Introducing Barney the Bad Manners Bull.
Yes, it’s a tiny bull on a piece of string. Who knew that it could cause such a commotion or that the kids would be so happy to have it here? You see, this bull represents somewhat of a family tradition. When my mother-in-law was growing up, their family had a pig instead of a bull. Anytime someone showed bad manners at the table, they would receive the pig. Whoever had the pig at the end of the meal needed to clear the table.
Recently, the boys were at Camp Grandma & Grandpa for a visit and the pig made an appearance. I’m still not sure if it was a funny story my mother-in-law wanted to share with the kids or if there was a pressing need for it. Knowing my kids, I know which one I’d place money on. Anyway, the kids loved the idea so much that they wanted to try it out. So the pig made its appearance on the dining room table once again. When it was time to come home, the kids wanted to bring the pig with, but since it was a dear memory of grandma’s, she gave the kids a bull instead. Naturally, in the rush of packing up to go home, the bull was forgotten.
So, this morning my youngest son comes running in the house screaming that he got mail. He excitedly opened it with his brother and, lo and behold, there was the bull…..who we promptly named Barney. Coincidentally, lunch was about to start so we put the bull to work right away.
My older son no sooner sat down to lunch and gained himself the bull by interrupting me while I was speaking. Yay! Our first “victim”. Lunch continued smoothly, but I knew that my son was secretly hoping that his brother would slip up and earn the bull, but no such luck. The meal ended and we all knew who the “lucky winner” was. What did he win? Drying and putting away the dishes I had just done. Lesson learned? We’ll see when dinner rolls around. As far as our luck winner is concerned, he’s a little less excited to have the bull here now. As for me? Barney is welcome to stay as long as he wants.