Sunday, November 16, 2014

The next time it might be you again

If you grew up with siblings, or if you have more than one child, you probably have had a similar experience as I'm about to describe.

So my wife is gone to Nevada to spend time with her own siblings, and I'm here parenting solo.  We are actually having a good time for the most part, yet there was an ongoing incidence this morning that needed to come to an end.

You see, Callie kept asking me every five minutes "When are we going to the store?'  Laney kept telling Myles that her name is spelled "M-Y-L-E-S."  Myles insisted that his name was spelled "M-Y-L-E-S."  This theme persisted until the dad said to Callie "We will go to the store when we go."

Well, that didn't sit well with Callie, who trumped off to her room in disgust, saying, "Then I'm not going with you then."  Little did she know that this statement was not a punishment to me, more of a benefit.

Yet as this was transpiring, the two little kids start yelling at each other for the umpteenth time, and I heard a loud SMACK! There was no evidence as to who did the hitting, but Myles was lying on the ground crying loudly, and Laney was standing with that guilty expression innocent kids get when they do something they are guilty of.  Yet the truth was that I had no idea who did the hitting, nor did I ask.  You see, it was one of those moments whereby the old anger tank was on F (F for full, that is).

When the anger tank of a parent is full the justice system no longer matters.  In other words, it doesn't matter who started it, nor who did it, all that matters is that it ends and that it ends now.

So it is in this moment, with the anger tank leaking at the seems with anger, steam perhaps pouring fourth from this parents's devil's horns, face red, eye's gleaming bright as the fires of hell, that I picked up Laney, hauling  her to her room kicking and screaming.

(Ironically, as soon as I finished typing the above paragraph Myles touched one key on the keyboard three times, typing 666, the ominous number of the devil.  What are the odds of that happening?)

For a brief moment she stood in the center of her room, as though waiting for me to speak.  Taking advantage of the moment, I said:

"Now you stay in your room until you decide to be good. And you know I am only taking my anger out on you because I had to choose one of you to take my frustration out on.  I needed to make an example of one of you kids, and I chose you.  The next time it might be Myles or Callie!  The next time it might be you again because you're the one who listens."

When I was a kid it was me.  When you were a kid it was probably you.