Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wait...I Gave The Wrong Speech?

The boys have been attending Nerd Camp (more on that later) this week. Two days in, Chris was pulled aside at drop-off to be told of a "behavior incident" involving Ross. He called me immediately upon return to the car, fuming, but I had to hang up without the story as my meeting was starting up. When I got home that night, Chris said Ross wanted to talk to me himself...so I waited.

Tonight, Ross came out with it. His camp group had been playing a game of keep-away and there was some shoving and he might have been a little rough. I thought it was odd that a day-camp counselor for 3rd and 4th graders would have reported some shoving to a parent but I come from a land where kids his age were left at home on their own during summer days while mom & dad worked - I'm told it's different now and I try my best to compensate.

I talked to Ross about two things. First, as a hockey player, he instinctively positions himself well during shoving. On skates, he can shove another guy and not fall over - in sneakers against a kid who does not play hockey, Ross is a brick wall. I told him he needs to remember that because he could easily hurt someone without meaning to. Second, I talked to him about "Little Man Syndrome." Ross is not a big kid - in fact, he's a pretty small kid and it's not news to anyone. He has been dwarfed by his two-years-younger brother since age 3; he knows the score. We talked about how small guys sometimes feel like they have to act tough to prove they are Real Guys...but how all the tough-acting really just makes them look silly and everyone else will tend to avoid them.

Ross seemed to digest both points pretty well and I tucked him into bed feeling that rare moment of parenting pride in a job well done. I got downstairs and Chris asked if Ross had told me - I said yes and explained the bones of what we'd talked about. A while later, Chris and I were joking about something and he said, "Here's the part where we sand the TEETH MARKS off the girl Ross bit." The look on my face while I processed this statement must have been a doozy because Chris immediately realized Ross hadn't let on about the bite.

Even with the kids in bed, I had to struggle for composure. When I reached it, I leveled a calculating gaze at Chris. "You mean to tell me that I gave the WRONG LECTURE? I was up there all understanding and patience, thinking he needed help learning how to navigate the world while 6" shorter than his peers when I should have been filing down his teeth?"

"Yes."

"We have more wine?"

"Yes."

"Good. We need it. NOW. Otherwise, I'm getting the belt sander."

7 comments:

Sister K said...

i guess it's the 2008 version of boys against girls? (you need to tell him to KISS the girl, not bite her! LOL...oh wait, that could get him expelled...oh wait, but you recommending that could get you more points! i think i'm onto something)

Sister K said...

p.s.-maybe your lecture will be preventative and so he'll remember it before the next incident!

Scarehaircare said...

What? You didn't wake him up and yell at him for leaving important details out (which reaction might have given him nightmares)? *seriously shaking head* I think that omission might have cost you points.

Meagan said...

I'm probably just in a forgiving mood today, but this kid sounds too cute in all of your stories. I'm sure he thinks he really got one over on you, which is adding to the cuteness factor.

Sister K said...

maybe he omitted on pt. of embarassment....maybe he only told you what he told you because he needed to hear the speech you gave him at the time you gave him to it...

Chaotic Joy said...

This makes me laugh because I was thinking the same thing as scarehaircare. You didn't wake him up? I totally thought you were going to wake him up. Man, Karen, you're my parenting hero and you let me down.

karen said...

If we hadn't had more wine, I absolutely would have shaken him awake! Why let a grumpy kid get in the way of a nice glass of wine, though?