September 2012, Wyatt is six-and-a-half.
“Well,” he said, in a tremulous voice, “I’ve packed my bag.”
One look at him and I knew: “You’re running away?”
“It’s too much. It’s just too much. I lost screen time and LEGOs for a whole week just for being naughty at soccer practice and for punching that big kid that was teasing me,” he sniffled a little and shrugged his shoulders a couple times, wiping his nose on his sleeve. “He’s so much bigger than me. Why did he cry and tell his mommy on me? He’s, like, two times my size!”
“You still can’t hit, Wyatt. You know that.”
“Yes, well, no LEGOs for a whole week? That’s a big enough consequence. I’m still upset about that! The no screen time, well, I didn’t even care until now that you’re letting Duncan watch Sesame Street and I don’t get to. I can’t handle it! It’s just too much for a kid my age! I just need to get out of here.”
“Have you though about where you’ll go?”
“Yes,” he peaked at me out of the corner of his eye, “I was thinking about that side of the front yard where we don’t go very often.”
“That’s a good spot. Well, I’ll miss you.”
And with that, he was gone, out the front door, returning shyly moments later to ask if I could bring the dog in the house so it would feel like he was farther away.