First Attempt at Fratricide
Yesterday, my wife left my two week old son sleeping on the couch while she attempted to do something in the kitchen. The baby’s bouncy seat had been put up on my reclining chair to move it out of the way while vacuuming. My four-year-old daughter decided that the baby would sleep better in the bouncy seat than on the couch, so she enlisted the help of my two-year-old son to help move him.
My wife, still in the kitchen and oblivious to my daughter’s intentions, was suddenly alerted to the fact that something was wrong by the sudden outburst of crying from my newborn. When she went into the living room to see what was going on, she caught the two kids trying to heave the baby into the recliner. My daughter had the baby’s feet while my son had his arms and both were struggling to lift him over their heads into the elevated bouncy seat. My wife, sensing the impending disaster, let out a cry that alerted the two sneaks that the gig was up. My daughter immediately dropped her end of the load and ran for her room. My son, left holding the loot, put up a valiant attempt at holding the baby but buckled under the weight of his brother before my wife could get there. They both fell crashing to the floor. No one was hurt but after hearing about the incident, I decided that I had been lax in imparting fatherly wisdom to my two oldest kids and had to set matters straight when I got home.
I pointed out to my daughter that she had blundered grievously. When fleeing an enraged authority figure, be it a parent or a police officer, one should NEVER seek safety in an enclosed space with no escape route. I also lectured her on the importance of posting a reliable lookout when committing a random act of mischief. Otherwise though, I thought her instincts had been sound. Once confronted with a danger that she knew she could not physically best, she made a break for it.
My son on the other hand, could have done better. Not only had he been duped into trying to pull off a caper he was not yet ready for, he was the one left holding the bag when the heat came down. I let him know that there was no honor in being patsy and to be prepared to run when things got hairy. I also tried to explain proper flight techniques, such as running in the opposite direction of your accomplices to sow confusion within the pursuing authority but I think he is still a little young for that. Maybe next year.