“WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY DO I KEEP GETTING HIT? I’M SICK OF IT!” Tommy screamed from his bedroom.
Don’t be alarmed.
He was screeching about his Mario Kart game.
I went upstairs to his bedroom and found him red-faced and glaring at his Nintendo 3DS.
“Hey, calm down,” I snapped. “We don’t act like that when we lose.”
Tommy’s lips clenched. “But…I keep getting hit by OBJECTS and it’s just NOT FAIR!”
“It’s a game,” I reminded him even though I was being a total hypocrite. When he’s at school I’ll occasionally play Angry Birds and I once shoved my iPod Touch under the couch cushion because I swore the game was cheating. I also might have let out a string of expletives. BUT. I do NOT behave like a lunatic when my kids are home. (For the most part..)
Still. It seemed that Tommy inherited my temper.
As well as Tom’s. Tom, it should be noted, plays computer games like Call of Duty and he’s been known to shout. When I call him out on it he’s like, “My teammates aren’t helping and I’m sick of losing because of them!” Or he’ll bellow, “Lag, lag, lag, I’m so motherfu*king tired of this LAG! AMBER! Call our Internet service and demand to know what is up with this LAG!”
We’re working on it.
Tommy hasn’t heard or seen an episode from us in over a year and I do not want him to behave like that when he loses so I warned him if I heard him yell again that I was taking away his Nintendo 3DS.
“Fine,” Tommy pouted.
All was well for twenty minutes. And then…
“STOP HITTING ME! IT’S NOT FAIR! I JUST WANT TO WIN!”
(Imagine if someone walking past the house heard that. Wrong conclusions could be jumped to and then I’d have the military police surrounding my house. Awkward.)
I went upstairs and Tommy immediately burst into tears.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I won’t do it again. Don’t take it from me!”
I’d react the same way if someone tried to take my iPhone.
He had to learn. So I took it anyway.
“YOU ARE MEAN!” Tommy screeched. “THE WORST EVER!” He began banging his body against his mattress. This helps him calm down. I left as he did this and told him if he behaved he could have the game in a couple of hours.
“MEAN!” he bellowed again.
Ten minutes later Natalie came over to me.
“Um,” she said. “Tommy said I hadded to give this to you.” She held up a piece of paper.
“Had,” I corrected, taking the paper. “We don’t speak WalMart.” I peered down and my mouth dropped open.
“Tommy!” I shouted. “Son!”
I rushed up the stairs and threw open his door. “What is the meaning of this?” I held up the paper dramatically.
Tommy looked afraid. His face was streaked with tears and he had a snot bubble in his left nostril. Aw. He cries like his momma. “I’m sorry!” he said. “I was angry! I don’t hate you! I—”
“What’s THIS?” I pointed at the YOUR.
Tommy sniffled. “What?”
“What’s THIS?” I wailed. “After all I taught you. After everything I’ve instilled in you.”
Tommy was at a loss for words. He gaped at me like a fish.
“It’s the wrong YOUR. It’s supposed to be Y-O-U APOSTROPHE R-E. You know this! Please tell me you know this. Please don’t turn into one of those adults who write Y-O-U-R welcome. You know better. I taught you better!”
Tommy wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “I….forgot?”
I nodded briskly. “See that it doesn’t happen again.”
Tommy raised an eyebrow. “I am sorry,” he muttered.
He did behave the rest of the night and he did get his game returned. I’m pleased to say that he did not shout at it.
And I’m pleased to say that I’m working incredibly hard on raising kids who have an understanding for basic grammar.