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The number "2" is on fire and the cake is being placed in front of the sweet girl celebrating her second birthday.

My boy, aged 2.5, is sitting next to her, hands excitedly flicking at the speed of light as the candle and cake gets closer.

It's not his big day, but you wouldn't say it. In his world, cakes with candles are a bigger deal than Muskrat Falls.

But he's been a bad bones all day, from doing scissor kicks as his dirty diaper was being changed to doing UFC-like moves on Jakey, our overweight cat.

His antics have earned dozens of warnings and at least five timeouts, with me or my wife trying to explain the errors of his ways each time.

Here are examples (followed by what I'm actually thinking):

° "Don't kick when you're being changed, especially when you're full of poo. You will make a BIG mess. (And hopefully Mommy will take charge and clean it up)."

° "Don't pull the glasses off Daddy's face. You might break them (and Daddy will fake being upset; he HATES bi-focals)."

° "No tackling the cat. You will hurt him (and that's how serial killers get their start)."

° "Please don't kick Daddy in the groin or try to pull off his trunks during swimming lessons. It's not nice (and it's embarrassing enough Daddy has a follicle forest on his back).

He always promises to be good, only to up the evil ante 30 seconds later.

And now, after a devious day, a chocolate birthday cake with a flaming No. 2 is inches away from him.

This might not go so well. I scan the room for fire extinguishers and paper towels, and prepare to make an emergency call with my iPhone - intentionally this time.

The song begins ... "Happy birthday to you. ..."

The birthday girl blows the candle out and my kid makes "that" face. He's going to put it up. He didn't get a chance to blow.

Thankfully, for the sake of world peace, everyone agrees to do it again.

After the candle is out for the second time, and as the cake is being cut, my boy starts reaching over and swiping swaths of icing with his finger. A chip off the old block.

Still, I tell him not to do it. Of course, he does it again.

They give him a piece of cake. He eats all the icing and is quickly hopped up on excitement and sugar.

I try to keep him under control, but as I turn my head for a second, he cocks his arm and flings a fork full of cake down the table and off the birthday girl's mother.

Uh-oh.

Before his first food fight breaks out, I decide it's time to go, because it's 30 minutes before bed and his behaviour isn't going to get any better.

On the way home, I ask why he threw his cake.

He doesn't answer the question, but says he wants more.

I seize the opportunity to offer what seems like the day's 400,000th lesson: "Sorry, my man, you can't have your cake and throw it, too. (And Daddy REALLY needs a break)."

 

Steve Bartlett invites you to share stories about when your children were bad bones. Reach him via email at sbartlett@thetelegram.com or Tweet him at SteveBartlett_

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