For your reading pleasure, here is a humorous short true story about a “test of wills” between a father and his 3 yr old son:
One day in the late 1990’s I was visiting with my son on a lay over between one of my cruise ship gigs. I rarely got to see him, so when I did I treasured every moment.
On this particular day ,we were driving to our destination when I noticed that he had “climbed out of his kid seat”. I nicely told him in my best “Caring Father” voice:
“Son,you need to get back in the seat. You could get hurt.”
(I said it firmly and in the best and nicest way I knew how.)
My son frowned and slowly sat back in the seat. Naturally, within a few minutes,he was jumping around/out of his seat.So I tried another method. I said:
“Son,you need to sit in your seat while your Dad’s driving.If a policeman sees you not sitting,I’ll get in trouble.You don’t want to get your dad in trouble—–do you?”
Again,frowning,my son grudgingly sat back down.
Sadly,this was not the end of our conflict. As any parent knows,children are relentless in their desire to do what they want,so once AGAIN,my son decided he ” didn’t want to sit in his chair”, and started “moving around in the back seat”,this time in a more “agitated fashion.”
When I mentioned to him once more to sit still, he smirked at me and said:
“You’re not my boss. Mama’s the boss”
Upon hearing this comment I am sad to report to the reader that all “grace” left me, and I became that most embarrassing of natures creations, an “angry parent”.
In a word,I lost it!!
In a “classic Dad move” I pulled the car over to the side of the road. This had become of battle of the wills,and I was determined not to lose. I looked at my son and said:
“God Dammit!!! If you don’t sit The F#CK DOWN,you and I are gonna have a problem! GOT IT?
After making this ridiculous threat,my 3 YEAR OLD SON,instead of cowering,cracked a smile,and said to me:
“Hey.Tough Guy.Seddo down.”
(Written phonetically/exactly how it was said)
Now, I don’t know where he heard this phrase, or if he was channeling a vocabulary from a former life,but as you can imagine,I sat there in stunned silence for a few seconds.
After a few seconds had passed and seeing his little smile on his face,and thinking about what he had said,and considering my outburst,I burst out laughing,as did he.
After having a good laugh, I promised my son I would “seddo down” if he promised me to sit in his seat.
(We had no more problems that day.In fact, to this day, whenever I start to lose my cool over something that really isn’t worth getting angry over, I hear the voice of my three year old son and I laugh and think to myself—“Hey tough guy. SEDDO DOWN.”)