Dad's World with Jonathan deBurca Butler

To put it simply, Luke is behaving badly and the half of it I’m too embarrassed to even write about. But what do you do?

THE summer holidays are here and with it comes that callous, but sometimes sadly true, proverb ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. 

The boys are knocking lumps out of each other at the moment and as we’ve told them straight out “it’s beginning to wreck our heads”.

Cars, jigsaw pieces, seating places, who gets put into the car first, who gets taken out first, who can hold Mummy’s left hand, who can hold Mummy’s right hand; everything seems to be causing an argument.

As regular readers will know at this stage most of these columns start with me giving out about the older of the two, Fionn (aged 4), but of late it’s been Luke who has been initiating this most recent cycle of agression.

We’re not 100% sure what has got into him lately, but he seems to be whacking everyone. If it’s not Fionn he’s laying into, it’s his mother and if it’s not his mother it’s me. 

He doesn’t seem angry or anything, he just seems to think it’s funny. 

But I can tell you, getting a poke in the eye on the way to bed is no joke and his laughing his head off at you clutching your now bloodshot eyeball doesn’t make it any easier.

And if he’s not throwing digs around the place like a drunken hooligan, he’s chanting like one. 

The cutesy songs he used to sing about ‘daddy-fingers’ and ‘twinkle twinkle little stars’ are now Spitting Image parodies involving ‘poopy fingers’ and ‘twinkle twinkle little poopies’. 

Old McDonald is no longer the proprietor of that famous animal farm but Old Mc...take a guess...Poopy.

To put it simply, Luke is behaving badly and the half of it I’m too embarrassed to even write about. But what do you do?

Let’s start with the hitting — why is he doing it? 

Is it because the little man seems to think Fionn will get the blame? Is it revenge for the first two years of his life? Does he simply think it’s funny? 

So many questions and all we can do as parents is speculate. But not knowing exactly why he hits us, does hinder our ability to address it in the correct fashion... or does it? 

Do we really need to know why he’s doing what he’s doing or do we simply need to address it and keep on addressing it until it stops?

It has to stop. For our sakes as well as his. 

In September, Luke starts creche and if he goes in there thinking he’s Mike Tyson, he might well come out like Frank Bruno.

Then there’s the second problem; the bad language. For me this is about attention seeking and nothing else. 

Luke is a bit like Madonna (not the) in the sense that if he sees something that shocks you, he’ll roll with it and boy does he roll with the parental advisory lyrics stuff when he’s told to stop — there are prisoners in Thailand who use less bad language than Luke.

By the way, before I get any letters about watching where it came from in the first place, I have to hold my hand up. 

I’m an awful divil in the car, but there have been imports from other places. 

Words that I simply don’t use are being uttered and we’re just not sure where they have come from.

The boys start in their new educational institutions in September and at the moment we are fighting something of a rear-guard action to make sure they don’t go in there with a reputation as the local Krays. 

It promises to be an interesting (and long) holiday season.


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