Youngest has gotten remarkably better at controlling himself when situations don't go his way. A friend who was over to the house not long ago hadn't seen him in easily six months. She pointed out how much more easy-going and calmer he had become. With a shock, I had to agree. How had I not seen that before?
Because, in the midst of being more easy-going and calmer and agreeable, he still has moments like Saturday morning. He and I were down at the school, letting the dog run wild and playing a game of Around the World in basketball.
I suck at basketball. I never played it unless I was in the polyester one-piece gym outfit during high school. I'm short, so it just was never a game that held any interest to me. Because, hey, unless you can conquer a sport, truly, what is the point of trying?
But Saturday, with the sun in his eyes and me sporting sunglasses and a baseball cap, I took a two-point lead. After I made a basket and he didn't, I turned over my hat to him, at his request. Next round, I forked over the sunglasses. When he yelled, "BIFF!" with all his might when I was shooting, I should have known what was coming next.
"God damnit!" he said when he missed the next one.
"Don't talk like that," I sternly said. "I've told you not to say that."
I made the next shot, a shot I never make. He took the ball for his turn, flung it and said, "Screw you."
Dude, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
So I told him we were going home RIGHT NOW and he was watching NO TV all day and he was going STRAIGHT TO HIS ROOM when we got home and I was going to TELL HIS FATHER.
Hours later, quite teary-eyed and having been shut down each time he'd been to try to make any conversation with me, he made a point of saying, "I didn't say that. I said, 'Foo you,'" clearly not realizing that such a exclamatory statement could be construed one of two ways.