A Balance of Good and Evil

Our second born is a “typical” child, which is to say he can be a huge pain in the ass. I would conservatively estimate that 95% of his waking hours are devoted to annoying the people around him. He hasn’t actually ended up in the principal’s office or been beaten up on the playground, but it’s only a matter of time. Yes. He’s that kid.

At least at home he is. I get a completely different vibe from his teachers, who have been singing his praises for years. His report cards consistently describe him as a bright, well-mannered and well-adjusted young man. The fact that the teacher he started out with in September has been on stress leave for the past four months is probably just a coincidence.

But once in a while, his redeeming qualities shine through. Yesterday I took Brayden shopping for his brother’s upcoming birthday. For years now I’ve been trying to get my kids to independently come up with thoughtful gift ideas for each other, but what usually ends up happening is:

a) they avoid the whole issue by mutually agreeing not to buy each other anything, or
b) they find something they themselves want and make a I’ll-buy-you-this-if-you’ll-buy-me-that deal.

So I was pleasantly surprised when Brayden came up with a gift idea for Justin that was appropriate, well thought out and within his budget. It was also what I’d already purchased, but I applauded his effort.

It took us a while, but we did manage to find something else. And in a fitting twist, he ended up spending almost as much on candy as he did on his brother.

I guess it all balances out.

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