I don't think there are any of you who don't already know this, but I am a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. (Also: Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, Houston Aeros, and Wichita Thunder, but none of those are relevant now) Robbie knows it and has cheered on the Pens with me on many occasions. (During the Cup run of 2009, for example, he would hear me shout "YEAH!!!" from the back room and then sprint into the living room shouting "GO PENGUINS!" There was also the famous "Thank you God Daddy, thank you God Mr. Travis, thank you God Go Penguins" prayer, after which the Pens won 4 of the last 5 games against Detroit to win the Cup) A couple weeks ago, however, the Pens were playing their arch-rival, the evil Washington Capitals. And after I said, "Go Penguins" once, Robbie countered with "Go Capitals!" and a big mischievous grin on his face. And he wanted reaction, so I gave him one. "What?" I asked. "Why would you say Go Capitals? We like the Penguins!" "I like the Capitals!" he laughed, and he spent the rest of the afternoon randomly spouting "Go Capitals!"
Playful antagonism just to get a response? Surely not from my child...
Anyway, last night the Pens and Caps were on TV again. When I turned the game on, Robbie asked what I was watching. I told him I was watching the Penguins. He asked if the Capitals were playing. (He's asked this every game since he first became a Caps fan) I told him they were, and his face lit up. "GO CAPITALS!" he shouted. "Now you say, 'Oh, man! Why do you say go Capitals?'" He had this all figured out. So, I played my part. "Oh, man," I said, "Why do you say, 'Go, Capitals!'" And he just cackled and said "GO CAPITALS!" again.
Now, I realize Robbie has no real allegiance when it comes to sports teams at this point, though he likes any team that starts with Houston and his favorite hockey player is the Aeros' Robbie Earl, so I wasn't really upset. I knew his Go Caps' were only because he thought it was a fun game. Still, you've got to curb rebellion early, before you get to the "Stone the Rebellious Child" stage from the Torah. So, as I stabbed a bite of pork chop with my fork, I said nonchalantly, "You know, Robbie, I think that only Penguins fans are going to get to have dessert in this house."
From the bedroom, I hear Kim's amused voice: "That's not nice, Daddy!"
I shrugged and called back. "Hey, that's just the way it works. I don't make the rules."
Her voice again: "Yes, you do!"
And then, Robbie calling back to her: "No he doesn't Mommy! It's just the way it is!" A brief moment passes, and then he exclaims, "GO PENGUINS!"
Just like that, we're all one big happy family once again ;-)
Side note: Former Aero (briefly) Jared Spurgeon got his first NHL goal tonight. While it's not as memorable as Stoner's, it's still worth a stick tap. Great story, this kid.