I’m short on sleep, and time, this morning. I was up late playing hockey last night, and awoken early by Ryan, who informed me that “the Internet is broken” at exactly 6 a.m.
I flopped back on the pillow for a moment before climbing out of bed to go reset the cable modem. Checking NHL scores and stats first thing in the morning is part of Ryan’s routine, so I knew I needed to act. Besides, he was calm and asked nicely, so I wanted to recognize that and go see what I could do about the problem.
A reset did the trick — it’s amazing how many electronic issues can be repaired by pulling the plug for 15 seconds — and we were back to our morning routine.
Ryan quickly moved on to studying for today’s chemistry test. His notes were spread all over the kitchen table and he was reading them aloud, quizzing himself.
Something or other annoyed him and he was soon distracted from his studies, and angry. He snuck in a curse word — a favorite habit. When I reminded him about it, he complied — by substituting the letter “F” for his favorite four-letter word.
This is a scene that has repeated itself hundreds of times. I reminded him that using a proxy for a curse word, especially when you direct it at your parents or sister, is not acceptable.
Ryan has never accepted this premise. It’s a literal thing for him — he did not actually say a curse word, so how could there be an issue?
He soon resumed his studies, but with a sly grin. I know that look — the one that says “I’ve thought of something clever and you may not like it but it’s funny and I’m going to say it anyway.”
I finished my morning routine and headed upstairs to shower and dress. As I did, I heard Ryan saying his chemistry definitions out loud.
“… and it is re-lective …”
“Ryan, I think you mean ‘reflective,'” I told him.
“Dad, you told me not to say ‘F,’ so I’m not saying ‘F.'”
All right kid, you win this round.