Recently, Detective Munch got in trouble at school.
He gets in trouble at school every once in a while, but it’s mostly with both the same frequency of trouble and of the same variety of “trouble” that most five-year-olds get into. He doesn’t pay attention to the teachers, he goofs around with his friends and acts silly, he put his fingers in someone else’s mouth. You know, typical behavior.
But last week he did something a little bit more serious, and in an attempt to let him know that such behavior is unacceptable, Mom and Buried and I were forced to lay down the law. Of course, there are only so many ways to discipline a five-year-old, and a lot of the time you end up wondering who’s being punished.
Discipline is a double-edged sword.
Kids aren’t good at very many things, but they are good at going berserk on their parents for no reason.
After a while, you get used to their antics, and learn enough about their irrational ways that you can properly anticipate, and safely weather, one of their outbursts.
If you’re not yet schooled in the five stages of throwing a fit, don’t worry. I’m here to help.
Parenting turns us all into hypocrites.
Throughout our lives, we all encounter situations in which it behooves us to disavow any and all association with certain… unsavory behaviors from our pasts. Like during a job interview, or upon meeting your girlfriend’s parents, or at church.
But those instances are short-lived, and you can go right back to being a rock star when they’re over. Unless you have kids.
Because parenting never ends.
My son is five years old.
Sounds cute, right? He’s still little! He still snuggles with a blankey thing; he often mispronounces words in adorable ways; he still likes to sleep in our bed!
It all sounds downright Disney… unless you have a five-year-old of your own. Then it’s more like Tim Burton.
Kids say the darndest things. They also say the ballsiest things. Things only kids can say.
If I went around talking to my wife, my boss, my friends, anyone the way that my son often talks to his mother, to me, to his friends, strangers on the subway? I’d be divorced, fired, and drinking totally alone. Which might not be that bad, now that I think about it…
Children get away with a lot of stuff, especially in the early years.