Munday Funday….Idioms for the boys
The boys were at the age when you think they’re old enough to understand every sarcastic or idiomatic thing you say, when they definitely don’t.
Being a parent is a difficult thing to master. You want to support your kids and be there for them, but you don’t want to raise a bunch of sissies either. You want them to stand up for themselves, but don’t want them to always demand to get their way.
And navigating the mine field of parental decisions isn’t made any easier when you’re the parent of boys who are nearly the same age and like all boys, tend to naturally be a bit aggressive.
Do you teach them to literally turn the other cheek and not raise a hand to defend themselves? Do you let arguments just devolve into fisticuffs and work themselves out? How do you teach them patience and love and mercy and “vengeance is the Lord’s” when 100 times a day they’re at each other’s throats?
The answer….I don’t know.
I suppose the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the available options, where kids will learn to be forgiving AND learn to stand up for themselves AND learn that their actions have consequences.
And it was that last part that I was trying to drive home to PlaysWithFire and KicksTheBall. Even when I don’t let them just knock each other out “solving their problems”, I also try to make them understand that the person who throws the first punch isn’t going to get away scot-free if I intervene and stop the fight.
As usual, when an argument broke out in the backyard KicksTheBall and PlaysWithFire started tussling. And as usual, their tussling led to punches being thrown.
In my fatherly wisdom I decided that KicksTheBall clearly had the upper hand in the fight and the score needed to be evened up.
So I knelt down to their four year old eye level and told PlaysWithFire, “You get ONE FREE LICK.”
And I thought that the confused look on his face was because he was taken aback by my Solomon-esque fatherly wisdom.
Looking at his brother, then back at me he said, “No daddy, it’s OK.”
“PlaysWithFire, this is fair. He hit you and you get ONE FREE LICK.”
“I really don’t want one.”
KicksTheBall added, “Yeah, he doesn’t want one. I promise we won’t argue anymore.”
These kids obviously don’t have proper respect for my authority….. “KicksTheBall, I said you get a free lick. That’s what’s fair. Now TAKE YOUR FREE LICK.”
That’s when PlaysWithFire turned to KicksTheBall, closed his eyes real tight, and started to lick his brother’s face.