As I turned off the light in my son’s room last night, in a muffled voice he said, “Mom, did Dad tell you what happened today?” Such a statement can be a precursor of things I wish never happened, or, as often is the case with toddlers, can lead to a prolonged and circuitous description of something he saw or did.
Last night it was the former. I turned on the light, walked to his bed and moved the blankets off his head. He succinctly told me a classmate tried to wrestle his bike away, so he socked him in the jaw. The boy retaliated by biting his arm. A scuffle ensued, teachers broke it up, Rock-and-Roll* and the Biter were written up.
“Why did you punch him?” I asked as I quelled the thoughts that I’m a bad parent and that I coddle him too much; or more realistically, that I have a burgeoning sociopath. He explained his actions using an appropriately grave tone except for the glimmer in his eyes. His voice was theatrically subdued as he stood in his bed and with careful slow movements, recreated the moment his fist hit the boy’s jaw. His eyes delighted in the memory.
I repressed my smile, sternly reprimanded his actions, promised to visit his teacher and ground him for his actions. Yet, as I turned off the light I confess I felt a reprehensible sense of relief. Thank goodness he isn’t easily intimidated, but, I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. I fervently wish we can effectively raise an intelligent, leveled headed, stand-your-ground pacifist.
He’s wrong, it was wrong, and his actions merit strict and swift discipline. But, by God, I love that boy! He is his father’s son. Even in the wrong, he knows just what to say, how to say it and all the while, his eyes can charm the pants off you.
March 9, 2010
*Without provocation, last Sunday Ryder changed his name to Rock-and-Roll. He is adamant about this name change. He is relieved it begins with the letter “R,” and will not respond to any other appellation. We are currently humoring his request.