I was in the dining room, putting old newspapers in a pile to take them to the recycling when my six year old son Arun walked in grumbling.
“I want the tea spoon,” he muttered under his breath in my general direction.
“Eh?” I was confused. “You can have the tea spoon,” I told him.
He wandered off with a satisfied, if determined look on his face.
Moments later I heard screaming. I pelted out of the dining room, through the kitchen and into the conservatory. As I rounded the door I saw what can only be described as a full blown Don King promoted championship fight between Arun and his four year old sister Meri. Yes, you guessed it, they were arguing over a teaspoon.
Meri had a good hold of the spoon and turned her back on Arun. He proceeded to give her a couple of hearty slaps on her back whilst shouting at her. She screamed back and with a look of pure temper in her eyes turned around. She gave him a great big shove and pushed him into the blackboard where they both doodle.
Now as a general rule I’m not a fan of boys hitting girls. But neither am I a fan of girls pushing disabled boys over.
So, what’s a father to do?
A plague on both their houses.
“Right! Stop it now!” I roared.
They stopped, stunned.
“You Meri. Go to the dining room and stand there.” Arun you stand right where you are, “ I bellowed. Like a referee separating Tyson and Holyfield I’d done the first part of my job.
I went to see Meri. “You do not, ever push your brother like that, It’s very naughty and I won’t have it.”
I went to see her brother, “And if I ever catch you hitting Meri, or anyone else like that again you shall have me to deal with. Do not hit people Arun. Now, go and say sorry to Meri.”
His bottom lip was quivering as he wandered into the dining room to find his sister. She also looked suitably ashamed, “Meri, say sorry to Arun.” I demanded.
I watched with a mixture of amusement and pride as they hugged and mumbled sorry to each other. “That’s not how you behave towards one another. You must be kind and gentle,” I told them. They nodded sheepishly.
As they turned away and returned to their play, I grinned to myself. Whilst no parent likes to see their children fighting, most of us understand that the odd disagreement is perfectly normal. And glancing at my watch explained it all. It was five o’clock and I was running late with their tea. Hungry children make for bellicose children.
Turns out it wasn’t the teaspoon’s fault at all. It was mine.
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