Turns out my son is a bit of a psycho.
I already knew this of course, but now it is a matter of public record after an incident at school when he bit and kicked his best friend over a lego-related dispute.
Being a bit of a psycho isn’t all bad. Owing to their inability to emphasise or feel guilt, they tend to do well in business, politics, and customer service. They are often charming high-achievers, but on the down side they are incapable of love, can be violently egocentric and frequently cause quite a lot of embarrassment to their mothers.
I found this out when I called his victim’s mother to apologise, she just laughed at me.
“Don’t be silly, it could just have easily been my son attacking yours, might well be next week, it’s just kids, they all do it.”
I consider sharing with her my suspicious that my son is a psycho, but she seems to be taking it all quite light-heartedly, it may not be necessary to raise the darker possibility of personality disorders at this stage. After all, I don’t want her thinking her little boy is spending ‘carpet time’ sat next to mini-Ted Bundy. I decide to say nothing at this stage and see how it all pans out.
She’s very reassuring, telling me about a couple of terrible things her children have in the past and I join in with a couple of recollections of my own. Soon it’s the mother’s version of The Four Yorkshiremen sketch; My daughter bit a child on the cheek and drew blood. One of mine ripped all the buttons off the laptop, Yeah well my son scratched a teacher, etc. I’m just about to throw in the one about the time my middle son smashed the telly with a toy hammer, which is always good for a few gasps, but instead I think it may be best to bring the whole thing to a close before I say something silly like, ‘and my youngest is a psychopath’.
She doesn’t seem to want to call in the police, so best to draw a veil over the whole thing.
I wonder how long I’m going to have to feel responsible for the actions of my children. The accepted belief that the parents are to blame is one thing when the kid is four, but is Mrs Shipman still ringing around the families of victims apologising for naughty Harold’s behaviour? Was Hitler suffering from middle-child syndrome?
A few days on, and I’m not so sure youngest really is a psycho after all. He definitely feels remorse and guilt and he seems to understand the consequences of his actions (kick other kids hard enough and they take away your shoes). Probably all children behave like monsters sometimes, or at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself for a while. We’ve all learned something from this little incident, and I for one will never again mess with the kid’s lego.