More than once, I have come home from a Saturday afternoon of shopping and been handed a note saying, “Mom, keep me away from Dad, because he keeps hurting my feelings.”
“Dad hurt my feelings” is six year-old code for “Dad caught me doing something I wasn’t supposed to do, and there were consequences.” Case in point: the other day, Parker James got in trouble for – well, something. Can’t remember exactly what, but it probably had something to do with making a mess/not picking up a mess/whining and complaining about being tired when asked to pick up a mess . . . are you sensing a theme here? In a classic PJ “offense-as-defense” move, he pitched a wall-eyed fit, informing his father, “You HURT my FEELINGS when you get ANGRY AT ME!” Dad is not easily distracted by these tactics, and ultimately PJ got sent to his room. Some time later, he produced an original artwork, titled “When you yell at me, I learn a lesson.” What I found notable about this work – aside from the irony of the “I learn a lesson” statement (we’re talking about the kid who colored on the coffee table, was taken to task for it, and a few minutes later was caught red-handed – well, actually, black ballpoint-handed – coloring on it yet again) – was this:
That’s Dad in the picture. And those are “shout lines” coming out of his mouth. I thought that that was pretty sophisticated for a six-year-old – and a pretty good indication that he’s gonna rock at Pictionary.