On Redressing and Undressing

Our son is usually a pretty good kid. Like all good people, though, he has his moments. What has surprised me lately is his capacity for rage. Duncan and I showed up at daycare a couple of days ago and he wanted to continue playing. “Go away!” we were told. But we persisted. So he picked up a rather large truck and threw it on the floor, breaking its door off. Wow. I never know what to do if my child misbehaves in the presence of teachers. Who does the disciplining? In this case, I thought it was me, since it was my presence that had caused the upset. We explained to him how his behaviour was unacceptable and made him fix the truck and apologize to his teachers.

Another time, Owen was getting ready for bed. He wanted to keep drawing, but we said that it was time for a story and then bed. He refused (usually, storytime is the best time, so this night was unusual!). Then, when we insisted, he pulled up his shirt with a kind of guttural grunt/shriek. And then… he pulled down his pants. Duncan and I weren’t quite sure what to do. It was so funny to see him so mad AND naked. He’s done it since, but now we laugh about it.

“Owen, if you’re so mad why don’t you show us your belly?”

So what is this? The throwing things I totally get. I have, in fits of frustration, broken furniture. I have thrown books. I don’t get that mad often, but I certainly have it in me. But what about the nudity? Is it some kind of primal return? Take that, civilization? See my naked rage? When he starts beating his chest, I’ll be worried.

 

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