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Advice needed about little girls. NOW!

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#1
The White Coyote

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I am somewhat in a panic. There is an 11 year old girl who comes to my shop almost every day. She loves to help me sweep and act as my cashier. She is a sweetheart and we have formed a relationship as a grandpa and grandaughter. I never knew my own daughter and am really enjoying our friendship. We talk about school and work but typically her visits are an hour at most. Here is the problem. For her birthday, she asked me to take her to a real baseball game. I thought it sounded like fun but the game is Sunday the 15th and I am scared to death. What the hell do 11 year old girls do? I haven't any idea how to talk or act or anything? I am nearly in a panic here. I know NOTHING about little girls! She seems pretty mature for her age but what the hell do I know? What if she has to go to the ladies room? Do I just stand outside the door or what? What do I do if I have to use the can? Do I just leave her by herself? Holy Shit! That sounds so dangerous. Should I ask someone to keep n eye on her then? Do I need to hold her hand as we walk? Oh shit! I know nothing about this! Can any of you help me? I really need advice here. All my life I have faced down some of the toughest men in the world and always knew exactly what to do and here I am faced with a 75 lb angel faced little cherub and I am about to lose my lunch! I know you guys are probably laughing your asses off but I'm in a real fix here. HELP!

#2
FlatEarth1024

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Where are her parents?  Are they going, or will you be 'unchaperoned', so to speak?  Surely you have been, or will be, in contact with her guardians, yes?  I can definitely see a situation where this kid is "saved" from a dirty old man while you are led away stammering "B---b---but...you don't understand...".  These days, last place I would allow myself is unsupervised with a little girl.  Even with the parent's blessing you'll have the wary eyes of nosy do-gooders hawking your every move.

Re holding her hand...avoid ALL physical contact in public for the same reasons as above.  You see a baby, she sees a grampa.  Mr and Mrs John Q see a sicko and his innocent victim.  Granted, your relationship with her will probably never be questioned, but if it is it will lead to all kinds of uncomfortable and tense exchanges. 

What if you get pulled over 3 exits from the stadium?  "License and registration please, sir.  Who's the girl?"  "Ummm..well...you see officer..."  Who needs that?  You need a female adult with you at the very least, one of her parents optimally.  Otherwise, you could end up opening a can of worms that will be a bitch on wheels to try and close again.  Like you said, what if you have to go to the head?  You come out and she's gone.  That's on you.  You want that?

Sad to say, but that's our world.  Nobody but you knows you mean no harm.  If I'm standing behind you in the hot dog line and I realize you are not related to her, I'm getting security.

#3
GodlessInNV

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First:  Ditto on everything FlatEarth said.  Your first priority is to clear this with her guardians.  Make sure you have their full names, address, and phone number with you.  Give them yours.  Make an effort to meet with them in person, and ask if one of them or another friend/relative will go with you.  If they're not interested in meeting you, you still need their permission to take her anywhere.  Make sure they know exactly where you'll be and how long you'll be gone, and don't stray from the plan!  If they won't say yes or no, consider that a no and let her down easy. 

Second:  As for what to do with her--it sounds like you already have a good friendship.  Consider your little field trip an extension of your daily visits.  Since she asked you to take her to a ball game, she's probably interested in the sport.  Ask her why she wanted to see a real game.  Does she play?  Tell her about the first time you saw a live game (or is this YOUR first, too?).  You don't have to fill every moment with conversation--it will mean the world to her that you're spending time with her.

As for the bathroom, I suggest you go before you leave for the game.  Don't drink anything to avoid having to leave her alone.  If she has to go, go with her and wait outside with all the other men.  I don't really have any advice about what to do if you can't avoid having to go.  Maybe some other grandparent out there will know. 

You don't have to tell us, but think about the reasons she might be spending so much time at your store.  Does she have an abusive home life that she doesn't like to go home to?  Did she recently lose a grandparent?  I strongly suggest that you seek out a local mentor program (like Big Brothers Big Sisters, although I don't think they would ever match an adult male with a minor female) to see about both of you becoming a part of a program.  Her guardians will have to give their permission, and the mentor program can give you lots of advice on appropriate activities and behaviors for your visits. 

Good luck!

#4
Ungodly

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I agree with eveeryone else.  You need to keep in mind that this culture is nearly hysterical sometimes about protecting children from predatory adults.  There is a tendency to recognize bad intentions where none actually exist.

Don't take this child without someone legally responsible for her telling you it is OK.  And if you have to go to the restroom find an adult woman to keep an eye on the child, anyone you might ask is going to agree to help.

#5
The White Coyote

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Of course her parents know! I may be dumb about the ways of little girls but I'm not that dumb. The family lives directly behind my shop. I know them all, cut all of their hairs. Of course I asked them before I even suggested anything to her. Give me a little credit will ya? As far as appearances I could give a shit what anyone may think. She's a bright sweet little girl and I am old enough to be her grandpa. Should anyone ask, (why would they?) that's the story. Grandparents don't have to be blood relatives. I was not lucky enough to ever know my own daughter until she was 18 and I always have felt cheated. This is my chance to enjoy doing those things that I missed doing with a little girl. She's a real pistol too and reminds me of me!

As far as safety issues I would not hesitate to say that while in my care, she will be safer than she has ever been in her life. I didn't come out of my background not knowing how to take care of business, if you know what I mean? I'm going to give her a mini walky-talky so anytime we may find ourselves out of sight of each other we will still have contact. I've talked with her father many, many times and he knows my background and I am sure he and his wife are very comfortable with everything.

These issues are a concern but not a priority. My point is I am going to spend an entire day with a little girl and I have never done that! I don't need advice on how to keep her safe and alive, that's my entire lifes training, my need is much more basic. How do I make sure she has a wonderful time at the ballpark and we have a great day?

#6
Ungodly

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Sometimes I'm a dunce  [smilie=princess_spamalot.gif] sorry.

1)  Get her to talk about her life, be it school, friends, whatever.  Get her to go into more detail.

2)  Give her some advice.  In the next few years she and all of her friends will suddenly become vicious and catty with each other. Tell her never to tell her friends her secrets, and never to speak poorly of others.  These two tricks will reduce the misery until she and her friends become human again around 13 or 14 years of age.

3)  Talk about food, everybody likes food.

#7
Unbeliever

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Well WC, she obviously likes you for who you are, so just be yourself! Don't try to force yourself to be whatever you think she wants, since you really can't even guess that. If she talks about school, or whatever, then just be a good listener, maybe talk about how things were when you were in school, or whatever.

#8
FlatEarth1024

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Okay, then.  Since you have thought out the potential dangers thoroughly (we're just looking out for you...nobody wants to see the picture below).

Posted Image

Since she asked you to go to the game, I guess the most pertinent question is, what do you know about baseball in general and the Mariners (I assume them, right?) in particular?  I'm assuming she is a fan and will know info about the players such as stats and/or what team they used to play for.  The day will be much more enjoyable if you can converse intelligently about the game.  I remember as a kid going to a game with my uncle.  It was the longest 3 hours of my life.  He may as well have brought a book...and he might have.  Half the fun of going to a game is talking it up.

Also, if you know anything about her interests or strong suit in school, file that away to use when things get slow.  When the awkward silence sets in, nothing saves a dying afternoon better than "So...mom says you're trying out for the band..." or what not.  That will take the conversation down a whole new road.

Find out what she is and is not allowed to eat.  Remember, kids are inherently evil!  She'll talk you into letting her have hot dogs, candy and ice cream or whatever, and if her parents don't have it in the house you'll be an unwitting accessory to her deviousness. 

The only other thing I can think of is...you say she looks at you like a grandpa?  Then that's how you act.  Imagine the day with your own grandchild and prepare yourself in that way.  Your kid(s) were small once.  Lean on your experiences to get you through.

I'm sure the day will go much more smoothly than you imagine.  Have fun.

#9
Unbeliever

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Yeah, I'm sure the anticipation is way worse than the actuality will be. Just have a good time, and tell us about it later.

#10
lady

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Nothing more I can add either. All of these responses were excellent. I guess I do add that even females have to also be on the watch also. I read more and more of dirty old ladies too. Wouldn't want to be accused of that...except here in the forum.  :snork_lach: :snork_lach:
 
This discussion does remind us that there are people out there that will take advantage of others..young or old. There really are old men acting like grandpas but intending something else. I hope that all of us do remain vigilant and if we do see something suspicious that we would report it.

PLAY BALL.  :Wink:

#11
The White Coyote

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I appreciate everyones advice. Now I only feel like I may throw up not will throw up. I'm still very nervous but at least I have some ideas. You guys just don't know how alien this is going to feel to me. I have dealt with little ones but not one that actually "knows" she's a girl. Don't hesitate to add any more ideas if you come up with them.

As you can see I look about as natural with a little girl as a pumpkin in the ocean. My wife labled this picture "Take her away. Go ahead and see what happens."

Posted Image

#12
GodlessInNV

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I came across this Web site that might help you.  Heck, I WAS an eleven year old girl not that long ago, but I sometimes still don't know what to talk to my little siter about.  Have a great time at the game!

http://www.more.com/...50314440627.xml

#13
The White Coyote

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White Coyote, that is the sweetest picture!!!



Well part of it is sweet. The big ugly mudsucker (that would be me) aint so sweet.

Thanks for the tip Godless.

#14
Ungodly

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OK, earlier I said that you should warn her not to tell her secrets to her friends, it's only because her friends are about to become vicious gossip freaks from hell.  It seems boys become punks and girls become gossips.

But you can be her safe harbor, offer yourself as the sole repository for her secrets.  This will create a bond that will last a long time.  And if she tells you her secrets instead of those brats in her class she'll have much less trouble in middle school.

Now if it were myself she was befriending we could exchange notes on which guys are cute, but that would be a bit more of a stretch for you.

#15
The White Coyote

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OH MY GOD! I just went to the website Godless reccomended! Holy shit! SECRETS! BOYS! MALLS and GIRLFRIENDS? I am going to be like a fuckin fish out of water Sunday! What have I done to myself? I need a book or something quick! This is a disaster waiting to happen!

#16
Ungodly

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You are, like, totally going 2 hav fun. Im so sure, idk whut ur worried 4.

#17
The White Coyote

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I have never felt so out of my element in my life. I know I am being silly. Picture yourself in some stinking filthy rice paddy up to your ass in freezing water while your head and shoulders are baking in 100 degree sun with bullets flying around like angry bees. Now THAT is an element I can relate too. But being alone (with 25000 other people) with a little girl for an entire day is just about the last place I can picture myself. Believe it or not, I am very shy and uncomfortable in certain circumstances. I am particularly concerned about either of us using the restroom. There is no way we can go all day without a restroom visit so should I just wait outside the ladies room for her and ask her to wait outside the mens room for me or what? She is pretty mature so I am not too worried about it, but she is also a "tween" and I know they"re a bit embarassed about such things. I just don't want her to think I am being overly cautious (when in fact I am.)  I feel so inept and I never realized how ignorant I am. This is why fate kept my own daughter a secret from me for 18 years. Somehow it knew that I would be a blithering idiot if I had known about her. I know you guys don't understand, but I can't even hear a little girl cry without almost crying myself. Every man has his Achilles heal, and mine is young women and little girls. This is my curse, I can't say no.

#18
Ungodly

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... so should I just wait outside the ladies room for her and ask her to wait outside the mens room for me or what?


This sounds like a good plan.

Every man has his Achilles heal, and mine is young women and little girls. This is my curse, I can't say no.


You're just such a cuddly old grump, not that I want to cuddle you, like no way, just, well you are Grinchlike sometimes and other times you're like Big Bird.

#19
The White Coyote

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You're just such a cuddly old grump,


FQ You crazy old queer.  :snork_lach:

#20
The White Coyote

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(You know I'm just flippin you shit! )

I know, I try real hard to act old and grumpy but once they start batting those long eyelashes and looking at me with their big sad eyes you could pick me up with a blotter.  That's always been my biggest problem. I attract the little ones and the old ones, but all those ones in the middle who I would like to get to know, will have nothing to do with me!


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