I just finished reading one of my birthday present books, a Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary. Bill Watterson is a genius, seriously.
Since I don’t yet have Nicholeen’s almost-400 page parenting book, I have to take parenting lessons from Watterson (who, at the time of putting the book together, said he didn’t have any kids.).
There was a strip where Hobbes broke his dad’s binoculars and he felt really, really bad (not a common feeling for the boy). Really bad. Finally he told his dad, who freaked out, and then in a show of fatherly love, forgave his son and told him it wasn’t that big a deal.
“Really?” sniffled Calvin…. expecting worse. His dad said something like “yeah, in the big picture, binoculars is nothing – I’m sure in a few years you’ll wreck my car :s”
I was able to have this discussion with my 8 year old son… he was doing an experiment with the microwave and placed a hot plate on the table. You know, the table with the BRAND NEW table cloth.
I wasn’t there, but I heard him trudge down to my basement office and he came in with a really, realy LONG face. Almost in tears (just like Calvin).
He was holding said hot plate. On one side was the experiment (a totally melted candy cane). On the other said of the plate was part of the brand new table cloth, which had melted.
Poor kid. He ruined mom’s new table cloth.
“That’s okay,” I told him.
He said it looks horrible, and would only look good if we put something on it to cover it up (like, forever).
I suggested we put a dollar bill there…. that would cover up the spot.
I hugged him, and as he was walking back up, shoulders drooping, I said:
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do worse things than that! Does that make you feel better?”
He nodded, murmured yes, and then went upstairs.
Thank you Bill Watterson – I’m an awesome father 🙂
I wonder what Nicholeen would have suggested?