Sometimes, when your kid misbehaves, it is hard not to laugh.

I want you to understand that my daughter loves my son. If you ask her who her favorite person was – she would say, ‘my brother.’

It has always been that way. From the time she came to stay in our home at just seven months, he was her favorite. It’s not that they are close in age and were playmates – he is seven years older. He just has a nice way with people – children, older people. He was a really kind boy and now he is a really kind man.

One day we were driving in the car – my son and I in the front seat, my daughter, then about 8 years old, in the back seat. I do not for the life of me remember why she was upset with him, but she was really, really mad. And she yelled at him, “you’re not my brother, you’re an idiot!”

I never allow name-calling. I expect my kids to be nice – but for some reason, and I really can’t figure out why – this cracked us (my son and I) up. We were trying not to laugh, trying really hard to control ourselves. Besides not wanting to encourage name-calling behavior, we didn’t want my daughter to think we were laughing at her. I think it must have just been a relief of the tension; a release of whatever it was that had made her upset.

We think of this event regularly and joke about it – all three of us. Surprisingly, my daughter doesn’t remember what she was upset about either (she rarely forgets anything involving people and places). All we remember about it is the shared family joke that it has become.

I recently told my son, “Whenever I hear the word ‘idiot’, I think of you!” He took it in stride; he knew that I was referring back to this event.

My daughter shook her head when I told her what I said to him. Then she smiled and said, “good one, mom.”

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