My kids are all very different, but, one thing they all have is a sense of humor. I don't just mean they can tell a knock-knock joke, but they can think of smart comments on the spot. And, like most kids, if they get people to laugh once, they will rinse and repeat many times, hoping for the same response. But, generally, that first zinger is worth it.
One thing Jarrett (just turned 9) possesses more strongly than my other three kids is the NEED to be right. All. The. Time. No matter what. No matter that it is obvious to anyone within a 5 mile radius that he is wrong, he will fight to the death that he is right. Or, a close cousin to always being right, it's somebody else's fault. It makes disciplining this young man very, very.....interesting. More often than not, any correction on our end causes tears on his end as he is so adamant he is in the right.
On a recent afternoon, shortly after the boys had gotten off the school bus, Jarrett said to me: "Mom, didn't you say Mr. Haas (a teacher at school) was my uncle?"
Me: "No!! Why on earth would I say that??"
Jarrett immediately breaks into tears.
Me: "Jarrett?? Did you tell people at school he was your uncle?"
Jarrett: "Yes!! You SAID he was!!"
Me: "No. I did not. I would never say anything like that, not even as a joke."
Jarrett: "Yes!! You DID!!"
Hot, angry tears are pouring down his face.
Me: "Jarrett. I did not say that. If anything, the closest thing I said was your Uncle Steve knows Mr. Haas, which is true. But, that's not the same as saying he was your uncle!!"
Jarrett: "You SAID!!"
Me: sigh...."No, I didn't but I'm done talking about this. I'm sure your friends won't even remember you saying that."
Later, after dinner, as we sat and watched "The Andy Griffith Show" (don't you just love that show?), I happened to remember our previous conversation.
As I started to re-tell the story to Judd, Jarrett again started to cry and grumpily returned to "Mom!! You SAID he was my uncle."
Now, as I'm sure is the way with many fathers, Judd gets extremely irritated with Jarrett when he cries for no "good" reason. If he is physically injured or seriously emotionally hurt, of course Judd is compassionate. But, when he cries just because he's avoiding facing the fact that he is wrong about something, there's no compassion.
Judd: "Are you crying?? That's silly. You just heard mom wrong, it's no big deal. Stop crying."
Jeven (Jarrett's younger brother), sees a chance to go in for the kill and says: What's the matter? You upset? Why don't you go cry to your new uncle!!?"
Was that mean? Yes.
Was it perfectly timed and appropriately used? Yes.
Did Judd and I hide our faces and pretend we weren't laughing? Nope!!
Did Jarrett actually crack a smile and can now, to this day, laugh at himself about the time he thought Mr. Haas was his teacher? Yup!
Does Jeven try the same line any time and place he thinks it might get a laugh? What do you think?