30 June 2008

I have met The Man, and he is four

Here's yet more free advice from the voice of experience-- don't ever give your kids any authority over you, even in a seemingly harmless game. Case in point:

After watching The Incredibles again yesterday afternoon (with my parents, as a consolation for not getting to go on a hard-core bike ride and run/walk with J-, Katie, and I), D- was very much in a mood to wrestle people and hit things and somehow be both a hero and a villain at the same time. Not unlike The Shield, I suppose.

Anyway, this is a very common and predictable effect, so I figured I would indulge these impulses by wrestling with him for a while when we got back. Unfortunately, while it helped somewhat, it did not stop the baby testosterone from surging the rest of the day, so we had to try again later in the evening.

This time he ended up sitting on me and declaring me "under wrestle and in JAIL now!" I went along with this, since it meant I could just lay there on the floor and relax, or at least relax as much as one can with a hopped-up 4-year-old threatening supposedly fictional violence and a 17-month-old stalking around wielding a bear with 8-pound shoes who's as happy as she is to have a grownup at floor level and who both express said happiness by jumping onto anything soft.

With his tough-guy attitude (plainly underlined by his repeated declarations that "I'm TOUGH!") and arbitrary bossiness in full bloom, I chose to continue my ongoing explanation (despite his clever insistence that I was not allowed to talk while in jail) to D- that even when you are a police officer/prison warden, you still have a boss in the form of the law as determined by the people and their representatives.

Building on this lesson, I assured him that the law allowed for a pillow in a prisoner's bunk. He responded by fervently stating that prisoners are not even allowed a bed. I felt a moment of indignation at having my constitutional rights violated, then I took a breath and kept up the game by appealing to J- as an agreeable voice of reason. This did little to sway my captor, so I decided to instead go to the person much more likely to take appropriate action in a pretend game, and I asked M- to get me the pillow I knew I was guaranteed by the people of the United States of America.

She of course took right off to get one, because she is a good little girl, and like a dog spotting a small animal fleeing, D- jumped off his throne and snatched a pillow before she could give me the satisfaction. Coasting on this minor victory, I decided to get greedy, and the following conversation ensued:

Me: The law also says I get to have another pillow for my crotch. I feel a little vulnerable here.

D- (using mean voice): Okay! Here is another one, then!

He begrudgingly tosses a pillow down to me and goes back to the couch.

Me: Thank you.

After covering myself, I put my hands over my face and planned to relax for a few minutes while getting credit for Playing With Us.

M- (deciding after notable experience that my covering my face and laying on the floor must mean that she's hurt me): Sorry!

Me (uncovering my face so she could give me the kiss I could hear coming my way): That's okay, baby.

D-: No talking!!* (runs over and presses a third pillow to my face)

Me: Ooooookay, we're all done with this game now.

In his defense, the "no talking" rule had been clearly stated all along. If he's learned one thing from me, it's that you have to take swift, decisive action when needed. In that light, this brings a little tear to my eye, and not for the usual reasons.

* The elite Arrested Development fans out there should undoubtedly be reminded of Take Your Daughter to Work Day at the prison.


Mama Dawg said...

Just call your son, Vic, from now on!

TerriRainer said...

I am so glad I'm not a Daddy...wrestling with toddlers is not my cup of tea!

:) Terri

Leslie said...

I love their little run-and-fetch phase. If they weren't so fickle they could be real help!

Hope you stay out of prison for the rest of the day! I'm sure the recidivism rate is high.

Swirl Girl said...

see, if you were the 'law' and he was the prisoner, you'd be getting a call from social services....

I hate when that happens.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

There's always money in the banana stand.

LiteralDan said...

Mama Dawg: I don't think he'd get the reference. But then, he doesn't get most of my references.*

* I have that problem with more than just four-year-olds, more than just occasionally.

TerriRainer: Did I mention welcome back yet? Welcome back!

Wrestling with toddlers is only lame because you can't break anything or smash them around as much as they're asking for. What's the point of being stronger if you can't push everyone around??

Laggin: Oh, worse than Detroit! (sorry Eminem and Dutch & Wood)

If the kids get to repeat every single thing over and over again, why can't I go in for petty robbery and attempted tickling anew each day?

Swirl Girl: Yeah, those Social Services folks really chap my hide. Who are they to determine who's an unfit parent?! They should leave it to the pros: me. (I'm leaving the term pluralized in case anyone is ever born as cool or highly qualified in everything as me.)

Jenny, the Bloggess: Welcome to my humble abode, m'lady. I'd cry tears of happiness at your gracing us with your presence, but I can't spare the moisture.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps law enforcement is in his future.

LiteralDan said...

Hopefully before that time he learns about Miranda Rights and other pesky little details.

"How many times do we have to tell you, man? They're allowed to talk, and they get to go to the bathroom-- you don't wanna see it when they don't get to!"

Kori said...

Love the third pillow thing; what a guy! Sounds like he has a great career in front of him.

Goodtime Charlie said...

love that guy!

LiteralDan said...

Kori: Yes, but the question is what kind of career? The question is as open for him as it unfortunately still is for me, it would seem.

Goodtime Charlie: Indeed, he's quite lovable, despite his despotic moments.