I just read a post at Mama's Little Chick in which she talks about some children being "not very nice" to her little girl. It reminded me of something that just blew me away last week.
Once a week I go grocery shopping. The two stores that I always hit are Trader Joe's (love that store, but that's another story) and Ralphs (hate that store, but I get the things there that Trader Joe's doesn't have).
Kai loves sitting in the "soppin caht" [translation: shopping cart] and dumping the items that I pull off the shelf into the cart. Then, at the check out, he gets great joy out of pulling the items out of the shopping cart and handing them to the person at the register. He loves to help. It just baffles me that many of the employees (mainly at Ralphs) have no friggin' clue how to respond to that. At Trader Joe's people know him, so after being helped out by my toddler helper, they always thank him and offer him "stickies" [translation: stickers]. Imagine the joy he gets out of that. However, at Ralphs he gets no response, other than the look of "what the hell are you doing? Let me do that!"
Then, after I have paid, bags are packed and put back in the shopping cart and as I pull away from the check out stand, Kai proceeds with a LOUD "Byyyyeeeeee Everyone! Byyyyeeee Byyyyeeee!!!" And guess what...no one responds! Nobody!! As in not 1 person has the decency to say "bye" back, resulting in leaving a little boy looking up at his mommy with a confused and slightly disappointed look in his eyes.
It seriously breaks my heart. What is a mom to do? I cannot possible convince him that people "must not have heard" him, or that they were too busy?
At the smaller local Trader Joe's he always gets responses, not only from 'our' check-out-person, but also from the person bagging my goodies, and other employees in the store who pick up on his excitement and desire to connect. Only to proceed to the next store, where his attempts to communicate and be polite fall absolutely dead in the water.
It just makes me wonder what's up with people today: I don't think responding to a toddler is any different from responding to an adult (in this instance). Are people really that self-centered that they have no clue what is going on around them? Or do people just not care? What is it? How do we explain this to our children? And more importantly, how do we make sure that our children maintain that sense of politeness, innocence, happiness and continue to express their desire to connect and communicate?