Several months ago I was answering email while sitting at our kitchen table. I couldn’t see him, but I knew from the sounds coming from behind me that our youngest son, Tucker, was getting into the pantry.
Even before Tuck was born, I had a sneaking suspicion, or maybe it was a warning from the Holy Ghost, that he’d have more than a nominal dose of grit.
He had been instructed twice to say out of the pantry. So, at this point, a spanking he was about to own.
I said to him, “Tucker, are you supposed to be in that pantry? Did I say you could get in that pantry?”
“No sir,” said the three year-old. However, his brain wasn’t communicating with his feet, for in the pantry he still stood, not willing to give up titled ground.
I launched into a fit of parental frustration that included a 30 second diatribe about the concept of decisions that went something like this, “Tucker, right now. It’s right now. Right now … is the moment where you must make a decision. If you get a spanking, it’s because you chose it. Right now you must make a decision whether or not to obey. Either way, it’s your decision, and you own it.”
Long. Deafening. Silence.
“Tucker, I want to know right now. What’s your decision?”
“Well, dad, I’ve made a decision … that I love you.”
I can’t remember what happened after that.
I’m guessing my laughter covered the transgression.
A gentle answer turns away wrath … Proverbs 15:1