October 25, 2005
Darn flippant kids!
I think my oldest child is trying to commit suicide by father. Why? Because I’m going to kill him! Okay, only metaphorically. The story starts 12 years ago… he was born. All was right with the world, but then he started getting older. The older he became, the more problems he caused. First, it was learning to walk… he was into everything. Then it was learning to talk… he wouldn’t shut up! Then he started middle school; now he thinks he is an adult. He knows what’s best and should be able to do what he wants. This has given him a bit a flippant attitude and a disrespectful tone to his voice.
Fast forward to yesterday morning; Boopie is getting ready for school. It is a balmy 40 degree’s outside at 6:30 AM with a forecasted high in the 50’s; the boy decides it is a good day to wear shorts. At this point, my wife, who loves mornings, strongly advises him that he cannot wear shorts to school. He’s not happy about this, but he changes and spends the rest of the morning pouting about it.
Fast Forward again to this morning; I’m in the kitchen getting lunches ready when I hear my wife say to Boopie again, “It is too cold to wear shorts, go change.” With out missing a beat in a very flippant and disrespectful tone of voice I hear Boopie respond with something like, “You didn’t do my laundry. I have no clean clothes.” (Boopie is supposed to take his laundry to the basement for washing; he has been told that if he doesn’t bring it down it will not be washed. He didn’t take his laundry down.) That was it for me this morning. I was raised in a household were children show proper respect to all adults, but especially their parents. There was no way I was about to put up with that.
I walk into the living room; heading straight for Boopie. As soon as he makes eye contact with me, he knows he did something wrong as his eyes start to bulge in fear. Yes, my kids have a healthy respect and fear of their father. With my hand firmly on the back of his neck, I guide him into the kitchen. The whole way from the living room, through our office to the kitchen he is make choking noises.
The first thing I say to him once I let him go is, “Just so you know it is physically impossible to be choked from the BACK of your neck, so knock that crap off.” If I had him by the back of the neck and was able to choke him, his neck is either really small, my hands are really large or a combination of the both. Either way that’s not the case here, my hand only goes maybe 3/5 the way around his neck. That and it wasn’t as if I was squeezing it. I love my son, but he is a bit of a wimp when it comes to things like… pain, fear, getting in trouble, being sick, etc. He then tried to say he wasn’t making choking sounds, to which my wife called him out on it.
Now I’m telling him my standard dad speech number 2, “You will show proper respect for adults both in your actions and your tone of voice. Until you, yourself are an adult, I will not tolerate you talking to adults in that tone of voice. You had better knock it off and knock it off now or you are going to learn this lesson the hard way.” For Boopie the hard way is making him clean his room thoroughly AND writing hundreds of sentences.
Ktreva goes back to explaining to him again that if he does not take his laundry downstairs and tell her it needs to be done, she is not going to do it. Then she advised him that it was still too cold for shorts anyway. In the same flippant and disrespectful tone he mouths off, “How was I supposed to know it was going to be cold?” I believe he realized he screwed up right as the words left his mouth as he, (and Ktreva) took a step back from me. Looking him dead in the eye I calmly ask, “Did we not just go over this? Is there something in your head that prevents you from thinking before you speak? Do you really want to make me mad?”
A squeak emits forth from his mouth. I’m fairly sure that squeak translated into “Yes, Yes, and NO” in fearinesse; a language mastered by all boys when they have incurred the wrath of the fathers.
He was still pouting when he left with Ktreva for school, but apparently, his tone of voice was much better. Before he left, I made sure to explain to him that shorts will no longer be worn to school until late spring. I’m just curious to see if he tries to put them on again tomorrow. It wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last time, he pulled a stunt like that.
For all of you that have younger kids, this is what you get to look forward to happening with yours. Aren’t you excited?