Tom at The Unlikely Dad hasn't disappointed with this story!
|Tom, with his son Kai.|
Being a dad hasn't really changed my attitude much. If anything, it's given me more reason to chill and just accept things. Like that my son is of course going to make a huge mess with his morning porridge all over my just-steamed floor or pull other children's hair and slap them in the face... we've all been on the receiving end of a kid punch haven't we?
However... my internal calm was slightly disjointed recently.
We were at my best friend's daughter's 3rd birthday party. It was in their garden with sand pits, play house, a slide, magic garden trail... kids everywhere basically!
My boy is 2 and a half and very active, you don't get a minutes peace. During the party I couldn't find him for a minute so I searched the play house. I found him in there with a set of triplet girls (oh god... already having flash forwards to 16 years time!!) All three girls were wearing prescription glasses and I saw him holding a pair. The girl he had taken them from was just sat there looking at him. I politely asked him to give them back. He did. And that was that. Or so I thought...
Later on in the party I saw the same girl (or maybe it was one of the other 2? I really couldn't tell) again just sat stationary as he had hold of a pair of glasses. I certainly don't encourage such behaviour but also accept this is all very age appropriate. Before I could get to him I saw that he was trying to snap them. And the triplet's dad swooped on in there, got on my son's level and pointed at him and told him off. 'NO... leave those!!' He said, in a voice you knew he used to tell his own daughters off.
Inside, I exploded with rage. Then I remembered where I was and who I was. No way was I going to make a scene at my best friend's house on such a lovely day. But I marched over, picked my son up and said 'Hey hey hey what's going on here?'
The dad was acting all nonchalant like he hadn't said anything (maybe my super-extra-macho sudden appearance scared him?? Maybe not...) It may have been wrong/childish but I refused to apologise and just explained the usual 'oh you know, it's all age appropriate' and 'boys will be boys' and that luckily there was no damage. All I really wanted to say was "Maybe tell your girls to take back their glasses next time, they are almost twice his age...!" Did they think my son was some kind of scary giant towering over them stealing their glasses? (That may explain why they froze in fear). If it happens again, girls... just take your glasses back.
It definitely played on my mind a little afterwards. Purely because I would never have it in my mind to speak to another person's child in that way. But I also have to empathise with the dad. He has had to fork out for three (if not six?) pairs of glasses for his beautiful daughters. No way is he letting a little monster break them! I get it, it's not cheap raising these babies.
Our kids are our angels. But we aren't stupid... we know they mess up, we know they can be the ones biting, kicking, breaking glasses. But if you are ever tempted to discipline my child? Just don't, or next time I may just get feral.
Thanks very much for sharing Tom! And if any other dads out there would like to get involved, you can email me, dadsdiaryblog at gmail dot com!