Can I have your kid?

“My dad is a jerk.”

On the weekend I took Beetle and her friend – a roly-poly, moon-faced little boy I’ll call Weevil – out to the beach.  We don’t exactly have a beach here, but we have a lake in which, for about four months out of every year, you can paddle.  The other eight months, it will kill fully grown boar hounds at ten paces.

I have to say that Weevil is my kind of kid.  Whereas Beetle, sweet as she is, is kind of monosyllabic, Weevil is extremely chatty and has the imagination of a natural liar.  As a verbal person (and liar) myself, I warm to that.

On the way to the beach, Weevil pointed out to Beetle at least three alien space ships, and explained that we’d better not stop in the pine forests we were passing because he knew for a fact that the Slender Man lived there and would chop us up into bits.

He said that his back yard was full of ghosts, which he’d often seen out his window at night, and that next year he was planning to buy a hologram camera, create a hologram of a pterodactyl, and ride it to school.

He suggested that the headless horseman was a bit of a traffic hazard at night, so we’d better not be late home.  When I suggested that the headless horseman had a tendency to get lost, due to not having any eyes, he laughed, and explained that he’d teamed up with an evil pumpkin who provided the vision while the headless one provided the transport.

Both kids had a good time, but on the way back home, Weevil became visibly anxious.  When I asked him what was the matter, he said that he was afraid that his dad might be drunk when he got back.  He was scared of his dad, when drunk.  Matter of factly, he told me that his dad was ‘a jerk’ – a direct quote from mum, I’d say.  When we drove up to the house, he wouldn’t go in until we’d listened for signs of ‘loud music’ – which apparently meant his dad would be downing the tinnies.

Made me think, when kids have to cope with trouble at home, they come up with various ways and means.  Beetle’s way involves turning inwards, silence.  Weevil’s way is to immerse himself in a fantasy world.

An African friend once told me that in his village, children choose their parents. If they don’t like the ones they were born with, they gravitate to adults they like better, with the consent of both parties.  I think Weevil and I would probably gravitate.  He fantasises (about aliens). I fantasise (about being published).  He chatters.  I blog.  We both like telling horror stories.

Have you ever been drawn to a kid that wasn’t yours?


  1. Sure…! Many years ago when my daughter was a little one I gravitated to quite a number of her friends (from tots to teens). They probably gravitated to me first, when I think about it..! I love the imaginings of kids, though you do present a pretty awful one here. I believe the kids who gravitated to me were probably the ones like Weevil; they saw a happy mum and daughter, and wanted a piece of it… I would have done the same as a kid, having come from a ‘not so nice’ parenting situation. I didn’t find anyone though, who fit that bill (except my 4th grade teacher)…!
    Lucky Weevil to have found you; we all need a village to mature…!

    1. Well, I’d like to have Weevil over too – but I don’t want Beetle to feel un-special. And I don’t know if I have the time. And yet..I really like him, and I feel sorry for his situation.

      1. Don’t need to do much I’ve always found..! A little kindness here, a little word there. Kids like that remember the kindnesses; they help more than you’d appreciate…!
        You don’t have to ‘go out of your way’; you’ll be remembered, I’m sure..!

      2. Well, if I had a little more time, I could have Weevil over for an afternoon. Maybe I’ll try, once a fortnight. We can make up stories perhaps.


  2. Did I miss something? Is Beetle Ms. M? Weevil sounds like a delight. And from his rambunctious attitude I would NEVER have guessed he had a troubled household. Goes to show ya … no judging until you hear the whole story.

    Funny, though, the kids that are silent and withdrawn are drawn to me, and me to them. They WILL indeed talk and share ideas and have fun, and are usually quite artistic or talented, but “turned in”. I don’t have children, but one of my early dreams was to work with kids who needed a little direction (not counseling necessarily) but maybe, aptitude testing, confidence building … all that.

    It’s interesting that no one would suspect troubles at home if a child is outgoing and lively. The introverted, silent types are a pretty darn big giveaway: AND neglected ANYWAY. Poo on us!

    1. No, Beetle’s my Barnardos kid, that I have once a week. She does have a very troubled background. I think you’re drawn to the kids that are kind of like you. I’m introverted but very verbal – Beetle is physical – she likes chasing games, that kind of thing. Which is fine, but not so ‘me’. Yes, poo on us!

      1. I like to help children who get lost because they aren’t “physical” or considered “special” or flamboyant. That is more what I’m attracted to, I believe. But troubled is good too: Nothing would shock me, and kids tell me stuff.

      2. I think kids are people too, and some of us appeal to one another, and others of us, not so much. Yeah, I feel for the quiet kids too, I was one of those.


      3. My brother has never wanted children; nor does he like them. There are those folks too. Hopefully they don’t actually HAVE them, if they don’t want them.

      4. Yeah, hopefully. It’s hard to understand not liking kids – but it takes all sorts. People have kids out of laziness or instinct or hope that someone will finally love them – none of those are really great prognostications from the kids point of view.


      5. Oh, yea. The number one reason has to be you want them, you know they will require LOADS of love, LOADS of money … you will continue to love them even when they’re annoying, and that you KNOW in your heart you want CHILDREN. It’s so bizarre to think about people just popping children out for welfare payments, or someone to take care of THEM when THEY’re old. Lots of stupid people. Yes, there are all kinds of people. Did i just judge 😉

    1. Well, I said that IF his dad proved to be drunk, we’d see what to do then – I think the next expected stage was to ring his mum. But of course, I would have offered a safe haven, if necessary. I’d like to have Weevil over more, but not sure if I really have the time.

  3. I feel for that dear boy. Glad he found your daughter, and then you, Rose.

    No, I haven’t been drawn to anyone else’s child for a long time, ao long ago I only recall it was a brown-eyed little boy with dark hair. I always thought it was because we didn’t have boys in my family.

    1. Maybe it was (because you don’t have boys). I think we do find ‘natural’ sons and daughters sometimes. Beetle isn’t my daughter though, she’s my Barnardos kid – should have explained. My daughter is teenaged and far above the troubles of little kids!

  4. How sad for that poor, cute sounding child. I simply cannot imagine being too scared to go home to my parents. Just terrible. Hmmm, I live in Africa and have certainly never found any signs of kids choosing their own parents. Then again, there are many countries on this continent so maybe they do, somewhere.

  5. I fell in love with Weevil when you said, he is extremely chatty and has the imagination of a natural liar – I just died laughing when I read that! I was reading and smiling along just enjoying his stories and then you said he was scared to go home because dad might be drunk…damn….just damn…..

    1. Yeah, I know. He is a very charming kid. You know what I notice about the two of them? Neither cry a lot when they’re hurt. They just endure. I bet that comes from growing up with parents who don’t rush over when you squeak – they’re too busy drugged out or whatever.

  6. Weevil reminds me of the daughter of a friend. She was imaginative, chatty, and, at times, just this side of delusional, but it was all in good fun. At nine, we discovered she had begun writing a novel. But around that time, her abusive father came back in the picture. Now, she’s well on the other side of delusional. I wish that I’d not lost touch with her during the critical time. I still have hope, but she has a long way back now.

    This story reminded me of her, because the father was a mean, little ass. Her never beat the girl, but he raged enough to leave her traumatized nonetheless. Sensitive kids seem to be the most prone.

    1. What a shit of a father! A lot of us are not perfect parents by any means, but we don’t blight lives. That’s really sad. Yes, it did occur to me that maybe Weevil could use a friend.


  7. Aww, very sweet. if this is a true story….I HOPE you spend lots of time, letting him stay at your house, he needs someone like you, or he wouldn’t have told you that. he was asking…for your love and time…. 🙂

  8. Many times, and I often wish I could scoop them up and give them the love and attention they deserve. This can be a tough world for children, something that makes me sad everyday.

  9. But of course kids are different when they are at home. It’s why grandparents get on with them so well. And how do you know he is lying? Maybe he is living in a parallel universe?

    1. It’s true, kids are different at home. How do I know he’s lying? I don’t think he’s lying, I think he’s letting his imagination run riot, an entirely good thing. I was just joking about the lying. But..he could be in a parallel universe. Pity he couldn’t arrange for one without the drunk dad though.


      1. Well, it was a one off – but I’m thinking of contacting the dad or mum and asking if he’d like to come over again sometime.


  10. To me , this is one more case of the “other side of sadness.” Rather than presuming and then ascribing thoughts to the kid, how could one take more responsibility oneself?


  11. In my life I have met several ‘Weevils’, one of the last was a Weevilette, who used to frequent our house because there was never enough food in hers. She has just produced a little ‘Grub’ and my advice to her was never let the Grubs go hungry. Her response was a wonderful hug.


    1. Obviously she really appreciated your help. I guess the thing is, if you see a chance to make things a little better, don’t pass it by. And I guess your WEevilette had a good appreciation of the importance of food!


  12. very touching and really intelligent discussion. I believe you are right, children should be allowed to choose their parents! of course with the agreement of the parents they choose.

  13. I haven’t been drawn to other kids, no, but so much do understand your story 🙂

    To be honest, I often feel very sad when I look upon children: I feel sorry at their vulnerability in our world.

    Love this though! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s