Did I say that?

A little while back I walked in on my wife giving my seven year old a scolding. I hadn’t seen the actual infraction, but based on the lecture, it sounded like he’d been picking on his little brother again – nothing serious, but rather one of those cases where he’d ignored repeated requests to stop.

He, on the other hand, had that blank sort of expression that seven-year olds are so good at, the one that says “I’m really trying to look like I’m paying attention, but please hurry up so I can bet back to playing.”

My wife stopped, as any sane adult would.  “Are you even listening to me?” she asked.


“Why are you in trouble?”

The big guy looked around for an answer, then went with the safe choice. “Cause I was being mean.”

“What did you do?”

He looked at his feet, ashamed. “I tackled him.”

My wife looked completely baffled. “You what?”

“He did,” his little brother chimed in. “He really did!”

My son realized his mistake. Tackling is a big no-no in our house. It’s something that got out of hand for a while, and we’ve instituted a very clear zero tolerance policy. “No, no!” he said. “It wasn’t that. It was that I was, um…”

Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of any lesser crime to confess.

Luckily for him, my wife was nearly incapacitated with trying not to laugh.

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