Once upon a time (five years ago to be exact) there was a mom who asked her small boy who is friends at preschool were while he was bathing. The boy couldn't answer. He looked back at her with wide. wondering eyes. The mom kept patiently asking, but the boy would just look back silently.
Shortly thereafter the boy's family moved and he started at a new school. The teacher wrote small details of the boy's day in his notebook. The mom looked at them everyday and used those notes to ask her boy questions about his school day, but the boy still could not answer.
Years passed and the notebooks continued from year to year. The boy started to respond to his mother's questions. Then, all of a sudden and not long ago he began to volunteer information about his day--just little details in the form of a sentence or two. He also answered her simple inquiring sentences.
The latest detail he volunteered was about a school assembly. The nine-year-old began the conversation while walking back home from school with his mom.
"Mom guess what?"
"There was an assembly today," he said, eyes shining.
"What was the assembly about?" she asked.
"Well it was about bucket fillers and bucket dippers. Bucket fillers are nice and kind and bucket dippers are mean. I'm a bucket filler!"
"That's great," she responded. But, alas, the pair had another companion in the form of a fiery, five-year-old boy, the other boy's little brother.
"No you are a bucket dipper!"
"No I'm a bucket filler," came the almost whiny response.
"No you aren't. I'm a bucket filler and you are the bucket dipper!" responder the little antagonizer.
"[Little brother] you're the one being the bucket dipper right now," she said trying to intervene.
But the two brothers paid her no attention and off they went until she said rather firmly to the smaller one:
"Stop it right now or you are going to bed when we get home!!"
The argument stopped, but only for that moment. The bigger one continues to tell others that he is a bucket filler. The little one continues to listen and antagonize...