In May 9 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
Man, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that lately.
In the past few days, I’ve experienced the unbridled joy (Is that the Kentucky slogan?) of having my three-year-old daughter punch my five-year-old son in the face, the five-year-old son punch a fellow student at daycare, my 15-year-old son "forget" to tell me about his band concert, and my 17-year-old son attend his first prom (Don't EVEN get me started on the $30 prom tickets...), and "forget" what time his curfew was.
(My ten-month-old daughter, however, has behaved quite nicely. But there again, how much trouble can a toddler get into?)
Where to start?
Sunday morning, I was awakened by my wife, who was sticking a cordless phone in my face.
"It's Myles!" she said.
I grumbled "Hello."
"HEY THERE, DAD!" my 17-year-old chirped into the phone.
Myles told me he hated to wake me up, but he was on his way to church, then work.
"So, did I do OK on my prom curfew?" he asked.
"Uh...sure," I said, "but I guess I fell asleep (Sorry, I'm old and tired all the time). What time did I tell you anyway?"
"But dad," he asked, "don't you remember?"
"Well of course I remember," I said.
"Well, OK then," Myles replied, "I guess I'm not in trouble then."
"Should you be?" I asked him.
"Nope, nope, I just forgot what the plan was...but whatever it was, I'm pretty sure that's what I did," he said.
"Uh, yeah....right," I said. "Yeah, well, I hope you had a good time, and you're OK. I'm proud of you, and I love you."
"I'm proud of you, too," Myles told me.
Flash-forward to Tuesday...
Someone who came by the library said my 15-year-old, Evan, "played really well at the band concert last night."
WHAT band concert?
I went on-line to email Evan to ask him about the "band concert," and there was an email from somebody else to me-which mentioned "Evan burning up that bass at the band concert last night."
I finally managed to speak to Evan on the phone.
"Did you have a band concert last night?" I asked.
"Oh yeah!" he said, "I forgot to tell you about that."
"How could you forget to tell me that?" I inquired.
I went on and on about how important I felt it was for family and friends to attend things like that, to show support, and so on.
"But dad," Evan said, "Haven't you ever had (and this is exactly how he put it) 'errors of omission.' "
That same evening, I had arrived home before the "brood" and began fixing supper.
The back door flew open, and I heard a faint scream-which grew louder, louder, LOUDER as its source ran past me into the living room.
Five-year-old Drake threw himself onto the living room floor-where he kicked and flayed like a dying bug.
"So, what’s up with him?" I calmly asked as my wife, Renee', walked in carrying/dragging our daughters Kate and Izzy.
From what I could gather during the continuing, dying bug-like fit, my wife told me she had saved up some money and bought the kids Webkinz, BUT, Drake had apparently "hit" a classmate at daycare-therefore rendering him very ineligible for a "surprise" (a Webkinz).
I leaned over Drake, who was still in the floor, and asked him what had happened.
I don’t translate screaming very well, but I think through the spray of tears and spit he said it was an "axe-dent."
He only showed remorse when I told him Jesus didn't like for people to hit each other.
He wanted me to "call Jesus" to be sure He wasn't mad.
I told him I didn't have the phone number.
"But dad," Drake said, "what if Jesus doesn't like me anymore?"
It took about 20 minutes to address that, and I was kinda frustrated that we had strayed from the issue of hitting people.
"You sure do ask good questions, dad," Drake said.
Later, I learned "Kate had punched Drake because Drake was aggravating Kate about being a girl...which caused Drake to hit the boy at daycare...leading to Drake knocking over Kate's radio while she was dancing, etc., etc., etc.,"
(Or so my wife said.)
Kate and I sat down for a "talk," which mostly consisted of me looking sternly at her, and her looking back at me, smiling and squinting.
"Kate!" I half-shouted. "Don't you understand what I'm saying?
This is important. Your mommy and I just want you and your brothers and sister to be responsible, and be good."
"But dad," she said, "We're just kids."