The boys and I were trapped in the car. We crept toward the red light that flashed green only for a nanosecond, ruefully congratulating the two or three vehicles that made it past while mocking the rest of us strung-out in the agonizing row. The boys were in the finest of moods, and by the finest of moods I mean the sort where every word (every. single. word.) ignites a small land war. I despise traffic, and the boys' fighting is, to my soul, like that chalkboard thing, the one with the nails and the scratching. The whole setup was lovely.
Given this perfect storm, I lost my cool. I may or may not have uttered the word "bitching" during my fatherly attempt to explain to my boys their delightful behavior. As part of my exemplary dad moment, I rashly decreed that they were banned from the Puffle Party. Certainly you don't know what such a thing as a Puffle Party might be, and I'm not much better informed. It's an online game of some sort and yesterday, March 15th, was the magical day when the entire Puffle world as we know it was set to metamorphose, or so I'm told. "It's a once in a lifetime event, dad," Wyatt cried amid contorted moans befitting the apocalypse or water boarding but surely not a missed Puffle Party.
I let the moment pass, and after finally maneuvering through that blasted red light, we eventually made it home. Everyone was sad and quiet. These are the moments when we parents wonder what it is exactly we're doing, how we got here and how to pull it back together. I played my part, but these boys don't have any halos hovering over their heads. They were awful. Double awful. Do you tow the line and make them pay the piper? Do you veto the judgment and risk bad precedents? Heck if I know.
I do know this, though. I'm a bit of a softy. And I always hope to err toward mercy and crazy love, if it's even possible to err on such things. You should check out a Puffle Party, it's wild in there.