A Jack R/L Production
Your house is the 'cool house' in the summer. You have a large number of kids, a pool, a game room, and tons of room, not to mention that you're willing and able to keep plenty of food on hand - the kids love it. On the other hand, you own your own business, and are able to do most of your work from home, and you also have a couple of adult sons who help watch the kids, which means there is at least some supervision at all times - the parents love it.
You break the kids who hang around regularly down into three groups. Of course, there are your kids - the boys who actually live with you. There are the 'daily kids' - the boys who are with you when their parents are at work, and for whom you are directly responsible. Then there are the visitors. Of course, you treat your sons like your sons, and you have permission to treat each and every one of the 'daily kids' the same way you treat your won sons. That means sore bottoms when they get out of line. Even with the visitors, a lot of them are kids you've known long-term, and you know (and/or are friends with) their parents, and you have permission to treat many of them the same way when they're at your house.
This is Ethan:
Ethan's 12, though he's small for his age. He's also extremely hyper. That doesn't usually bother you. Occasionally, he can be pretty hard-headed, and that does bother you. It's also ended him up over your knees more than once.
Yesterday was one of the days where you HAD to go into work. Chris (one of your adult sons and a middle school teacher) was there, and you reminded everyone that he's in charge while you're gone.
When you came home, it was already after lunch. As you were helping yourself to a sandwich, Chris came up to talk to you. As soon as he saw Chris talking to you, Ethan came running up. As he tends to do, Ethan was talking so fast you weren't sure what he was saying. Chris gave him a dirty look, but didn't interrupt. You finally separated them, took Ethan inside, and calmed him down enough you could understand him.
"My dad said I had to mind you, not Chris," was the gist of the whole thing.
You then excused yourself to talk to Chris. Chris explained that Ethan had came in right after you left, and dumped his backpack in the living room. He asked Ethan to take it to the littles room. Ethan said he'd do it when he finished eating. When he finished breakfast, Ethan went out to play. Chris reminded him again. Ethan said they were already playing, and he'd do it in a little while. Chris decided not to make a huge deal about it, but when they moved into the back yard to clean up and eat, he told Ethan he needed to move the backpack before he ate. Ethan then said, 'You're not in charge, and I don't gotta mind you.'
While Ethan can be headstrong, he's usually not rude or disobedient, so you asked him his version. He said that Chris was being bossy, but he really didn't disagree with anything Chris said. Also, you can't help but notice that his backpack is STILL in the living room (and yes, you've told him a number of times not to leave it there).
"Ethan," you explain, "it's not just that I've told you a number of times not to leave your backpack there, it's that I am in charge, and you're supposed to obey me, aren't you?"
"I do," he answers.
"Before you left yesterday, didn't I remind you that I'd be gone this morning, and that Chris was going to be here?"
"And didn't I tell you that he was going to be in charge, and that you should mind him?"
He nods again, very hesitant.
"So, if I told you to mind him, and you didn't mind him, then weren't you also not minding me?"
No nod this time, but his eyes get wide, and his lower lip starts to tremble.
"Are you going to spank me?" he asks after a long moment.
"No," you answer after a pause to think. "I'll just tell your Dad and let him decide."
"No! Please don't tell my dad."
Will you tell his dad? If you don't, what will you do?