THAT'S WHY WE HAD ANOTHER KID.
I mean, I'm glad that he'll soon enter the stage where everything that comes out of his mouth is funny as heck. He's not there yet. Where he is right now is throwing food, yelling at the tip top of his lungs, and refusing to say any words except, "Ah-duh," which translates directly to, "All done."
My older boys are playing sports and doing homework and generally living life in that stage between little kid and teenager. In some ways, it's the sweet spot. The place where they don't throw food anymore but all the testosterone hasn't flooded their cute brains and turned them into raging hormone monsters. But the sweet spot doesn't lend itself to funny blogging stories very often.
You might not know it. You may not even believe me when I tell you, but I spend a great deal of time trying to make sure my kids don't turn into ax murderers or juvenile delinquents. Consistency is my number one parenting goal and I strive--full force--to be stable and steady in my mothering. They'll make their own choices and their own mistakes but by golly I'm going to do everything in my power to shape them. I want their reputation to precede them in only positive ways.
Which is why I stormed up to the door of a neighbor I'd never met two days ago to give him the WHAT FOR.
There isn't a confrontational bone in my body, actually. So the fact that I was hammering this dude's door with my fist is astonishing.
See, Garrett had come in from playing outside and he was laughing about how a neighbor of ours thought he had mooned him. HOLD THE PHONE. WAIT ONE SECOND. WHAT, NOW?
"So, he was getting his mail and he asked me if I was the one who showed him my butt a few days ago. I said I wasn't and he asked me which house I lived in. I pointed and he said, 'It was you then.' I told him it wasn't. He said, 'Well, he looked JUST like you.'"
Showing his rump to a random neighbor is about the last thing I can think of Garrett doing. So, off I stormed to inform this guy that my child absolutely was not the one who had mooned him. First, we were out of town until Sunday. Second, our Sundays are very busy and the boys rarely get a chance to play out front and I knew they were never out on Sunday. Third, Monday they were at a church soccer camp in the morning and then running errands and doing chores until evening when we went out to dinner to finally celebrate Father's Day.
Up I marched to the neighbor's door. Garrett, at this point, was hot on my heels and in tears because he was so mortified about whatever I was about to do. I was concerned that his tears were a confession which is ridiculous because, as I've just mentioned, he hadn't been out front. Did I assume he sneaked outside in the middle of his chores for a good ole fashion mooning? "You better tell me right now if it was you."
"It wasn't me! I'm just nervous about whatever you're going to say," he answered. I'm sure that inside he was thinking, MY MOM HAS STRAIGHT UP LOST HER MIND! Bang! Bang! Bang! I rapped on the door. Now, I had absolutely no idea what this guy looked like. He lives down around the corner and I was taking the word of my eight-year-old neighbor--who looks and, occasionally, acts exactly like Dennis the Menace--that this is where the man even lived. The door opened.
"Hi," I said. "Did you just get your mail?"
"Yes," he replied slowly.
"Okay..." I started. And then I built my defense. My kids weren't out. It wasn't my son. I raise my children with a certain level of integrity and I didn't want anyone in the neighborhood thinking they were little miscreants.
The thing is, my kids will find enough trouble on their own. They will be punished for it. I definitely don't want them getting a reputation for something they didn't even do.
The neighbor told me that he simply asked my son if it was him and then informed him that he needed to tell his friend that behavior like that was going to land him in jail. Apparently, said neighbor was on his way to church when said miscreant pulled down his pants and wiggled his goods before spinning around and shaking his rump. Unprompted. Unwarranted.
Now, Garrett hadn't told me that the burden of lecturing this kid (who we believe is our next door neighbor's nephew) had been passed on to him. It's not his friend. Garrett wasn't part of the situation at all. I'm still unclear as to why he needed to be the one to pass this information on. I also think it might be a stretch to assume that this kid is headed straight for the slammer because of a mooning.
"I just wanted to make sure you knew it wasn't my son," I said.
"Oh, sure. He said it wasn't him. He looks like a good kid." Sure. Except five minutes ago, he looked like someone who would flap his business at strangers.
"Alright, thanks. Have a nice day," I said and I headed off.
I do not normally go all Mama Bear freak out. I basically always believe an adult who tells me that my kid did something. They are not sinless little angels. But, when I am 99.99% sure they didn't do something, you're darn right I'm going to defend them. And thank goodness, as of yet, they are not the town flashers.