Monday, April 21, 2014

If You Say That One More Time

To my son Tommy,

You didn't have the conviction when you tried the words. Your words were like a toe dipping into an ocean early in the beach going season. I am not even sure where you heard these words, as they are not in my usual repertoire of threats or retorts to anyone, much less you. But as we sat there and argued about when you would start eating your breakfast, as we sat there staring at the turned off tv, as we sat there contemplating the fact that your efforts to tell on me to your mom had no success, as we sat there staring at the usual oatmeal and I said, yet again in the calmest voice I could still muster, "Eat your breakfast" retorted with a hint of venom, "If you say that one more time..." We didn't get to the threat part. You jumped in fear as I bolted from my seat. I am not much for corporal punishment, or at least haven't found the need for it yet, and your transgression today didn't warrant me rethinking my position, but I suppose to see three hundred pounds jump up so quickly would make most anyone fear a change of heart. Instead, you almost lost every toy I could reach today as you "tested the waters", though that may have been an empty threat had you thought to call my bluff. Your mother, coming down from her shower and perturbed by the both of us, stopped the loss of toys and the tears.

Growing up is difficult. Being a strong willed stubborn child like your father was when he was young, that is difficult. Finding out other people's tactics, and words, and threats, don't work for you, that is difficult. Tattle telling on your father who is trying to make you eat your breakfast to your mother who agrees with your father and realizing you are out on that limb alone, that is difficult. Eating your breakfast when you are asked, that is easy! Your choice.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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