Friday, December 19, 2008

Not what you'd expect from me or this child at Christmas


A few days ago, David's parents awoke to find this word soaped on the downstairs bathroom mirror, in David's handwriting. FUCK, there it was. I hope that doesn't offend the sensibilities of our readers.

David's parents were appalled; and shocked, too. As his mother said to me, "It seemed so out of character." David is a child who likes to do things by the rules.

His father said,
"What were you thinking? You knew we'd see it."

David couldn't really answer this question. After much debate between the parents, David's father determined the punishment. David would have to write a three-page paper explaining:
a) why he had done it
b) why it was a bad thing to do
c) how sorry he was
d) why he would never do that -- or anything like it -- again.

David is eight. When he read the completed paper, David's father said:
"That's a keeper."

I haven't seen this paper -- I was over there tonight, but David's mother didn't want to look for it - she had hidden it, and said that if David knew they were saving it, he'd rip it up. The gist of a) was that "he just felt like" doing it. Do you think that's all there is to it? I kind of think there may be more to it than that (but maybe not, I really don't know).....the other night we were at a party -- David and I were probably about equally bored with the other guests and spent most of the time playing with each other. Towards the end of the evening, an adult said, in that fake high voice lots of adults use when they talk to children, that she hoped David had a merry christmas.

David looked up at her, smiling innocently, and said, in the same sort of fake cheery voice,
"I hope you don't."

She didn't react in any way -- I don't think she heard him. As he has said to me more than once, "They (meaning adults) don't listen."

WEll, they listened to the message on the mirror.


Meghan McCarthy said...

WOW. That's some story. I think the parents and David need to have a real discussion. He's got some pent up anger that needs to be addressed for sure.

alvinaling said...

That's both funny and disturbing. Sounds like if David usually does things by the rules, he's starting to rebel. But it seems a bit extreme for an 8-year-old!

Anna Alter said...

Hmm, I tend to think maybe the parents could have handled it differently, writing a paper seems a bit extreme! I think he was trying to get a reaction out of them, and it sounds like he got it.

Christine Tripp said...

David needs help and if his parents don't get it for him, they will be very sorry when he hits puberty and things get violent.
No child of 8 should feel like this unless he has true, mental issues.

Anonymous said...

Upon second reading of this... they did listen to the word fuck but they didn't listen to him or the meaning. There is meaning in it only they didn't get the answer. I don't think I'd ever say anything rude like "I hope you don't" at the age of 8. That's getting too old to get away with saying stuff like that. He's obviously mad at his parents or his parents and their friends or at neither and is just letting his anger out in those ways... who knows. Libby, have you thought to ask him about it yourself? I think if there's anyone who would get the real answer it would probably be you.