Monday, November 24, 2008

My Son Follows the Footsteps of Celebrity Justice

Above you will see my youngest son, Corwyn, who will be 5 on Christmas Eve. If you look at his forehead, you will see a very large goose egg he received Sunday morning.
He is smiling here, but shortly after receiving his medal of boyhood, he was a soggy crying mess, in much need of his mother.

I had come home from work, and the boys were watching a movie in the living room. I went back to my bedroom to change out of my uniform and exchange communications with the wife. I heard the boys start horsing around. I am not one to tell them to stop their wrestling, as I encourage them to experience their boyish nature, within limits anyways, and have even been known to encourage it in a not so subtle manner.
Well I never heard the thump, but I surely heard the wailing crying, along with the older brother calling behind him "I'm sorry...I said I was sorry."

I'm really beginning to get irritated with the word "sorry". The oldest, Josh (age 9 1/2), has been using this word A LOT lately. Way more than he should be.

Anyways, Corwyn comes busting in the room, bawling his eyes out, and a noticeable lump on his forehead. He was obviously to shaken up to tell us what was going on besides something about "Josh threw me (unintelligible)"
Josh immediately went into his repeated incantations of "I said I was sorry." Apparently in his mind, this makes everything all better automatically. Kind of like celebrities these days. No matter what you do, say you're sorry and go to rehab, and everything will be okay!

When asked what Corwyn hit his head on, Josh started off with some story, surely trying to find a way to spin it as he spoke to make hiself seem in a slightly better light than reality might suggest. For those of you who know me well...I don't like a sotry when I'm asking a question that only requires one word to be answered. Amazingly enough, even my wife got irritated with his not answering the questions as directly and efficiently as possible. I say amazingly, because she is just as, if not more guilty of the narrative story to any question, even a 'yes or no' typer question. I'm pretty sure Josh got his way of answering questions from her. I'm convinced its genetically passed on. After finding out that Corwyn hit the wooden chair in our living room, then we got the fuller story. Just so you know, I'm fine with the filler material, AFTER my question is answered! Anyways Josh told us they were wrestling and he sort of threw Corwyn into the chair where he smacked his head, but (wait for it)..."I already told him I was sorry." He said it so matter-of-factly, as though that mere statement was the solution to his very recent fuax pas. (He even used it as an excuse for a friend who had kicked him off a slide the other day, finishing off with, "but he said he was sorry, so its okay.") He was sent to his room, after being assured that uttering a saying wasn't the key to ending his problems.

While I applaud him taking a lick like a man, and not making too big a deal out of that physical malady, I think somewhere along the line, he was convinced that apologies solved everything to the point of no further consequences. Worse, I can't even figure out where he learned that from, because it surely didn't come from his mother or me, and I don't recall him watching any TV programming with that kind of message in it.

If you wonder why their isn't a picture of Josh in this post, well, it's because after apologizing, we quickly sent him off to rehab. He should be back in 6 weeks! We're just sooooo proud.


Anonymous said...

Ooo, that's a big bump. Our boys are 5 and almost 3, but similarly horse around and the eldest also tries the "sorry" route. Scary to see the lumps get bigger as they age! The hard part now is that Ryan (5) will smack Dana (2 - he turns 3 on Dec. 27), and as we start to scold Ryan Dana will be laughing. "See, he likes it, he's laughing," Ryan will say, and smack Dana again, who laughs again. So I separate them out and start explaining to Ryan why even Dana laughing doesn't make hitting acceptable when Dana comes over and pushes Ryan who...smacks him again. Dana laughs and looks at me, secretely enjoying the fact he's goading his older brother to get into more trouble. I see a pattern here...the elder uses force, the younger learns to manipulate...

Kids with an older brother sure learn to be tough, don't they?

DeadMule said...

Mike, You say,"I am not one to tell them to stop their wrestling, as I encourage them to experience their boyish nature, within limits anyways, and have even been known to encourage it in a not so subtle manner." That's the problem.

Of course the younger boy gets hurt more often. He's smaller. Of course the older boy is sorry he hurt his little brother. he's just rough housing like his dad condones. But he doesn't know the "limits" because he's a boy, too.

If "sorry" isn't enough for this childish accident. Then step up to the plate and be a dad. Say, "quit horsing around. Someone will get hurt."

Now, they won't quit wrestling, (because they are boys.) But when they do, the older boy has broken a rule he can see. "Limits" may be obvious to you, but to this child, they are not.

This is a little boy who doesn't know his own strength. In the heat of the "battle," he gets too rough. "Sorry" is all he can say. It is honest.

And . . . have you explained salvation to this boy? If so, have you told him that Jesus takes away sin? He is 9 1/2, and looking at the world through a child's eyes. Why wouldn't Jesus forgive this sin? And if Jesus would, why is the dad who told him about Jesus willing to punish him? If Jesus forgives sin, but not the sin I commit, what good is Jesus?

Be careful of mixed messages. A ten-year-old is a boy, not a man.

Mookie said...

Thanks for dropping in. Yeah, Corwyn is definitely a master manipulator (he tries to smile after getting into trouble in an effort to soften the punishment), and is definitely developing his toughness, having defeated his older brother ocassionally when it comes to wrestling. I think he will be my football player when the time comes.
The photos here, just a very shortwhile after the incident, had to be directed by his mother, as he was going into big smies and doing action poses for the camera.
As for Josh, I'm trying to drill certain things into his head as far as what's right and what's wrong, but I think there is a hole in his head where the info just leaks out somedays. The most popular response to be reminded that a certain activity is bad is "Oh...okay." Like he didn't know after the last (and probably 5th) time it was explained to him. I'm awaiting a plethora of grey hair!!

Mookie said...

Thanks for dropping in. You do make some good points. And some of this is still confusing to me as a parent. Probably due to my perspective as a man, instead of a boy.

We have talked about Jesus and Salvation, although, we probably haven't been as adamant about it as we should be. We'll have to work on that.

As to Jesus forgiving sin, yes, but I don't think he discounted (earthly, at least) consequences either, if I'm not mistaken. I don't like his "sins", but I still love him, and make sure to tell him that as well.

DeadMule said...

Jesus didn't mean there would be no earthy consequences. But does your boy understand this concept? Maybe he thinks he is doing what is required. That's what I'd be concerned about. Why confess your sins, if you get punished anyway? Look at it like a child. Then help your boy grow to be a man. Parenting is hard work. We don't always make the right decision. For that, we must forgive ourselves. But our errors do have consequences.

Mookie said...

Thanks Helen!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, kids...........can't live with them, can't shoot them.........LOL

Sounds like you handled things good. I do hope you talked with Josh about why he needs to use restraint and be careful, especially with someone younger and smaller than he is.

I'd be careful about labeling every mis-deed and accident as "sin". I'm sorry, I just don't buy into that whole sin thing. I believe that if God loves unconditionally then there are no conditions on his/her love, therefore there can be no sin.

Childhood horsing around is normal and healthy, and yes occasionally someone will get hurt. It is an unfortunate part of growing up, BUT that is how we grow up...learning from our mistakes, learning our limits, learning right from wrong. Most importantly it is an excellent teacher of "there are consequences for every action".

Dlove said...

As mike's wife, i hope to be able to shed a little light here on the aftermath of the storm. "I'm sorry" is his automatic reaction, not a heartfelt response.
After corwyn was set up with an eyepack, Josh and i had a more in-depth (as much as a 9 year old can have) conversation about the meaning of "i'm sorry" and the affects of his actions and reactions to his brother. Once it was clear that "i'm sorry" only counts if you truly mean to not do it again, the subject was dropped. We aren't in the habit of repeatedly revisiting past offenses.
While there will likely be situations where the conversation will have to be revisited, with both boys, that is ok. Repetition is the cornerstone of learning.
The limits are pretty clear and while the younger may be learning them...the older is familiar with the boundaries. Which is why the 'i'm sorry's' started long before the wailing. These types of situations are isolated and in NO way condoned. While both mike and I encourage there 'boyish' tendencies, out and out agression is not included. The world works every day to emasculate them, it isn't going to happen in our home.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Mike, you are a woman after my own heart!!!

Now, about that husband of yours.........LOL

Dlove said...

Believe me Lynda, i know. I live with the man, afterall. For a long time, it felt like I had 3 children...insted of the two I gave birth to. Fortunately, that has changed (for the most part, lol).

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers Mrs. Mike to continue giving you strength (given the smart-assed comments your other half just posted to my blog). LOL

You two do sound like a lot of fun, and it's obvious he adores you. It's so nice to see that expressed openly. Hope you both continue to be so happy together for a very long time to come.

Anonymous said...

SWFreedomLover, I don't really think you mean what you are saying. There is no such thing as sin?

If a man sexually assualts a little girl, you don't call that a sin? If a scam artist rips off elderly people on a fixed income, you don't call that a sin?

If God loves the little girl and the old folks, which He does, He would not condone the crimes against them. For that matter, He wouldn't condone those crimes if He truly loved the perpetrators, which He does. It would not be in their best interest for God to let them get away with such egregious actions.

Love does not preclude holding people accountable for their deeds and treating them accordingly.

Anonymous said...


I don't believe in labeling every single mis-deed as a sin. Kids horse around, accidents happen, those are not sins in my mind.

As for the pedophiles and rapists and con artists, etal......they are criminals. If one breaks the law of the land, then one pays the price for that.

As bad as these things are, you have to understand that you cannot have good without bad, you cannot possibly know the difference if the opposite does not exist.

I also don't believe it is up to any of us human beings to judge others spiritually. That is for the God/Goddess only to do, and I don't believe they really judge in the sense we do.

UNCONDITIONAL love, is just that, no conditions. Free will is just that, and mistakes are to be learned from.

A person who does not spiritually grow and learn; who harms others; will only keep repeating bad lives until such time as the spirit has evolved to it's highest self.

That's my belief. There is only one universal law to be followed and all others could be done away with if all followed it: HARM NONE. That is what I live by.

Anonymous said...


I see now where you are coming from. You are a pagan.

We probably have little common ground for discussing such issues. I will say that I think that some of your thinking is inconsistent, but I won't explain that unless you ask.


Anonymous said...

Of course there is some inconsistency in my thoughts, just as there are in yours. I was in no way trying to imply that my way was the right way OR the only way. Just that it is MY way and works for me.

I am but a human being, like yourself, and we are NOT perfect nor are we capable of being perfect while being human.