Tonight, I was sitting at the table eating dinner with my family when Noah randomly brought something up. He said to me, “I got in trouble today at school for walking with the middle finger.” At first, I was like, “wait, what?” He then said, “don’t be mad because I don’t know what the middle finger is and I’m not sure why I got in trouble.” My follow up question is "how did you find out about the middle finger?" His response "from a friend at school".
The picture in my head of the punishment I want to give him is from the scene from The Christmas Story of Ralphie standing in the bathroom with a mouth full of soap. That seems a bit harsh for this particular instant, but it's all I can think about doing. I then remembered Ralphie's mom calling the other mother and the beating that the poor kid received. Inside, I began to snicker, and I knew it was all down hill for me.
While he is trying to explain to me that he doesn’t know about the middle finger, he is quietly pointing his pointer finger up like I don’t know which finger is the middle finger. He was like “is this it?” I looked at him, trying my hardest not to laugh and said “Noah, you know what finger is the middle finger if you got in trouble at school” as I am trying to talk to him my wife walks in the room and she says “wait, what? Why are you talking about the middle finger” I looked up with a smirk and said, “your son got in trouble for walking with his middle finger up.” I want you to notice he’s her son when he gets in trouble. 😂
My wife looked at me and turned to Noah and said: “Noah, giving someone the middle finger means you don’t like them, and it’s rude.” Perhaps, it’s not my best dad moment because all I could think about was when I got in trouble in the 2nd grade for giving my teacher the middle finger. I’m so thankful for my wife without her I would have missed out on this teaching moment because of my immaturity. I spent the conversation trying not to laugh but yet being stern but the laughter began to win, and I had to walk out the room.
I can say this, the older I get, the more I understand what my parents were teaching me. I just never imagined that I would be having these conversations with my kindergartener. The next 12 years is going to be a rollercoaster.