This time the battle was not with me.  This battle was for alpha male of the Robinson house.  Who would win?  Would it be Dad or Nolan?.  Boy, did it get heated!  David and I were trying to explain the clubs and activities that Nolan might enjoy in high school.  We asked him to keep an open-mind.  Well, he just didn’t want to hear anything about clubs or high school.  I think it overwhelmed him.  Dad enlightened Nolan that sometimes, he can be close-minded.  Nolan then replies.”If I had the bravado, I would slap you.”  Well that’s all it took for Dad to demand Nolan leave the table.  I never thought it would happen.  David has never asked him to leave the dinner table.  Nolan refused to leave.  Dad was ready to physically move him out of the room. Oh boy, I could believe my eyes and ears.  Usually it is Nolan and I going head to head.  This time it is Dad and Nolan.  As this entire scenario is playing out, I am hiding my face behind my hand.  I kept laughing.  Why was I laughing?  This was not funny.  I realized this wasn’t about high school.  This was the fight for the “TOP DOG.” The  alpha and wanna-be alpha were challenging the boundaries.  This is like what animals do in the wild.  It was crazy.  I finally had to jump in and yell “TIME OUT!”  I had everyone go back to their perspective corners to chill. 
This time I was the “good cop.”  I went up to Nolan’s room and we had a great talk.   He realized his empty threat was not the best choice.  He understood he needed to apologize.  He felt that his dad had wounded his pride.  
Then, as a good ref, I went to Dad.  I explained that Nolan felt that his pride had been hurt.  I told Dad that he too needed to apologize.  For once, I was not at war with Nolan.  I was the peacemaker.
The boys each apologized and talked it out.  No one went to bed angry.

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