Recently, we were having a get-together with some family at our house. The adults were talking in the dining room while the kids played in one of the bedrooms. Then my son walks into the dining room, wearing one of my shirts, a pair of my shoes, and some sunglasses. Then he proceeded to make this weird voice pretending to be me.
He would say things like:
“I’m going to go to the store and buy a bunch of groceries that will go bad…”,
“I have all these shoes but choose to wear a gross old pair…”
“I will let someone else take care of those dishes…”
“I love spreadsheets…”
He was roasting the heck out of me.
Because I was laughing along with everyone, he felt like going on. There was no venom in what he was saying, and mostly, all the things he said are true. So I was okay with it.
At one point he did lay down and pretend to read a book and said, “I’m so lazy”.
Which after spending all weekend working on house projects, I was mildly offended by. Also, I only wear sunglasses while at the beach.
But more importantly, the majority of the things he said are what my wife vocalizes in front of him.
When I asked him to roast his mom, he came out with a long sleeve shirt over his head, her pair of sunglasses she never wears, and pretended to look at a box and not being able to pronounce the ingredients. And that was it.
Believe me, it is not for a lack of material.
That is not me picking on my wife by saying that either. Everyone has some flaws that would make a great roast.
I am extremely non-confrontational (which is its own problem), but I intentionally try not to say negative things about my wife in front of our child.
Often, I say to my son things like, “I sure do love your mother” or “Your momma is really pretty”. He answers with, “Yeah you picked a good one.”
My parents who divorced when I was youngish. They would often say bad things about one another without even realizing it. Even though they had split, I still held loyalty to both. So though I couldn’t agree, out of respect, I wasn’t going to argue. But either way, it puts a child in a bad place to have to choose between their parents.
There is a saying in business “praise in public, correct in private” that should also apply to families, especially parents in front of their children but especially to divorced parents in front of their children.
That’s double especialled.
And I think any time you can put more positivity out in the world, the whole world will be better for it.
It’s like Bill & Ted say, “Be excellent to each other”.