Monday, May 02, 2005

Can’t we all just get along?

One of the most valuable things we can teach our children is how to get along with others, how to manage the give and take of relationships, how to get what they want by giving a little in order to get a little.

Also, I am damned sick of refereeing every little thing my middle children do all day long. Take this morning, for instance. It’s only 8:30 in the morning, aaaaaaaaand…

“MOMMY!!” the twin voices shriek from up in their room. {thump thump thump go the little feet down the hallway} I can hear them squabbling as they run: I’m telling, no you’re not!, I am telling! I’m telling first, huh-uh, uh-huh, huh-uh, uh-huh…!

They shove and hurtle their way to my side, invariably waking up their brother – I just spent twenty minutes of my life cuddling and rocking him to sleep, grrrrrrr – to scream their siblings’ sins into my ear.


Bill Cosby once pointed out that parents aren’t interested in fair – all we want is quiet.

So true, so painfully true.

“All right,” I say, calmly. “Stop. Stop yelling. Everybody quiet. Eyes on me. Danger Mouse. Go upstairs to your room, and stay there. Boo Bug, you may stay down here with me in the playroom. Go quietly, go quickly, go now.”


“But we wanna play together!” Danger Mouse protests.

“Sorry. You can’t. This is the fifth time in twenty minutes that you have been unable to find a way to play nicely with each other. I think you need to be apart for a little while, so you can think about ways that you can work together.”

Also, mommy is going to start banging your adorable little heads together if you keep shrieking and screaming like that, I think to myself, as I kiss them lovingly on their muffin-encrusted heads (why-why-why can’t my children eat without somehow getting their food in their hair? How do they manage it, with me sitting right there with them at the table? It is one of the great mysteries of life…)

Shrieking and wailing, they part company. They promise to love each other forever and that they will miss each other so-so much. Forever!

Oh, ack. Bronte has nothing on my 3 and 5 year olds for angst.

They were thus torn asunder for all of fifteen minutes before Danger Mouse appeared downstairs, clutching a paper towel roll.

“Here, Boo Bug,” she said contritely. “You can have the telescope. Now can she come back upstairs to play, mommy?”

“If you can remember to play nicely.”

“We can remember.”

Hoooookay. And off they run, up the stairs.

So far, so good. It’s been almost an hour, and no shrieks of ‘I’m telling’ have echoed off the stairs yet. I can hear arguments and discussions, but nobody has rushed to tell on anybody else for a while.

I’ve gotten through my email, made two stocks trades, folded a load of laundry and contemplated cleaning the kitchen floor again.

What more could I ask out of a Monday morning?

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