Friday, May 13, 2011
Dear U.N.: Parents Know Diplomacy
That, my friends, is a fine example of how parents get really, really skilled at diplomacy. The U.N. ain't got nothin' on me when it comes to mediating between two warring factions!
Here's the story: Along about the time when S became mobile and could walk from the car to the side door on her own, K started to take issue with which one of them entered the side door FIRST, after of course I got them both to move out of the way so I might actually get the darn door unlocked for pete's sake. K denies that she started all this...probably will deny it 'til her old age...but she was obviously old enough to care about this issue long before S gave two hoots about who went in the side door FIRST.
I got really tired of all this. When we get home from somewhere I just want to get in the door! Who cares who goes in first?? I mean, yes I remember being a kid, yes I probably had go-rounds with my siblings about stupid stuff just like this, all those years ago. But I really just found all of this frustrating and tedious and could we PLEASE JUST GO IN THE HOUSE and I'm sure the neighbors are getting a kick out of listening to all this and GIRLS! JUSTGOINTHEHOUSEALREADY and FINE. I'll be going in the house now. You two can just stand out here on the driveway and fight. Sheesh. Really? Seriously, we have to fight about this?
Well. Obviously I couldn't just leave them outside. Added in to all this was the issue of which girl got to let the dog out of his crate (we put him in his crate when we go places - not for vacations obviously, just errand-running). Lovely, one more thing I had to "keep track of" in my tired brain.
I resisted keeping track of this stuff, for many months. I wanted both girls to just not care about this stuff...to just start doing that "No, YOU go first", "no no, I insist, YOU go first" back-and-forth that you see high-society, affected, well-mannered folks do in movies or whatever. Like that would ever happen with a 5-6-7 yr old and a 9-10-11 yr. old. In my dreams.
So, my solution? Yep, it's that calendar pictured up there. It hangs in the kitchen and the girls and I refer to it every. time. we go anywhere together where we'll all be arriving back home together. There have been times when we've all forgotten to consult the calendar, so the girls have waited outside on the driveway by the door while I go in and look at the calendar to see whose turn it is to go in first (yes, I'm serious). I then let them know whose turn it is, and that child then enters first. Whoever's turn it is to enter first also gets to let the dog out of his crate.
There are a few others parts of our day-to-day, with which the letter on the calendar might come in handy.
The United Nations will be calling me any day now and giving me some diplomatic assignment, dealing with two countries whose leaders are acting like spoiled brats, I just know it. Not that I think my kids are spoiled brats...they definitely aren't...but I bet we can all think of countries where some parent-type discipline might work wonders. (Time-outs for Kim Jong Il....no internet/news for him for 2 years....hmmmmm....).
Thanks for reading!