If you spend any amount of time with me, you’ll see that I really love hanging out with my son. Sure, there are times he gets under my skin (like his 5 am wake up today) but really most of our time together is spent playing around and goofing off. But if you were someone who just peeked into our world at a specific point in time, you would see several signs that I beat him. So I am here to set the record straight and hopefully avoid any calls from social services.
4. The apologies
This is a little one but if someone were already suspicious this might further set them off. You see somewhere in Simon’s two years of growth he started apologizing… for everything. He sneezes, he says sorry. He gets excited, he says sorry. Sometimes, I’ll just look at him and he tells me he’s sorry. If you were a casual observer of our time together, you might think this boy lives in fear of his father. Which would probably explain the next one.
3. The mumbles wishing his father would die.
Six months ago we went to the dentist and Simon had such clean teeth that the dentist offered him a prize. I also had clean teeth but the only prize I was offered was a chance to pay the copay but I digress. Simon was offered a prize and he chose two foam dice, one green and one blue. Simon loved these dice and became kind of neurotic about them. When he would lose them, or leave them behind, he would ask us to find them or bring them. But these tended to use the singular word for dice which is die. To top it off his questions come out in these tiny, whiney whispers. “Daddy, die” “Die, Mommy!” Occasionally he would get really upset and just shout it, “Daddy die!” I am sure that would make any person wonder what would warrant such an outburst of hatred… then they’d see the bruises.
2. The “bruises”
This one probably is the most backward of the bunch. You see I have incredibly corse hair on my face. In fact for years my wife has been complaining about my “pokey face”. What was great about Simon is he doesn’t complain… but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rough. So when I tackle Simon and pin him to the ground and blow on his belly or kiss his cheek sometimes my rough beard will cause these weird red patches. They only stay for a few minutes but frankly they look like I just slapped some sense into him.
So when we’re at church and I am chasing him and he’s got a red slap mark on his face, people might think something is up or it could just be you know, kids getting bruises. But any doubts they had will be washed away when they hear the begging.
1. The begging
This one I legitimately don’t know where it came from and it’s the one from this list he does the most. If Simon doesn’t want to do something (go to bed, leave the store, eat his lunch, sit down, anything) he starts to beg in this little whimper, “No, please, no” If it was just the “no” I would be okay but he has to add in that sad little “please” to really sell his fear. He backs away from you trembling and saying, “No, please”. It looks just lovely.
So let me paint you a picture. You’re a young married couple at the store shopping for dinner. Off to the left is a cute little boy who has wandered off a little bit and picks up some cheese. The father of the boy turns to the child and calls his name, “Simon.” The boy immediately begins apologizing, “Sorry, Daddy, sorry.” The boy turns and that’s when you see it, there’s a red mark on his face. Your suspicions begin to rise.
The father moves towards the boy and the boy suddenly begins saying, “no please. No please.” What is this boy afraid of? (Gasp) Could it be being slapped again? The dad picks the boy up and puts him in his stroller. The boy is really begging now, “No please! No please!” The father begins to wheel him off and as they pass you buy you hear the cute little boy mumble to himself, “Die daddy.” And then their gone. That poor little boy.
These events aren’t written for dramatization. They have happened at church. At the store. On the bus. So I hope anyone out there who might witness this odd show at a restaurant will realize that no child has ever been safer from that sort of thing than Simon. I love the kid to death and despite all the signs to the contrary, would never beat him. Now when he becomes a teenager, we’ll have to reevaluate.