Monday, May 11, 2009
...that when my boys were small and we were a fraternity house...they were always being ornery, as all boys are meant to be. They always got lectures [extended lectures] from their Dad [me] as Dads are meant to do.
My oldest, Ian, finally figured it out and instead of arguing with me, right after the beginning of one of my finest extended lectures, would cut me off and say- "You're right Dad, it won't happen again"[it always did, but that isn't the point]. That would put a halt to the perfectly logical argument I had prepared, hoping, that at the end, he would say just that...but he would beat me to the point and I was done.
His two brothers, Nick and Dustin hadn't figured it out yet, and my career as a lecturer was able to continue. Older brothers have a certain responsibility and whether they like it or not, they burn [literally, sometimes] the path their younger siblings follow.
Sometimes, when he did stuff that was cool [to his brothers, not necessarily to me] they would be his pack of lemmings and try their versions of whatever it was he was doing. Sometimes, when he was doing something stupid and not cool and got in trouble for it, his brothers [it is easy to appear smart when your sibling is getting in trouble for being stupid...just ask my sister, Sharon] would learn a good lesson by NOT repeating his actions.
All parents know that when there are three teen/pre-teen boys in the same room with each other and there is no noise, something [usually bad] is going on. Stumbling upon one of these moments, I overheard [back in the day when I could still hear] my oldest son giving advice to his younger brothers: "Listen to me, do you really like Dad yelling at you? He just goes on and on and when you fight back, he just starts all over again. All you have to do is say 'O.K. Dad-I won't do it again' and he will have to shut up". At that moment I was stunned and a bit proud of him as an ally in the family responsibility program....until he continued...."you don't have to stop doing it, you just tell him you won't and he will stop the lecture".
They all turned out to be good guys and I am absolutely confident it was a result of the 100+ decibel wisdom I imparted to them before they figured out how to push my mute button.