop on the weird pre-serial killer kid that Bridget picked up:

Apparently a few weeks ago she was outside with Molly and this kid introduced himself, said he was from Russia and was looking for friends. Okay, fine, whatever. He’s 11 and lives on the street that crosses our street, around the corner about two blocks down. Bridget will be 10 next month so really the age difference is not that big.

Apparently he’s come over a few times after school, before I get home from work. Jerrod is home. He also came over during the winter break, when Ian was babysitting, but the kids know no one is allowed in the house when Jerrod or myself isn’t at home. Jerrod also said the kid came over once on a school day when BB was in school (I guess public school had the day off).

Jerrod has commented that he doesn’t think the kid is all there, but I just assumed it was a language barrier thing…

So, the other night I come home from work and he’s in the house playing with the girls. He’s sitting in the living room with his shoe and sock off and he walks over to me in the kitchen and says “I can’t walk, I hurt my foot and I think it’s broken”. Of course at this point I have no clue what’s going on and say, “Oh, okay, I’ll take you home.” And he proceeds to tell me he can’t walk. At. All. Except that he’s doing just fine from the living room to the kitchen. I send him back into the living room to put his shoe/sock on and will drive him home. He tells me he can’t walk. I tell him if he can walk to the kitchen, he can walk to the car, I’m not carrying him.

He gets into the car, and the girls come with. All the way there he’s talking about how they can come in and play while I talk to his mom. I explain to him that they’re not coming over to play, we’re just dropping him off and going back home. It’s like he doesn’t hear me – he keeps insisting that they will come in and play for a while.

We get to the house and he walks up the walk (no limp) and goes inside and yells, “Mom, someone’s here” and tells the girls to come in. I tell the girls no and we’ll wait on the stoop. His mom says something from another room and he says “there’s someone at the door to see you”, like we just showed up and asked for his mother. I explain to her that he says he hurt his foot and I wanted to get him home safely (it was full dark).

After I get back home, Jerrod tells me this:
The kid is into everything – he grabbed Ian’s sword, he went into the garage and tried to convince Bridget to play with the bow/arrows even though she told him they’re not allowed – he told her it wasn’t real and wouldn’t hurt anyone (Yes, they are real). Then he was pulling the cats and when Jerrod lectured him and told him just because they’re not human doesn’t mean they’re not alive, the kid looked away and ignored him until he was done, then went back for the cat. At that point, Jerrod said it was time to go home. The kid told him he didn’t have to be home until after midnight (!!!). Jerrod told him it was time to go home now at which point the kid claimed to have hurt his foot.

Soooooo, with all that information on hand, Jerrod and I sat down with Bridget and explained that while we aren’t telling her not to be friends with this kid, we are telling her to be careful. We told her under no circumstances is he allowed into the house when we’re not home (not even to use the bathroom), and she’s going to have to be alert because although he’s older than she is, he seems to be confused about the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. We gave some worst case scenarios that could have happened if he had used the arrows while Molly was in the backyard, and pointed out his behavior with the cats. She says she understands, and I hope that she does, but we are definitely keeping an eye on this kid. As I am not a medical professional, I can’t label the kid, but the signals he’s throwing out are definitely not right. I don’t know if it’s autism or something else, but I don’t want the girls to be accidentally hurt because we figured he’s harmless.

And, as always, I wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Is the kid just different? Are we hampering the chance for him to have frinds? Are we “helicoptering” the girls? I think in this case we’re doing the best we can.


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Save this post... For five-ten years from now when he is on the news.

Seriously, I am sorry to hear that honey. Something is just not there for him.

Hugs to you honey!

Chris said...

Eek! No, I think you did a good job of sitting down and explaining WHY you were concerned.

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Cecile, my intuition says to watch him,so I'm going with it. I hope I'm wrong.

Chris, thanks for the support. I could second-guess myself from here to forever it I let myself :)

Danielle said...

Oh wow.
Wouldn't you think, if the child did have some sort of learning disability that his parents would talk to you about it!?! Geez. It's not as though you can ask them, "is your son 'alright'?". Wow.

I can remember when I was a child that I had a friend who was a 'bad influence' and my parents just put a stop to our play time together. I remember being angry with them for a long time... but, like a child, I eventually became more interested i my other friends.

You would hate for it to get to a point where your child gets hurt simply because you were worried about social niceties and some other child's social development.

Good luck with this social faux pas. Let us know how it goes.

Hannah said...

I trust your gut, keep that kid within eyesight and arm's length away from the babies!

Major Dad said...

I made the choice to allow them to play together, but trust me when I say that we (both Ian and I) keep a sharp eye. I don't want to just say "No. You can't play with him" because B is the type of child to do it because I said no. So...having said that, B will eventually say it herself (cuz thats the type of child I raised!)

Louisiana Rose said...

So what's your feel on the mom? (Also Russian?)