From Tigers to Wolves (alternatively: How to Ruin A Special Night for 30-Odd Friends and Neighbors)

Tonight my oldest son completed his first year of Cub Scouts.  He and his cohorts put on some silly skits for us, sang a song, we watched an obligatory picture show set to music predetermined to make moms and dads tear up like babies, and cheered for all our boys as they were rewarded for their efforts and advanced to the next stage in Scout-dom.  Super idyllic, super sweet, etc.



Except.  The 4-year-old was there.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the child dearly, but it is a rare occasion indeed when I want to be seen in public with him.  You might not actually want to continue reading from this point on.  Just, really, go forward with your life believing in the sanctity of small town traditions and sweet-faced cherub children doing good deeds, being kind to others, and living wholesome lives.  Because this is the part where a preschooler lights all that on fire.   

During the Pledge of Allegiance (so, you know, nothing solemn or important or anything) he bellowed, "I CAN'T SEE.  WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT?"  Well.  Okay.  He bellowed, "I CAN'T SEE.  WHAT A--HRMPH!"  Because in front of God and everyone, I smothered him.  I'm only confident about the second part of that declaration because once I took my hand off his mouth at the conclusion of the pledge, he finished it.  At the same volume.

He didn't want to eat anything the good people of our town had gone to the trouble to cook.  Except stuffing.  He wanted to eat his weight in stuffing and violently opposed even the idea of any other options.  He wanted to leave the nanosecond the eating part was done (which was only the first half).  When asked to just please stay in his seat, didn't he want to see what play the kids were going to put on, isn't this fun, he announced, "I HATE THIS PLACE."  Same volume.

There happened to be another boy there who was older and a Scout, and when that boy's name was called to come up to receive his promotion, the 4-year-old thought it was for him.  When I explained to him he wasn't even in the Cub Scouts, he flopped dramatically back onto his chair and said, and I quote, "Harumph."  Maybe half volume.  Blessings counted.

I'll just go ahead and say what you're thinking.  "Why didn't you take him outside?"  (I also know you're thinking, "Man, your kid is crappy," with bonus shade, "Oh, you're that parent."  Yep, he can absolutely be a raging pile of cow turds.  And I can make amazingly bad choices with the best of them.  Tell me something I don't know.  We can respectively also not be those things, so shove those judgey pants back in the drawer, yo.)  Every. Single. Time. I got myself geared up to take him out, A Thing was announced (a skit was about to be put on, a song was about to be sung, an award about to be presented) and I had to make a snap decision.  Would it be more disruptive to lay on top of him and hiss "shut the *#@& up" in his ear 200 times a minute, or to toss him over my shoulder with him howling in front of the entire assembly?  I chose option A. 

For the record, I hate option A.  I hate option, B, too.  I need there to be an option C, which involves my 4-year-old realizing he does have volume control and/or situational awareness and results in his getting his crap together.  Or option D, wherein I cuddle him onto my lap and he is content to sit quietly in my loving embrace.  Or even option E, where I go back in time four years and figure out what the hell I ate while he was in utero that resulted in him being born as a feral wildebeest and then definitely DO NOT EAT THAT.  But that's not how my life works, so it was option A.

When an opportunity did present itself, I grabbed all my stuff and stood up.  The 4-year-old, knowing exactly what was coming, yelled, "NO, MOMMY, I DON'T WANT TO HAVE A TALK!  PLEASE, NO TALKING!"  Volume times eleventy hundred.

My solution was to avoid eye contact with everyone else in the hall, all of whose children had behaved angelically and a great many of whom were throwing the both of us some heavy side-eye, and physically remove him.  After a...let's call it spiritually moving discussion with him in the hallway, during which he apologized to me, I idiotically informed him it wasn't me to whom he should be sorry, that he owed every person in there an apology for his atrocious behavior.  And so it is my own fault that he marched himself back into the room and yelled, "EVERYONE IN HERE, I AM SORRY.  I AM SORRY BECAUSE I WAS WHINING.  AND LOUD." 

I am so glad our community worked so hard to set aside this night to be solely focused on those hardworking Cub Scout boys.  SO glad. 

...alternatively, I bet this gets me out of being asked to volunteer for anything ever

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5 comments:

  1. I'm coming to you with any and all children problem. When I have kids that is. You have humor and a wonderful family. Humor is what saves your sanity I think.

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    1. Sometimes the laughter is a little more on the hysterical side, but thanks!

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  2. Why do you keep torturing your children with boredom?! Bwahaha. Sounds like you did what every good parent has done since the beginning of time, which is what you could, when you could. I'll text you the link to a good taser site. You're welcome.

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  3. Surely this was written by my wife about your husband, Michael. Word for word, especially the volume part.

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