I went to a family party today. It was up in New Hampshire at a cousin's house. It was on my mother's side of the family. It was awkward and fairly boring but the food was quite good. When we arrived I looked at the coolers that were lined up and labeled. Juice, soda, water, and nectar of ennui. No alcohol whatsoever. They were right on the front entrance porch. Sort of like a narrow billboard from hell. "Bet you thought we'd have an ice cold beer in here! Nope, now go in and give awkward hugs and make small talk. Grab an apple juice and reconnect, Sucka!"
They had a nice beach across the street so I took the kids over for a swim. There at the water's edge was the wife of one of my 4th cousin's once removed. She was keeping watch over her oldest child. A three year old. Back at the house my son was told of his new friend that was waiting for him at the beach. "Oh, you are right about the same age!" "You can be buddies at the beach!" "He's waiting for you!" My five year old was giddy over the fact he'd have a pal after 2 hours in a car fighting with his sister. Anticipation was high as we trekked over.
On first approach he seemed a great playmate. Jaunty baseball hat, expressive eyes, extremely articulate for his age. He hid behind his mother shyly. He too had been briefed on the arrival of a new pal. Everyone had pumped him up about Max's attendance at the family party. The problem is, Desmond was not on the same page anymore. At first they played nicely together in the water, digging in the sand, sharing the one pail. After about 20 minutes Desmond morphed into a complete shitbag.
The first infraction was throwing a shovel at Max's head. It missed Max by a hair, but Max knew he had done it and I knew he had thrown it. So did my mother who was standing near me. She shifted slightly. That shift translated into: Please don't react, Chrissy. I understood her tension. I accepted her silent plea. Family was around us everywhere, people we had not seen in years. Let it go. So the dink threw a shovel, no biggie. Worse things have transpired. My radar was up though. I waited quietly while the kid registered that he had got away clean. He shifted his expressive eyes towards me and I saw the flicker of a thought process fly past his pupils. He knew that I knew he was a shitbag, and he was far from done. Max looked at me and realized I was not going to say anything. He calmly picked up the shovel and walked over to where Desmond was sitting and deposited it on the sand next to him. He walked away quietly and resumed his activity. That's right baby, plant that bait. Jelly donut for you tomorrow morning, my munchie-boo.
Sure enough Desmond flung the shovel again and it bounced off Max's swim trunks. This time the mother noticed before I could say anything. "Desmond!" he was ushered away to another section of the beach and admonished. Desmond had identical twin sisters back at the house. They were 18 months old and just walking. He was here from San Francisco visiting his grandparents at their beach house. They had been here for about a week prior to today's party. For the first time in 18 months he was being lavished with tons of attention from his entire extended family. He was fucking King, and he was loving every second of it. They thought he'd be all happy about his new playmate but they were dead wrong. Max was a direct threat, and a slightly older one. Desmond was pissed and wanted Max to go back to the genetic hole he had crawled out of.
To keep Max occupied during Desmond's scolding I helped him to build a few small huts out of sand. Max decided to re-create our neighborhood. He named the mounds telling me that they represented our neighbor's homes. "Here is where Roger and Barbara live., this is the yellow house with the flag." I played along helping him put sticks in for chimney's. We popped in a few leaves to represent trees. We even put in a swimming pool with ample rock support in the hopes that dad would walk by and get the subtle hint. I was pleased with how clever my son was, wanting to make a miniature version of his street. How smart and cute as he named all the neighbors carefully and labeled each home with unique markings. I should have listened to what he was really telling me as he shaped the small huts. "Take me home, Mom. To this happy place that I love. Where Desmond the shitbag won't throw pointy shovels at my head."
Desmond came tromping over with a fresh stream of thick yellow antibiotic needing snot running down his upper lip. Fantastic, nobody told me the kid was sick. He stood over Max's streetscape breathing heavily and staring down. I saw him looking at the trees and the rock pool with demon eyes. Don't you dare do it, you little menace. I will break off your foot and beat you with it. The mother came fluttering over nervously and prompted Desmond to apologize for the shovel. Lady, we are soooo beyond the shovel here. Desmond was silent, and after 3 agonizing minutes of her prompting she apologized for Desmond's shitbagginess. Great, thanks, no problem, we have all been there, polite smile. Desmond was shuffled over to another area.
Jamie took Max in for a swim, I went off to talk to others. It's pretty obvious what happened during the next 10 minutes. The shitbag destroyed Max's mini-street. Stomped all over it. I did not see him doing it, neither did Max. My daughter did. She told me after Max began sobbing when he came out of the water. He was all done, the 5 year old patience level was tapped. Desmond was a loser and his mother was blind. He destroyed Max's happy place. The kicker was that he was sitting down at the other end of the beach with his mother building an exact replica of what he had previously crushed. The bitch even used my leaf idea. I hope his mini swimming pool gives him Legionnaire's Disease.