“Did Boo just tackle Emme?”

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No. Don’t.

I was taking pictures and therefore paying no attention at all. Sometimes the viewfinder becomes a magic tunnel from which I manage not to notice anything I’m looking at — all Boo’s misdeeds become just another pose.

Mikey Mike was entertaining both Boo and Emme with Chip and Dale dancing and I was behind the camera. Slowly, it settled onto my sloth-like consciousness that Boo had just taken Emme down in some sort of wrestling move. In her zeal to give Mike his tip, I suppose. (He’s a great dancer.)

So I pulled Boo aside and told her that tackling isn’t acceptable (unless invited: cf. “Buddy Boy“). I made her say “I’m sorry” although the apology, given that it was delivered to a tree, probably didn’t make Emme feel too much better. I even promised Boo a reward if she could make it through the rest of the day without pushing.

So we learn together to navigate the gray area between “wrestling” and “mugging.”

At least I didn’t get emotionally involved today, praise be to Mike and Emme’s good nature but also the chafing of experience. Today was the first bullying moment when I just did my parenting business without feeling embarrassed by Boo’s behavior. That felt like a success, anyway.

Now, all I need is a good euphemism for “bully,” since when you repeat something too many times it makes it a reality. (Like parents who say “she won’t eat mushrooms.”) Any ideas? So far, what’s come to mind is “peppery” or “boisterous.” 

Or maybe “despotic.”