Boss Is a Four Letter Word

I like to think my kids don’t have the capacity for hate. Surely these sweet little people can’t have a mean still-developing bone in their bodies. I know there are things they dislike – spicy food, baths, sitting still long enough to play a game – but I didn’t think they could hate. However, there is one thing they hate with a passion. When one of them is being bossy.

In the world of kids, there is nothing worse than being bossy. Pee your pants? Fine. Eat Play D’oh? No big deal. Be bossy? I’ll see you in hell you little tyrant.

I don’t understand where they pick this up. I know a lot of what they say and do is absorbed from us as parents, and I know that I’ve never told my wife she’s not the boss. As far as I know she’s never stormed out of the room to complain to the kids that I was being bossy. Unless she has…in which case I’ve got bigger fish to fry than figuring out my kid’s issues with a perceived power structure. Just in case, I’ll demand my wife not give my kids the impression I’m bossy.

At school, I’m fairly certain the teacher didn’t introduce herself by saying “Hello I’m Mrs. Robinson and I run shit here.” I think this must be some organic issue that kids bring up among themselves as soon as they learn the word boss. In which case, maybe let’s not teach kids the word boss. Always had kind of a negative connotation to it anyway. An assertive kid knows what they want. A bossy kid is being a little bitch.

Perhaps there is something in the psychologic make up of children that not only needs boundaries, but people clearly assigned to enforce those boundaries. It’s ok if Mom or Dad is bossy, because that is in the job description. If a brother or sister is bossy, then the only reasonable course of action is to run and tell Mom or Dad immediately. Fun fact – children develop the understanding of what a boss is before they do what a tattle tale is. If they have a hard time with grasping the concept of being told what to do by their peers, I wonder how much they’ll struggle with the concept of snitches getting stitches.

Because, of course I am never actually there to witness said bossiness. It only happens when they are off playing in another room and the giggles turn to screams, then the boss accusations start to fly like it’s the Salem witch trials. “Mine sister doth a boss! J’accuse!”

So one kid is crying because the other kid won’t play with them, and in response to the bossiness, drops the a-bomb of “you’re not my friend anymore.” The other kid is informing me that their sister is, in fact, not the boss. Everyone is crying. And I’m standing there like “Ah-oh, oh-ay, who’s the boss here?” They agree that Mom or Dad is the boss, and forget they were declared not friends anymore. There is peace. For about 45 minutes.

I assume, like most other annoying things kids do, this is a phase and there’s a brand new life around the bend. Maybe if I ignore it, they will get the picture and stop doing it. Like how you’re not supposed to acknowledge it when a kid swears. Then again, if left unchecked, will it get worse? I could see either side. But there’s a path you take and a path not taken, the choice us up to you my friend.

Also, Mona was the boss.

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