My friend Brianna came up to me at an event we both attended over the weekend. She wanted to share a conversation that she had that day with her daughter, E, who has been betrothed to my boy for several years now. At least they are still betrothed in his mind.
Brianna found a plastic dinosaur in her house. Thinking that Jensen might have left it there, she asked E if it was Jensen’s dinosaur. She replied no, that it was their dinosaur. After reflecting for a moment E added, “As a matter of fact, mom, we got that dinosaur when Jensen was still in his toilet phase.”
A few moments later Fiddledaddy arrived at the same event with Jensen in tow. He shared with me a conversation that occurred in his car on the drive there. From the peanut gallery, he heard his boy make an observation, “Dad, you’re more complicated than the other dads in our small group.”
“Really? What do you mean by complicated?”
“You’re meaner. Not meaner. Bossier. Not bossier. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but you always tell me what to do. The other dads never tell me what to do.”
“And you find that complicated? I can make it simpler for you. They are too busy telling their own kids what to do.”
The boy pauses. “Well, come to think of it, some of them have told me what to do before.”
“Well. There you go.”
I’m certain that more than a few of the parents present at this event would have liked to have told him what to do. He arrived in rare form, bursting through the doors, roaring like a T-Rex. Some children began ducking behind their parents, alternately afraid and yet intrigued by this 7 year old force of nature. And then there were those children who followed him like the pied piper, all roaring in unison.
I issued a blanket apology, and went about my business.
When the din became nearly unbearable, Fiddledaddy sat his son down at the table with his latest dinosaur app on MY iPad. Within moments, Jensen had drawn a crowd. Evidently this app was one in which the player can shoot dinosaurs (replete with realistic rifle sounds) and a good deal of dinosaur carnage.
(The hunter will be gnawed on, should he/she be caught by surprise.)
It should come as no surprise that my mad parenting skilz were a major topic of conversation that evening…