The Drastic Paradigm

My 5-year-old said something drastic yesterday.

We often wrestle (mostly feinting kung fu) and he can be intense, attacking over and over until he loses his breath and slumps over in defeat. But in between attacks yesterday he says, “I’m going to defeat you!”

Those are five powerful words. But it wasn’t the words that impressed me. It was the way he said the last part of the sentence, the “defeat you!” part. He was maniacal. I could tell he meant it.

And this may seem weird but… it made me proud. I know that he has a big heart, and I know he thinks he can do it. For a little guy to be full of such confidence that he has it in his heart to want to defeat his own dad… well, there’s something instinctively male about that. And so I felt inspired. And I did something drastic.

I body-slammed him through a table.

He was uninjured and he learned, I think, a very special lesson: his father can still lift him over his head and hurl him into dangerous situations.

Does that make me the bigger man? Absolutely. … Yes. … Sort of. … Well, physically anyway.

There are many lessons to learn about human physicality. I’m giving him a crash course. Flips, spins and yes, body slams.

I’m thinking I have no choice but to exert my physical dominance over both my sons before it’s too late, and they’re 6-foot-2 eating machines hell-bent on taking me out from the top turnbuckle.

Should I have handled the situation differently? Taught him a lesson of tolerance? Maybe. But I didn’t.

I reacted drastically. (The table was probably a little too much, but he hasn’t messed with me since.)

Thinking it about it all now, I’m a little worried because deep down I know… I’m gonna pay. For the rest of my life.

How drastic.

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