In case you aren't aware, there is no one in the world that can make you madder than your own children. Don't get me wrong, my coworkers piss me off. My Mother does a real good job of getting under my skin. And, my wife after years of marriage knows all the right buttons to push if she is looking for a reaction. But, all of this pales in comparison to how mad my kids can make me.
The most recent example occurred the other day. As everyone knows, the Boy loves sports and baseball is the current obsession. He wants to play everyday and everyday we practice in front of the house. Of course, eventually all good things must come to an end and it's time to move on and play with the other kids. As much as I love baseball, I love playing horses too.
Anyway, as I am departing, he asks "Can I throw the ball at the house?"
Normally this isn't such a big request because he throws the ball at the house all the time. Wait, let me clarify, he throws the ball against the garage side of the house which doesn't have any windows. This request came as we were standing in front of the house which is loaded with nice, breakable windows.
It's a simple enough request but the answer was still "No. Not in the front, throw the ball at the side of the house if you want to."
Of course, without missing a beat, "Why not?"
And, so it starts. Maybe it's the challenge in his voice. Maybe it's the way he manages to make it sound like I'm the most unreasonable parent in the world. Whatever it is, it is not a tone I am used to or one that I like.
But, I am the adult, so in a calm voice, I respond, "Because you may break a window."
Again, without pausing "But I have a rubber ball!"
This time it's definitely the challenge in his voice. If there is one tone that I cannot stand, it's the you-have-no-idea-and-I-know-you're-talking-out-yer-butt tone. And he was in full Dads-an-idjit tone.
But, I'm still the adult and I can't just yell at him for challenging everything I say. So this time, grinding my molars to dust, I respond, "But someday you won't have a rubber ball and you will forget. Then you will throw a hard ball against the house and break a window."
As I finished saying it, he hauled off and threw the ball at the house.
All I could say as I glared at him was "You have got to be kidding me."
At this point, He knew he had pushed just a wee bit to far and slinked around the side of the house to play ball. In the meantime, steam continued to roll out of my ears.
I don't know how kids can make parents so mad. Maybe it's because I trying to protect them from themselves and they don't listen. Or maybe it's because I know if I kill him I will go to jail for a very long time.