Friday, January 13, 2012
Over the five years I've been blogging, I've enjoyed posting pictures of family harmony at our house, but I'm afraid that in-so-doing I might have given the impression that it's all sweetness and light over here, that there's never any fighting. But, oh, my goodness sakes. Let me set the record straight: we get our good fair share of squabbling. I just don't generally have the camera in my hand when I'm the on-ice referee throwing players in the penalty box!
1. There's a right and a wrong way to communicate displeasure.
a) Hitting your brother with the butt of a Nerf rifle is the wrong way.
b) Slamming a caprine syringe through your brother's hand is the wrong way.
c) Cracking an egg on your sister's head is the wrong way.
2. No matter how much a person would like to be, no one of us is the center of the universe.
a) Just because you got a chocolate orange in your stocking does not mean all chocolate oranges belong to you.
b) The world is not going to stop because you're having a bad hair day. (Dangit)
c) You are not the only person who ever has a bad hair day.
d) It's highly unlikely that anyone but you is going to notice you're having a bad hair day.
3. Kindness begets kindness; unkindness you get right back on the snoot.
c) If you hit your brother with the butt of a Nerf rifle, don't be surprised if he throws a hard, plastic Noah's Ark elephant at your head.
d) If you crack an egg on your sister, well, you better just watch your back from here on out.
These are all hard lessons to learn; it takes years for them to finally take hold in most children -- and as too many of us in the adult world know, some people never do learn them! Either they never got the memo, or they figured it wasn't for them. We might finally have true peace to earth -- or at least in our own living rooms -- if babies were born with the capacity for perfect self control, the maturity of tactful expression, and the angelic perfection of patience and charity. But, alas! The little buggers almost always come into the world with the wrong ideas about just about everything. After about six months of sweet goohs and gahs (if we're lucky enough not to have a colicky baby), the infant version of the will rears its head and the real work of a parent begins.
One-year-olds must be told they can't say "no" to Mommy and Daddy. Two-year-olds have to learn that they can't have everything they see. Four-year-olds need to know that the world doesn't revolve around them. Though you try to break it to them gently, six-year-olds usually find out the hard way about an eye-for-an-eye. And, then, when you think you've finally drummed it all into their sweet curly little heads, the little darlings turn twelve and forget everything you ever taught them. -sigh- It's the life of a parent: our life's work. And it's exhausting, no kidding! But it's important.
That's my boy.
I love that it was totally instinctual for him to defend his Faith. There are few things really worth fighting for, but that one is at the top of the list. That, and defending his wife or sisters or other women -- and maybe if someone has the gall to insult Tim Tebow in their hearing.
Yes, admittedly, it's true that in most situations, a carefully worded and gentlemanly debate would be preferable, but every once in a while, a sock in the jaw is just the ticket.
Of course, don't tell my six and seven-year-olds I said that. We'll spring the notion on them later when they're past the throwing toy elephants stage. Uh. Maybe.