Matthew’s gift

One of the many things that I find so fascinating about my children is the fact that even though they share the same genetic origins, they are so incredibly different.  It’s like wow, I put the same ingredients in to the blender each time, yet ended up with four different frozen drinks.

The oldest is freakishly smart, in a slightly frightening sort of way.  He could brilliantly invent an artificial brain for the thinking impaired, or he could build a bomb in the basement using rubber bands and safety pins that will blow us all to smithereens.  The twins, with their twinpower cranked to full throttle, have united boyness + terrible threeness + their affinity towards violence and destruction + the fact that there are two of them to create a compound that can decimate entire cities with a single glance.  I applaud their… persistence.

Matthew is boundlessly imaginative.  His action figures find themselves in situations that I never dreamt possible, having conversations that leave me blinking in amazement.  Matthew is also a talker.  He speaks loudly and often.  If he is conscious, he is vocalizing at a furious pace.  Be it a case of middle child syndrome, or simply that his jaw enjoys copious amounts of exercise, he never stops.  And it is not always just mindless chatter.  For he is always right!  About everything!  And he will go to great lengths to inform you of that!

In our house, we generally try to tailor a punishment to the offense (Obviously there must have been an excellent reason for cutting the toe off of your BRAND NEW sock, especially since you are 8 and know better.  Being bored and having scissors in your hand do not count as excellent reasons.  You are paying me the two dollars that I spent on those socks, and if you attempt to whine the next time the ice cream truck comes jingling and you have no money my face will turn all purple as I remind you that you beheaded those socks THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU WORE THEM.)  (Venting anger is good!  Even if it creates the longest sentence ever written.)  So aaanyway, we try to discipline in a teaching sort of way, yet INVARIABLY I am so astounded by some of the misdemeanors my children cook up that my brain goes numb and my mouth croaks “Time out.  Now.”  Considering that my oldest is Hyperactive! and the twins are INSANE (see above), the majority of infractions include physical aggression such as biting, hitting, kicking, pushing, yanking, grabbing, pinching, (this list could honestly continue for paragraphs).  The interesting thing about Matthew is that unlike the rest of his brothers, he rarely gets in trouble for those things.  His time outs are consistently for talking.

Talking, you say?  That’s not a timeoutable offense.  What crackpot parent would punish their kid for talking?  Exercising their verbal abilities?  Creating a connection to the world via speech?  Expressing himself!

Yet 27 minutes in to one of his disagreeable diatribes (typically explaining why mommy/daddy/sibling is woefully stupid and/or inferior), after trying to ignore him, asking him to be quiet, growling at him through clenched teeth to stop talking, one will finally shriek “If you say one more word  you will sit in a time out, mister!”  And naturally, that means he MUST say something.  Because that is not a threat, but a dare.

And as your blood pressure begins to settle back towards normal, as your eardrums melt and leak out on to your shoulders (you didn’t think he would sit in time out quietly, did you?) , you will nod sagely and say “Ah, yes.  A time out for talking.  That makes perfect sense.” 

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April 30, 2008. Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. Nana replied:

    Perfectly portrayed. I like this one the best so far 🙂

  2. Have I ever mentioned Matthew? « Pinkparachute’s Weblog replied:

    […] I mentioned here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/matthews-gift/ (I know there is a fancy way to trackback/ link but I have no idea what that may be.  For the […]

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