I like kids who aren’t nice

by doodaddy on September 17, 2008

Nice face

A four-year old and her mom gravitated to us on the playground today. We had gone to a brand-new park in the middle of they yuppiest and most fecund part of San Francisco: Noe Valley. Though we’re not known as a kid town, Noe Valley boasts strollers on every street, most of which are being pushed by nannies or really fit moms.

This particular mom and daughter, though, didn’t quite fit in. She had one of those a husky I-quit-smoking-only-to-have-a-kid brogues, home-styled hair (imagine!), and her clothes were out of fashion. (An educated guess only: I occasionally peruse this year’s Old Navy colors.)

Mom was unprepared for the day: she hadn’t brought any food and repeatedly tried to convince her daughter to go out for some. The girl kept hitting her mom, too, not especially hard, but in a proprietary way that would have sent some Noe moms running for their parenting manuals and child psychologists.

So this outlier mom at the Noe Valley playground naturally drifted in my direction, since I’m another outlier. I’m comfortable around yuppies, but really don’t resemble one, not being very “young” any more and never “upwardly-mobile” or “professional.” Dads aren’t too common over there, either.

Another oddity: the daughter wasn’t “nice.” By that I don’t mean that she was cruel, and she could take turns and all that. She simply wasn’t “trained” nice. “Shamu” nice. “Airport customer service counter” nice.

She was somewhat indifferent, as a matter of fact.

And so Boo loved her.

Involuntarily, this girl taught Boo how to drop from the monkey bars, how to bend in a plié, how to drag your feet on the slide to slow down. The older girl didn’t mind being a teacher — or maybe “mentor” is a better word. She was just having fun, and if my little two-year old was going to toddle around after her, that was no big deal.

Another day, another lesson learned: the less we try to be “nice” to others, the more our own authentic attractions shine through.

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tagged as in community,friends,playground,strangers ·

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

sugarplumsmom September 17, 2008 at 10:40 am

I’ll take authentic attitude over fake nice any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


cryitout September 17, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Hey, F you buddy!


Erica September 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Since when have Airport customer service counter been nice? Oh wait, I’m thinking TSA, never mind. 😉

“sent some Noe moms running for their parenting manuals and child psychologists” – hahaha


Arron September 17, 2008 at 7:57 pm

“The less we try to be “nice” to others, the more our own authentic attractions shine through.”

I’m going to swipe this and make it my own, DD. We’re separated by 2500 miles and a ridiculous twangy accent, so I doubt I’ll be Bidened any time soon.


doodaddy September 18, 2008 at 12:14 am

Wow, so you’re in Venezuela? I had no idea y’all were reading me and mytwang from down there!


always home and uncool September 18, 2008 at 7:24 am

"Trained nice" = phony. Celebrate being authenticly normal!


doodaddy September 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm

@always home and uncool – Authentic – Yes! Normal? Not many people I’ve known have said so… 😉

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