Family · Life · Parenting

Tales from the Underdeveloped Prefrontal Cortex Front

Paul had to take Levi to the football field early this evening. Levi is doing pit crew for the high school band. This means he carries around equipment and gets to ride the band bus to the away games and beg me for money to buy nachos when they get to roam around during the third quarter.

“Ready to go!” he announced to Paul.

“Where is your coat?” Paul asked.

A lively discussion ensued. Levi insisted that all his coats were at school in his locker. Paul wanted to know why his coats were in his locker and then, after a moment of thought, whether Levi had come home without a coat. It is cold today, and Levi was coughing this morning. Generally coatlessness seemed like a poor decision.

Attempting to divert, Levi repeated that his coats were all in his locker and he could get one when he got to the school. Paul stayed the course with uncharacteristic focus and demanded to know what Levi’s mother would think of him wandering around in the cold in a t-shirt. There was general agreement that displeasure would be involved.

Paul asked if Levi should just stay home since he didn’t have a coat, and Levi pointed out again that all his coats were in his locker. He seems to think this is an excellent point, but I have questions. How many is all? And … why are they all in his locker?

I know. Asking why is futile.

Levi was at this point melting down because he didn’t want to be late. This is an interesting development, since he has not been notably concerned with punctuality for most of his short life.

Paul headed for the car, fuming all the way.

“I can’t believe you came home without a coat,” he said. “Do you understand you could get really sick? And then what?”

Levi, wisely, had nothing to say.

“Listen,” Paul said. “I better get a text when you get there, with a picture of you wearing a coat. If I don’t get that text, I’ll … I don’t know what I’ll do, but it’ll be bad.”

Weaksauce, Paul. It’ll be bad? Really?

I’m much better at threatening them. I have more practice. And I control the screens.

So Paul dropped him off, and Levi lit out for the building, Paul hollering GET YOUR COAT out the window after him.

By the time he arrived home, this was on Paul’s phone.

We have no idea who sent the text, or what Levi told him his father would do to him if said text was not sent. But they were apparently amused. Thank you, kind stranger.

Please consider this permission to yell at Levi anytime between now and next April if you see him outside in a t-shirt and you know I’d be mad. Apparently it takes a village, even if we don’t know the village’s phone number.

It’s 25, when the prefrontal cortex fully develops, right? So only 11 more years.

Send help.

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