Tonight, Charlie Brown asks me of our increasingly insolent son, “What is Punkinhead’s deal with me lately?”

“Uhm, honestly?”

Nods, albeit a bit reluctantly.

“Well…you’ve been a bit harsh lately. To everyone. And, you know, it is really hard to teach a child, particularly a boy child, to respect his mama when Daddy treats her like dog crap in front of others and behind closed doors. And then, he thinks, ‘If I don’t need to respect Mama, I don’t need to respect Daddy either.'”

From there it went like this:

I got teary. I feel unappreciated, overwhelmed, and not supported. I am resentful that he plays on the weekend while I find myself working. Of the home and parenting variety.

He got yell-y.

Which made me shouty and teary.

But we got it off our chests.

It being we both are feeling a lack of respect. Among other things.

Then he shared with me an inside story about a conversation he’d had with our group leaders about letting an outsider into our group (per the request of an older male friend at church) and they responded in a way that really surprised me, because these are people that I tend to see as more godly than myself, at least lately.

And suddenly, it didn’t seem so bad that he’d wanted to air real frustrations, shared by the entire group re: a legitimately frustrating person who had been alluded to, but not named, last night.

“Hey, by the way, what was her deal yesterday anyway?”

And I proceeded to give him the low-down of the painfully awkward discussion between this person and I.

Then I went upstairs to pee.

Came back down and he was doing the dishes.

Without me having to ask.

That was the [moist, best-of both-worlds-marble] cake.

“I’m sorry for fighting with you.”

That was the triple fudge icing.

And how sweet it is when he actually gets it.

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

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