Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Funny Man

I have recently been noticing that Henry is developing a mini-me version of my sarcastic and occasionally caustic sense of humor. I am torn over this. Why? Because this kind of freakish inclination can backfire on a person. I know this from experience. There are people who get it, and then there are people that you inadvertently insult. I, personally, know the feeling of being able to get all of my limbs in my mouth simultaneously. In other words, droll sarcasm can get you in to trouble. This is especially true for the inexperienced and the young.

As a parent this is exceedingly challenging. Generally, my first impulse is to laugh. My heart swells with pride when he intelligently accesses a situation rapidly and comes up with some really stupendous one-liner. Ah, how quick of wit is he! My second (and more common) impulse is to get highly pissed off. This may have something to do with his timing. His drollery is most keen when he is teetering on the edge of the precipice of really, really, really getting in trouble. They say your own innate traits are the ones that parents find most difficult to accept in their offspring. I would add that this is exacerbated when they are in the process of provoking them. My brother calls it "poking the bear." Nothing could be more descriptive.

I guess the question is - - how to teach moderation - - not to mention how to teach your child to accurately access when he is funny versus when he is about to get grounded until hell freezes over? As Bill Cosby so accurately put it, "Be careful. What comes out of your mouth next could determine your remaining life span."

This is probably making my mother laugh, as she was the one who had to put up with me while the razor's edge of my wit was being sharpened. But, in those days your mother could just haul off and pop you when you got too sassy. Now, you get a visit from child services for that. I guess my options are to just continually remind him when he is being just a tad too acerbic for a child of 10 years old. And by "remind him", I mean flick him on the forehead.

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