Ben the Bribable Brat

May 18th, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Common lilacThere’s good news from the arboretum in JP. Lilac Sunday came and left last week, but no one told the lilacs. If anything, they are fuller and more fragrant this week. (Click the thumbnail for a larger image.)

While the paths rumbled with Russian conversation, we otherwise staid WASPy types plunged our whole noses and cheeks into pungent bunches. Many times, the private contest was to determine which lilac was broadcasting the suddenly powerful scent. We were all shameless in our olfactory revels.

On the way back up the Centre Street hill though, we walked abreast with the evil Ben, the creature who has already defeated his mother. I judge him to be six, possibly early seven. She has ceded control of the family to her elder of two sons.

The path has a gravel covering, which tested Ben to do his worst. This included scooping hands full of stones and flinging them into the grass. Whiny Mom called out weakly an appeal to reason she must have tried at home. “Bennnnnnnnn, please stop. Don’t throw rocks in the grass. It will hurt the mower.”

Unimpressed and uncowed, Ben tossed more. Then he seemed to remember his four-year-old brother…as a target. He picked up several rocks and threw one after another at his sibling.

That incurred more ferocious wrath from WM. “Oh, Ben, please don’t throw rocks at people.” You can project the result of her entreaty. Ben continued to throw rocks, at which time, she began the bidding. “One dollar!” she cried, finally raising her voice. Ben threw more. “Two dollars!”

We hurried uphill, thorough embarrassed by the failed parent.

Bribing your elementary-aged child not to hurt his younger brother? Cut me a very thin slice of that bologna.

Having raised three boys, now adult, 17 and 14, I was aghast. I never hit my boys, but I did not let them throw rocks at anyone and I absolutely never paid them to human and humane.

WM seemed to be about 35. We figured it wouldn’t have helped in the slightest to give her a 76-second parenting lesson. She’s going to have it hard enough when Ben boy gets to be 15.

On the other hand, the lilacs were great.

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One Response

  1. Lyss says:

    That is so sad. What will Ben be like at age 16?

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