Let me just preface this conversation with the thought that Ethan's our intense child and Catherine's our "Tree Hugger"
We're finishing dinner and Ethan yells down the hall: DAD!
I ask him what he needs and he starts asking where Larry is. Finally he tells me he's all done with his dinner. (So he wanted to ask Dad's permission to get down from the table...)
Catherine chimes in: You don't have to only ask your favorite person.
My response: Oh, :( Is dad you're favorite person?
Ethan: ya. (then obviously seeing my hurt from the rejection) You're my favorite too, Mom.
Catherine has to chime in again (of course): I love everyone, all the animals and all the people in the whole world. Even the bad people.
Then my intense boy, can't resist a chance to talk about some kind of serious subject: "ya, but if they try to shoot us, we'll just try to find the shield. but we don't shoot them back."
At least some of the principles of "not hitting back" are sticking, even if it is in some random sort of way.