Earlier in the week I was awakened by fighting siblings…what else is new. While our children have advanced beyond the COMPLETELY self-centered world from whence they came, random acts of kindness (particularly towards each other) in adolescence are few and far between.
As I made my way downstairs to intervene, our son was already at the bottom of the landing ready to present his side of the confrontation.
“She took my waffles from the toaster and threw them in the trash!”
“Ah!” I thought. “A food fight.”
Soon, the culprit sauntered over, enjoying a paper plate full of the syrupy breakfast cakes. It was obvious she controlled the house supply of waffles.
“Why did you do that?”
“Well,” she said chewing rather casually, “he threw mine away.”
“Ah ha! New information in the waffle caper.” I thought, although I wasn’t happy with the “revenge” defense.
“Why did you do that?” I asked turning to our son.
“I didn’t know they were hers!” was his feeble reply. I didn’t point out that since the hamster wasn’t capable of making his own waffles, and I KNOW he wouldn’t throw out his parent’s breakfast, whom the heck else could they belong to? So at this point I’m dealing with revenge on her part and selfishness on his. Time for a “Dad” lecture. I kept it short because hey, I just woke up and you know what room in the house was calling my name. Surprisingly, he listened with intent and remorse. “I’m sorry,” was a pleasant response I normally wouldn’t expect from him.
I turned to our daughter who wasn’t as forthcoming with satisfaction.
“Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Yeeessss,” was the drawn out reply replete with dripping annoyance.
“So why did you do it?” was my final question.
“Because it felt soooooooooo good!”
Sometimes one lecture just doesn’t cut it.