Saturday, May 02, 2009

Well, There You Have It

Well, Marco's lovely girlfriend, Carly, was raised in a house where the words "yes, sir" and "yes, mam" followed anything addressed to an adult. My friend Lynn's kids also were taught that. It's nice, but maybe old-timey in my book, so I never asked my kids to go that route. Nonetheless, Madeleina has begun answering me with that "sir" word to nearly everything in the last couple of days, along with starting most sentences with "Father,..."
But it was bound to happen, given my openness to having the kids punch me in the arm between the elbow and shoulder whenever they think I've done something to wrong them. It was a solution to them needing to vent--and my Irish upbringing in which physical fighting was not a bad thing so long as didn't actually try to hurt anyone badly. And I think it worked: Both Marco and Italo gave me my share of shots over the years, and they generally got my attention so that I'd listen to what I'd done that they were sore about and then try to avoid doing it again.
Madeleina, as those who read this blog will know, has taken advantage of the rule and often uses my arms as simple punching bags. When she's excited, it's Whack! Whack! Whack! When she's angry it's Whack! Whack! Whack! When she's just in the mood, the Whacking can go on for three or four dozen shots. And she's getting pretty good at focusing so the Whacks are starting to take their toll and leave purple bruises.
This morning's session took the cake. "Father," she began, "I'm not happy that you yelled at me to go to bed at midnight last night, sir. I think it was really mean, sir. And so, father, this is for you sir..." Whack! "And this, sir." Whack! "And I've only just begun, father, sir." Whack! Whack! Whack!
It's a kind of respect that I suspect doesn't really carry a lot of sincerity. I'll muse on it while my arms heal.

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