A telephone ringing is, in our house, very much like the bell in a boxing arena. The minute our boys know I am on the telephone, they commence punching, wrestling, kick boxing, sword fighting, and whatever other form of violence happens to grab their fancy.
The other day I was talking on the phone to a neighbor and half listening to the ruckus downstairs. When Caleb began shrieking in genuine pain, I got off the phone and dashed down to the basement. By the time I got there, both boys were crying.
"What happened?" I demanded in my most threatening tone.
"Nathan bit meeeeeee!" Caleb wailed.
Biting is absolutely off limits in our house, so Nathan knew he was in for it.
"Nathan, did you bite Caleb?" I asked.
"Yes," he sobbed.
"You know that's mean and wrong."
"But," he cried, "I was soooo hungry!"