Yesterday, we had dinner at our fave Italian restaurant, the one where I painted all the murals, and where the owner keeps boxes of rice pasta on hand just for us. difficult child often plays in the owner's ofc, on the PS2. I do not like it, but it does allow husband and I to have adult conversations, and we do have difficult child come out and eat with-us when the food is served. He mostly races cars. difficult child had a friend, H, eat with-us. (He also stayed overnight.) This kid is adorable but quite a handful. He calls every 5 seconds. You'll say, "difficult child isn't here right now. He'll be home in an hr." and H will call back in 2 min. It goes on all day. Very ADHD, very Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but not antisocial at all. In fact, very social. I can see why he and difficult child like one another. They match ea others' energy levels, at least! Anyway, after dinner, I came out of the ladies' rm to find the owner and his son standing in the kitchen door, having a heated discussion, which they drew me into. I had no idea that his son was even there. So that means that all 3 boys were in the back in the ofc. for about an hr. Argh. Owner's son says that H yelled at him and told him he was gay. (This is the age when those epithets start to fly.) Owner's son says he did not reply and just walked away. Owner starts to blow a gasket. He wants to know why his son didn't pop H one in the jaw. I tell Son that I can go out to the car and get H and have him apologize, because you can't go into someone's home or biz and be mean to them. They were opening their doors to us, offering us food, and games, which are basically off-limits but which they allow anyway, and H took advantage. He was embarrassed and said no. Owner says H is no longer allowed in restaurant. I suggest bringing in difficult child to apologize by proxy, because he could have intervened. And it's his friend. And if he is coming back, we need to set things straight. Owner says this is a good idea, because if I don't do something, he will, and it won't be pretty. (He is a stereotyped Sicilian. He yells at everyone, forgets to shave, kicks in his own car door when he's angry, has high blood pressure ... he could be on a TV show.) So I go out to the car, where everyone is waiting, and get difficult child and H insists he come along. (Good move, H.) We all meet in front of the bar (luckily, there were very few customers, but I'm sure we provided the evening's entertainment). Son leaves and heads for the bathroom. Owner wants to know what happened, calls son back. He slinks back. The boys begin the typical, "He said it first," thing. (I KNEW that was going to happen. In fact, I warned H that no matter who started it, he HAS to apologize because the owner is going to kick him out and he needs to take the high road. He understood.) Supposedly, son started it and H responded. Owner and I both said, "Then why didn't you just ignore it, or call one of us?" Owner emphasized that you should always call an adult when something happens. I agreed. Then we asked difficult child why he didn't do anything. "I didn't do anything!" he echoed. It was actually kind of funny. He truly didn't get it. "That's the point," I said. "You could have intervened and told them to stop." Owner told him that he is the oldest and needs to take a leading role. That was actually a good thing to tell difficult child. It took away the blame and gave him a different perspective. Anyway, Owner had them all shake hands and we left. Whew. We get home, and difficult child is playing Sims on his new computer. My computer friend not only designed a special computer for difficult child for Christmas, but also loaded in programs. He was concerned that Sims would be "too girly." NOT! For those of you that haven't heard of it, you build a house from the ground up, create a family, go to work, and figure out the finances. difficult child figures out that if you light off figureworks, you can set the house on fire. What fun! But, although the smaller fireworks set fire to the floor, which he can extinguish, he forgot to put a roof on the house, so the bottle rockets fly safely off. Then he drowns the little girl, by accident, by forgetting to put a ladder in the pool. He erects a huge monument for her in the back yard. I'm wondering if we should change the name "Sims" to "The Addams Family." He tells me that mom is the breadwinner; she is a semi-pro soccer player. Dad is depressed and won't look for a job. There is a newspaper with-classified ads on the kitchen table but he won't look at it. He gets bored with-that family, so he creates next-door-neighbors. The guy is military. difficult child decides he wants to try out the fire-setting thing again, successfully sets the entire house on fire, and then one of the family members walks into it and is burned to death. Anyone who says that modern video games and movies have no influence on kids is completely out of their mind. This is just like the movies on TV, in the theaters, and reason I do not like difficult child playing PS2 to begin with. Except now, he is doing it on his own. I mean, who would have thought Sims would be a violent game? My computer friend is going to think this is hysterically funny, because his wife and daughter are obsessed with-this game and would never dream of creating these scenarios. I'm wondering whether I should delete it. And should I send the friend home first? Isn't Christmas vacation fun?