Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Mean

I'm going to tackle an unpleasant topic today, mostly because I'm (pretty) sure it's something we've all encountered as parents.

It's usually late at night, when they're tired, hungry, or just plain cranky and frustrated, but sometimes my boys (mostly Big Brother as the oldest) yell say some pretty hurtful things.

And what makes it worse is that Little Brother is a parrott, repeating everything Big Brother says.

I'm not talking about swearing here, but things that are just plain mean or horrible.

Now I recognize that sometimes children don't comprehend the ramifications of what they've said, perhaps because it relates to a concept that they don't fully understand.

And I recognize that most of the time these phrases blurt out when a child is so tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed, that they're really just purging negative emotions. Or they aren't getting their way.

But they still hurt.

For us, it started some time ago when Big Brother wasn't getting his way with something, and he blurted out "Go to jail, Dad-E!"

I forget exactly how/when we'd talked about jail. Probably started with a polic car pulling someone over putting a car in "time-out."

At other times, Big Brother has yelled, "Die, Little Brother (or insert other object of anger)!" in response to a scuffle over a toy. Again, we don't yet understand the finality of death.

And just the other night, Big Brother was beside himself because he didn't want to brush his teeth, and he yelled at me, "I want a new Dad-E."

Talk about a drop-kick and 1-2 punch to the groin. That one stung pretty bad. I don't care if he was tired and crabby. There are some things you just don't say.

And so at that point, I informed him that for saying those things, we weren't going to read another story, and that it was time for bed.

Of course, that met with more screams, pleas for more stories, and calls for a "new Dad-E."

At that point, I left the room to quell the mutiny, muttering that perhaps he should ask his "new Dad-E" to read him a story.

So now that I've got everyone feeling good 'n horrible, I'll leave you with a funny--albeit related--story.

Sorry, Mom-E, but you're about to be picked on.

When Mom-E was school age, one night she wanted to stay up past her bedtime to watch "Alice in Wonderland" (I think that was the show.)

However, Gramm-E and Grampap said "No." :(

Mom-E was so upset, that she wrote them a letter about how upset she was, something like "you're such bad parents."


"I hate you. Love, Mom-E."

That's my dear wife. Sweet to the core, even when she's stark-raving angry.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,


  1. I remember that story about Mom-E. I think it was Alice and Wonderland and Gramm-E and Grampap didn't have a VCR yet so they couldn't tape it for her either.

    Did Mom-E neglect to tell you about all the times that she and Aunt-E hid behind the couch Gramm-E and Grampap were sitting on to watch TV past their bedtime? Look out Dad-E! You might have some sneaky sneakersons again!


    CY Aunt-E

  2. Go ask your new Dad-E...ouch...that one had to sting him a little bit. But kids have to learn that words can hurt.

  3. :( I know I've said plenty of mean things to my parents not realizing the magnitude of them. So sad that parents take the hit, but we all realize how hurtful it was when we grow up. I think that was a glimpse of the teen years to come...how I dread those! LOve, aunt-e

  4. When CY Aunt-E was little, she had another imaginary Mom who lived in California and drove a blue car. That kinda freaked me out a bit, but decided--oh well this imaginary Mom is all the way out on the West coast, so I won't be too intimidated :)

  5. Haha Mom! Yeah but my imaginary mom had a blue car just like you and I never told you that she did anything special for me. I think I just told you that completely randomly one day. It was kind of like Hernry Monster who lived under my bed and the bears that took my covers. Oh yeah and the "scratch monkeys" that Mom-E and Aunt-E tormented me with.

    CY Aunt-E

  6. @CY Aunt-E: I'll have to ask Mom-E about that.

    @O'Shea: Yep, it's a hard lesson to learn.

    @Aunt-E: My parents would honestly say that I was pretty easy as a teen. Hopefully the boys will follow suit here.

    @Gramm-E: I forgot about that story.

    @CY Aunt-E: I love "scratch monkeys"

  7. Oh, I know how you feel....my oldest just told me the other day that she no longer loved me. That one hurt pretty bad. Of course, they say these things when they are not getting their way. But of course an hour later she was giving me kisses again and still telling me she did not love me. Kids don't truly understand the power of those words at their age. Rosi