children, parenting, terrible twos

The Sorry Moat

We went to a park we’ve never gone to before today. It turns out to be very cool. It is constructed mostly of wood and is shaped like a castle and a fort. It is huge. I tell Mad Dog I won’t be able to take the boys to this park by myself. I would lose track of them easily and heaven forbid, one of them might fall into the moat (okay, there isn’t a moat but how fun would it be if there was one?).

After chasing them at length through the sprawling castle compound, we casually redirect them to a smaller, more confined area. That way Mad Dog and I can sit on the sidelines and have a complete view of their shenanigans. The weather today has been pitch perfect so it feels awesome to sit back and catch a cool breeze (apparently there are some cool breezes to be found in Florida, who knew?).

Full Speed plays for a bit then heads over to us to negotiate his release back to the castle playground. He’s very logical about it. “Why doesn’t one of you stay here to watch T.Puzzle and the other comes to watch me at the castle?” We rail against this as we are tired and want to stay put. He shrugs his shoulders and darts back off to play.pa293440

In the meantime, little brother T.Puzzle has befriended a mild-mannered toddler girl. They are playing nicely at first. Then, he starts to make animal sounds at her. He’s growling and barking. She’s game and returns the favor. For some reason this angers him. He cocks his arm back and lets loose on her. I jump immediately to my feet and chide him to not hit. He instantly drops in to the ‘I-am-sorry formation’. This means his arms are limp at his sides and he says ‘sorry’ over and over. Sometimes I wonder if he even knows what the heck he’s supposed to be sorry about. I make him apologize to the girl and give her a hug. She cringes in fear until she realizes his intentions are actually good. Then he is brusquely escorted to time-out. He refuses to stay put. He is shimmying his little butt all over the place except the designated point of punishment. When I scold him for that, he picks up some playground mulch and chucks it at my head. Guess what? Playtime’s over.

We head to the car and I’m carrying him like a sack of potatoes (albeit it a highly emotional, screaming sack of potatoes). I drop him next to the car (not on his head, no need to call any authorities) and let Mad Dog take over. Eventually, T.Puzzle really is sorry and gets his act together.

I’m upset and feel the steam of anger rising in me. I have a hard time letting bad behavior like this go. I need to take a lesson from Mad Dog. He claims he has selective memory and only recalls the good in life. He also claims this is the secret to a good marriage. I have to agree but sometimes I’d rather just toss somebody in a moat and call it a day.

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