I took Bubba and his friend Nick to the pool today. They were not getting along. When they both came to complain to me, I told them to be nice and go play.
I saw that Nick was playing with other kids in the pool, and Bubba was off by himself, so I played catch with Bubba for a little bit. Nick came around and the two of them started playing, so I went back to my chair.
Not long after that, I saw the other kids hanging around them again.
Nick came out of the pool and took a little torpedo out of his bag. He went to the pool and they all started playing.
I saw Nick throw the torpedo and hit Bubba in the head with it. Nick retrieved the toy and threw it at Bubba’s head again. The other kids were all laughing and talking to Bubba in a mocking manner.
I got up.
“Okay Nick. Out of the pool. We’re going home. C’mon, Bubba.”
“Because you’re being mean to Bubba, and friends aren’t mean to each other.”
A brilliant, very brief smile flashed across Bubba’s face. I knew I was doing the right thing.
I dropped Nick off at his house, and explained to his dad that the boys just weren’t getting along, so I decided to cut our losses. I confirmed that they would still have a playdate tomorrow, and that I was sure they would get along fine. I implied that the other kids in the pool changed the dynamic for the worse.
But you and I, and now Bubba and Nick, know.
You just can’t be mean to your friends.
Bubba and I went to the pet store and played with the birds. Then we came home and were surprised by a new visitor to our neighborhood: an eight-year-old boy. A fun, kind boy.
All in all, a good day. I love that boy of mine.