Last night, Big D smacked Smella. They were playing in his bedroom when, according to Big D, SHE RIPPED HIS HAPPY MEAL BAG. I don’t know why he was keeping an old McDonald’s bag in his room nor can I imagine why damaging this bag warranted physical retaliation. Nevertheless, I sat him down in his room and we talked about it:
Me: “So why’d you hit her?”
D: “Because she had my bag and she ripped it.”
He displayed the evidence. The bag had a two inch-long tear in it.
Me: “Okaaaay, so why did you leave the bag out where she could get it if you didn’t want her playing with it?” (Oh snap, you’ve got him now.)
D: “I didn’t. She grabbed it out of my hands!”
Me: (Dammit, he’s good. Okay, okay, regroup.) “Well, if you wanted to fix the problem of her grabbing the bag, you should have just taken it back from her.” (Logic. Nice touch.)
Me: “And if you wanted to fix the ripped bag, then you should have used tape. Hitting people doesn’t fix problems.” (Oh yeah, I’m on a roll now.)
Me: “Go tell her you’re sorry.” (Goddamn it, Gump! You’re a goddamn genius!)
D: “Okay. And Daddy? You’re the greatest.”
Me: “Thank you, son. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go pat myself on the back for a while.”
I swear this actually seemed to work. I was shocked. I’ve never really tried the whole “logic” thing, having always relied on a combination of bemusement, rage, and Throttling a la Homer Simpson. But I somehow stumbled onto a concept that was previously foreign to me–logical parenting. Somebody should write this shit down.