Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bad rap

I'm not going to mince words here: Charlie can be a real punk sometimes.

About two months ago, Chip and I started realizing that during school pick-up, Charlie would push down any kid who got near us. When we would scold him and tell him to apologize, he would give the (usually crying) child a look that said, "And I will straight up cut you if try that again." Charlie would then saunter over, press his cheek against their cheek and receive their hug, as if to say, "Apology accepted, friend. I know you didn't mean to walk up to my mom. And I know this will never happen again."

When we asked his teachers about it, they came up with a myriad of excuses ranging from, "I think earlier in the day that friend took a toy from Charlie." to "Well, Charlie is a little smaller than some of the other kids. He has to stand up with himself." And every excuse ended with, "But I can't discipline him! He's just too cute!"

It's those dimples. Those blasted dimples.

Of course, we've been brokering deals between Mary Clare and Charlie for close to a year now. Sometimes Mary Clare will take something from him, either through a shady trade or a straight-up steal, but most of the time Charlie will take toys from her or pitch such a holy fit that she will just hand over the item, with a quiet, "Here (sigh), Chawlie." Anything for some peace. The only time Mary Clare doesn't cave is when it comes to food. I have witnessed more waffle tug-of-wars than I care to admit.

We thought his bullying behavior was limited to school and home, but it seems his cousin Brennan sees right past Charlie's dimples and has no problem for calling a scoundrel a scoundrel. After Thanksgiving, Brennan said to Sherri, "Mom. That Charlie is a stealer. He puts toys in his pockets and then leaves the room." This was not a false accusation. Nor was it anything Brennan soon forgot, because he has brought it up every time he knows he's going to see Charlie. And sometimes just for the hell of it.

This weekend, Mary Clare is going to Kansas City to with my parents so she can have some quality time with her beloved Brennan. A few days ago, Brennan asked Sherri if Charlie was coming along. When she said no, Brennan let loose with one of his classic heavy sighs and said, "Good. I don't want him messing with my stuff in my room."

I can't promise that Mary Clare won't make any messes—girlfriend is currently obsessed with pulling out all of her drawer contents and arranging them on the floor—but at least she won't steal things. Or push. Or scream. Much.

3 comments:

  1. The dimples are trouble, I tell ya. I wouldn't be able to discipline him either, though clearly I am not a great disciplinarian. I am glad there is one person in C's life that can call him on his antics. I hope MC has a safe and fun trip!

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