But it just happened

I came out of the bedroom this morning to find two upset boys waiting for me. 

“Daddy, Daddy,” my 8-year old said. “He bit my knee!”

“He bit your knee?” I looked at his younger brother. “Why’d you bite his knee?”

“My mouth was there, and it was open and it just happened!”

“How does that just happen? Keep your mouth away from your brother.”

“But Daddy,” he said. “He knee’d me in the mouth!”

I looked down at the older of the two. “You hit him in the mouth with your knee?”

“Well, his mouth was by my knee, and then it opened, and my knee just went right in. I didn’t mean to. It just happened!”

How the big guy’s knee could just accidentally hit his brother’s mouth, I don’t know, but I also didn’t know which of them had started this particular incident. So, lacking any great ideas, I decided to go with the ‘ignore’ option. “Okay,” I said as I walked past them. “I’m thirsty.”

They ran around to get in front of me.

“But he knee’d me in the mouth!”

“But he bit my knee!”

I stopped. “Here’s the deal,” I said. “You’re not allowed to bite knees, and you’re not allowed to knee mouths. Either we ignore this whole thing, or I have to yell at both of you, and probably even give time-outs.”

They considered that for a moment, and then ran back to their room to finish getting dressed.

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