My Job

One of the issues that we’ve been dealing with is stopping the two little guys from disciplining each other. It is not unusual to hear one or the other say “no! go to time out. You go to time out!” Of course, we can’t let them send each other to time out. If we did, they’d spend the whole day there. So we’ve been saying “you can’t send him to time out. That’s Daddy’s job” or “mommas’s job”, depending on who is there at the moment. It’s been working pretty well.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the birthday party of one of N’s friends. Both the kids and the parents were invited, so we all went and had a great time.

At one point during the party, however, there was a minor accident. C was talking to me, and a couple kids walked behind him. He turned around to see what was going on and inadvertently bumped one with his paper plate of food. He didn’t even realize that he did it. However, the little boy ran off crying.

The little boy’s friend was very angry. She glared at C and shook her finger. She said something also, though I can’t recall exactly what. I think it was “no!” or “don’t do that” or some such toddler admonition.

In any case, C was very upset. He hadn’t realized that he’d done anything wrong. He just turned around and there was the birthday boy’s sister scolding him. He looked at me in confusion and I told them both that “it was an accident. Just an accident. That’s all.”

The little girl was not mollified and continued to glare. C pointed his finger back at her. “No! You don’t get to get angry. That’s Daddy’s job! You’re not allowed to be angry!”

The little girl stalked off, while I tried to shush C, who was shouting after her.

“But getting angry is daddy’s job”, he said.

Yes, I said. I know. Getting angry is my job.

But I’m not sure we should share that little truth with our friends.

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