Monday, October 12, 2009

King of the World

Paul's home today, in honor of the fact that some Italian guy discovered islands in the Caribbean years after a Scandinavian discovered Nova Scotia. Or something like that.

I would like to say that we're doing something really exciting as a family on this, our extended weekend. I would also like to say that we're traveling to Tahiti on our mega-yacht next weekend. Alas, both statements would be falsehoods.

Today, we were all up by seven-ish. Joel was done with his breakfast first. As usual, he asked to be excused by tossing waffles and bits of banana through the small hole on his high chair.

One may wonder why there is a hole in a high chair. Seems illogical, yes? The hole originally held a built-in toy, shaped like a flower. The flower lit up and sang songs. Because we were first time parents that knew everything, Paul and I decided that Owen did not need excessive noise and ADHD-inducing lights. No, we thought, our son would play exclusively with hand-crafted wooden toys made by the Amish.The built-in flower was given away.

Of course, one of Owen's favorite toys now is a monster truck named Grave Digger. That's what you get for being a know-it-all tight-ass. Additionally, you are left with a high chair with a large, gaping hole in it. A hole that is the perfect size for squeezing out bite-size pieces of food.

First time parents, let this be a lesson to you.

Anyway, we removed Joel from his holy high chair before the food began to stick to the ceiling. He immediately began barking orders, wanting to be entertained. He was  like a sailor on 24 hour shore leave. He wanted me to read him a book. He wanted Paul to build him a tower. He walked over to the back door, gave it a few good pounds with his small hand, demanding that we all step to it and take him outside immediately.

The fact that the coffee was still brewing, we were all eating, and Joel was the only individual fully dressed did not register as important details.

And so, we did what all good parents and older brothers do. We ignored the baby.

This did not go over well. First, he barked. Then, he sputtered. Next, he tugged. And finally, overcome with frustration, he sat down on his cute little bottom and let out the fakest, most exaggerated cry I have ever heard. There were no tears, just an indignant wail, with a little hand pressed over his perfect O of a mouth.

The outrage! The terrible, terrible indignity!

We aren't complete monsters, despite the fact that both Paul and I laughed at this display (just a little). We didn't linger over our food, and we attempted to distract him with toys and other objects. Eventually, one of us left our coffee to get cold, and scooped our little drama king up.

Of course, he stopped crying instantaneously.

I'm not sure if we expect more of Joel because we've already gone through this with Owen, or if we just have minimal patience for shenanigans. It might be a little of both.

The fact is that we don't want Joel to think that he's king of the world. Although we love him deeply and completely, he might as well learn right now that he is not In Charge.

Truth be told, Owen and Joel do, in fact, pilot this ship. But, like Columbus and Erickson, they must learn that they can travel only so far without guidance, without help. Paul and I will keep them steady, so they do not capsize in the occasionally rough waters of this life.

And if that means we get to finish our toast before scooping up our little explorer, then so be it.


Corrie Howe said...

Oh, so cute. But I totally understand not letting our kids think they are in charge.

Tom Mohrman said...

The United Federation of Paul and Nancy is benevolent and just.