Gabie came home from playing at a neighbor’s house quite upset. “Ben threw a piece of cinderblock at me!” he sobbed. I checked him over and saw that he was okay. I’m thinking: Good grief. What kind of a 3-year old brute would throw things at my child? He could have been seriously hurt. Gabie was very indignant about the grave injustice that had been done to him. “Ben should get in big trouble for what he did. I think an hour time out should do it. You’d better call his mom and tell her.”
I told Gabie that I wasn’t going to tell Ben’s mom how to discipline her son, but I did promise that I’d talk to her about it. I called and let her know what had happened. She was properly horrified that her son would do such a thing and I hung up the phone and assured Gabie that Ben was in for at least a good tongue lashing if not the hour time-out.
A few minutes later, Ben and his mother showed up at our front door. “Ben wants to apologize,” she said. I called Gabie over and he stood there looking injured while Ben said “I’m Tah-ree.” His mother added, “We just don’t do things like that Ben. Why in the world would you throw a cinderblock at Gabie?” Ben replied, “Cause he trew a rock at me first.”
Now I’m thinking: I’m a reasonably intelligent mother. Why in the name of all that is holy didn’t I take the time to ask for the WHOLE story before calling my neighbor? Mortified and grasping at straws I wonder if maybe Gabie was provoked. Perhaps it was self-defense. “Gabriel,” I ask hopefully, “Why did you throw a rock at Ben?” With no hesitation, Gabie says, “I had to do it mom. He was acting really annoying.”
Oh crap. Now I’m going to have to move.