Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Read this Post or I’ll Beat You Up

with 2 comments

My mother is fond of quoting a friend who once characterized the job of a two-year-old as follows: to destroy the world.

We have four children, currently ages one through nine, and I must admit I find that assertion problematic. It completely ignores the significant contributions of three-, four- and five-year-olds.

Moreover, it casts all two-year-olds from a single mold, when if fact our experience demonstrates an acute difference between the male and female sets in this regard: boys of that age do tend to destroy everything in their path – likely the precursor of the propensity of (ahem) mature males to disassemble anything that prompts curiosity. The girls, however, focus their destructiveness more narrowly.

Our nearly three-year-old daughter would never tear apart a book, or bang toys until they break, or carve patterns into the table with a knife (and even her graffiti on our staircase walls seems more artistic), but she has become quite adept at blitzkrieg attacks on her one-year-old brother. I rather suspect that if cultivated, this, uh, skill will manifest itself years from now as a talent for artful character assassination of high school peers. It’ll be so very.

But back to the main objection: the two-year-old capacity for resentful, wanton physical destruction pales in comparison to that of the more highly developed child, one capable of violently taking out anger on the possessions of the perceived perpetrator of injustice. What’s more, that capacity does not necessarily wane for many years: at age 14, I got sick just in time to stay in the infirmary at summer camp while the rest of the kids in the division embarked on a three-day camping trip. They released me on the second day of the trip, and upon returning to our empty quarters, I used that opportunity to completely wreck the bed and strew the cubby contents of a bully. More on that story some other time.

I realize I’m making some big generalizations here, and yes, perhaps you have an unholy terror for a daughter (or niece or student or neighbor). Shut up. This is MY blog.


Written by Thag

May 12, 2010 at 7:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. “Our nearly three-year-old daughter would never….”

    I was about to brandish the line about never saying never when I noticed for the first time that never, spelled backwards, is the beginning of revenge.

    Unsettling somehow…..

    David Shaffer

    May 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

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