Thursday, February 4, 2010

I’m Sorry

I sometimes go through large stretches of my day with an almost uncontrollable urge to punch people. Mostly in months where I decide to take off drinking. But I’m able to control myself and not, as much as I’d LOVE to, punch out everyone who pokes their head into my office and says, “Gotta a sec?” That ability, and not wearing diapers to bed, are really the only things separating me from my two year old son.

Sometimes Elijah just can’t keep from hitting. And I can see it in his eyes. He WANTS to have a calm discussion with you about the merits of watching Curious George for 17 hours straight. He WANTS to keep his cool while his cousin Finn plays with a toy he had no interest in until his cousin Finn started playing with it. He WANTS to keep his composure while put him in bed for a nap he has no intention of taking.

But darn it, sometimes you just have to punch and kick to get your point across.

And he shows remorse, which is good. Although I would argue he doesn’t show authentic remorse. He will, when prodded, apologize for violence.

“Sorry, mommy for hitting you. Sorry, Finn for choking you. Sorry, Grover for using you as Matchbox target practice.”

Here’s the funny thing. Eli has a little glitch going right now. A while ago, he had an absolute fit when Diana dragged him away from the YMCA playroom. He kicked and hit and generally freaked out.

Even though it happened months ago, he apologizes for it all the time. At least once a day he’ll say to Diana, “Mommy. I’m sorry I hit you at the playroom.”

“That’s ok, Eli. But what about kicking me in the face five minutes ago?”

“I’m sorry mommy. I’m sorry for hitting you at the playroom.”

Diana still counts this as an apology for the most recent offense. But I’m starting to get worried about him. Not that he has a mental glitch (ask my wife sometime about her Phil Collins glitch), but because in his head so much violence happens at the YMCA playroom. In his mind, this joint has got to be a cross between Islamabad and South Central LA before the gentrification.

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