Blind Obedience

My number three son is learning to take a shower and wash his hair all by himself. After a few times of doing this it became evident that he was not doing a very good job of washing his hair. I told him to get in the bathtub and fill it up. I told him I would be back in a few minutes to show him how to wash his hair again. He agreed without complaint.

I went into my bedroom and talked with my wife for a while. She was just getting started with watching a movie we both liked, and I started watching it also. About half way through the movie I sat up with a start and whispered my son’s name under my breath. I sprinted to the bathroom as quick as I could.

My boy was still in the tub. He was sitting Indian style, with his elbows on his knees, and his fists on his cheeks. He was not very happy. I told him that I had forgotten him, and that I was sorry. He told me it was okay, but his voice cracked as he said it. He had been crying. I told him that if this happened again to yell at me, or get out, or something. He didn’t have to sit there. I apologized again.

I am going to try and promptly fulfill my part of our future agreements. I am also going to try and do something special for him soon, and show an increase in love. I am not sure how things work in the big picture, but in my house, this is the reward for such blind obedience.

10 Responses to “Blind Obedience”

  1. 1 C Jones November 26, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Your son has a great dad 🙂
    I have often suspected that there is more to childlike submission than we ever credit, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what or why.

  2. 2 brianj November 27, 2007 at 12:49 am

    I put my daughters in “time out” as a form of discipline. I once forgot about one of them and left her on the stairs far too long. Then came her little voice, “Dad, can I come back now?” I knew I had failed. From that moment on, whenever I put any daughter in “time out”, I always spend it with her.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson November 27, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Thanks C. The what’s and why’s would be interesting.

    That seems like a good idea Brian.

  4. 4 Matt W. November 27, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Eric: Wow. That made me weepy.

  5. 5 JM November 27, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Although he’s only three, a Nintendo Wii may be a fitting reward!

    What a good kid you have.

  6. 6 JM November 27, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    I mis-read. He’s not three years old, but your third son… a Wii may even be more fitting and age appropriate.

  7. 7 m&m November 27, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    This was a beautiful post, Eric. Thank you.

  8. 8 Eric Nielson November 28, 2007 at 9:36 am


    You are a crybaby.


    Actually, he is 9. But I am afraid there will be no Wii in his near future. Maybe a nice …. football.


    You’re wlecome.

  9. 9 Bradley Ross November 29, 2007 at 1:01 am

    Being a parent is way harder than I ever imagined it would be. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a child who totally trusts and loves you, even though you know you don’t deserve such admiration and awe.

  10. 10 Matt W. December 4, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    I can live with that.

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