Daddy's are good for a whole lot of things.
In my house, Daddy is the wielder of power tools and the pancake spatula. He is the giver of piggy back rides and bearded kisses. And tonight he was the man who talked Mommy down from an angry tirade.
See, earlier in the evening a woman came up my steps accusing my darlings of throwing rocks at her car and every other car that was driving up our street. Turns out it wasn't rocks they were throwing, but acorns. (Not that acorns are any better.) I was so embarrassed, ashamed, and MAD!! I sent them all upstairs for fear of kicking their backsides from here to the moon. After starting the punishment with a three day grounding in which they will be sequestered to their rooms with the exception of bathroom, school, and meals, I called Daddy.
Thank goodness for Daddy. There is one thing Daddy can do that Mommy can't: he can relate to being a boy. No matter how I try, I will never think like a boy, much less a seven-year-old boy. But Daddy, wonderful Daddy, can revert back to his boyhood almost instantly. (fart jokes anyone?)
While he shared my anger and disgust with the situation, he offered some manly insight. They were just being boys (and Sissy was copying her brothers). Boys throw things at moving targets. They've done so for millennia. He was not excusing their behavior one bit, but offering me a glimpse into the male mind.
This was a simple yet profound thing. Up until this point, I had been, in part, blaming myself for their poor choice. I wondered, "If I had disciplined them more, maybe they wouldn't have thrown things. If I taught them more respect, this wouldn't have happened. If I was a better mom in general, they'd be raking the leaves instead of throwing acorns..."
I was also still so mad I was considering extra punishments like getting rid of every toy and banning TV and video games FOREVER, but, again, thank goodness for Daddy.
They are still being punished, and punished severely. The children all understand the dangers of throwing ANYTHING into the street. We talked to them and they feel pretty bad about what happened.
But, it turns out, this is just what boys do. I could be the best mom in the whole universe and boys are still going to throw things, pee on things, make guns out of bread, and pretend to pass gas (or not pretend and really do it) on their siblings.
Makes me feel a little better, and a little worried to know that boys will be boys.