I have two children. My daughter is seven and my son is four. I have the “rich man’s family” but I am still waiting in earnest for that rich part to happen. They bleed me dry, I tell you. From an unbiased opinion, they are smart, beautiful and funny children. This opinion has been verified and seconded by my wife, so it is true. She and I do whatever we can to teach and nurture them so they grow to become the best children and, ultimately, adults they can be.
We give them more choices than most children have, reinforce right from wrong, encourage creative thinking, feed curiosities and laugh at the funny stuff as much as we can. As any parent knows, there is the balancing act along any of these. Case in point, as we all know, bodily functions are funny, no matter the age. Despite the burps, farts, nose-picking and crotch grabbing by a four year old being hysterical to us, we walk across that tightrope and try not to show them our laughing… mainly so he won’t be “That Kid.” You know that kid. He’s the one who farts in the restaurant, picks his nose on stage, burps when it’s his turn to read to the class, or grabs his junk for a tender family photo. If it happens, it happens. On that rare instance, it’ll be a source of high-level amusement years from now. Maybe even when he brings a girlfriend over.
So all of this background leads up to something my son did this past week. It was Saturday, a wondrous day off from work, full of yard work and horsing around. It was a break time and I was sitting at the kitchen table eating a sandwich. My daughter was with me eating, whatever it is she actually does eat, my wife was checking email and my son was chilling on the couch watching something Disney. Basically a time of relaxation and reflection for a little while.
My son gets off the couch, walks in the kitchen, stands next to me, and nonchalantly sticks his index finger to my nose and yells out, “Smell my finger!”
Without thinking, I did. His finger smelled like ass.
Before I could recoil, yell out or instinctively fire out my fist at the offender (I wouldn’t hit my kids, but I’m talking this is instict here, people), he turned on his heel and walked back into the living room. My jaw hung slack, and as he walked, his finger went to his nose, and I swore I saw a smile on his face.
I sat there staring at him realizing many things in a very short amount of time:
- He caught me completely off guard, and as such I can never trust him again
- I had absolutely nothing at all to say to him
- His smile was definitely one of malicious amusement
- My son gave me the stink finger, which I had managed to evade my entire life up until that moment
- I was appalled at what just happened
- I was a very, very proud Father