Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is why I sometimes drink before we even have dinner...

In the home of the Catholic Librarian yesterday evening:

"Hi, I'm home!"

*nobody greets me*

Well, within a minute Mike does, as he comes down from upstairs, but the kids are watching TV together, and you know, PRIORITIES.

I give each of them a squeeze, but return to the kitchen to chat with Mike as we begin dinner preparations. Shortly thereafter:

*argument breaks out in the living room*

"Stop it, HENRY!"

"I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything!"

Denial is Henry's favorite pastime.

"Guys, if you can't get along, the TV is going off."

"We're not doing anything!"


*one minute elapses*


"I didn't do anything!"

"Henry, whatever you are doing STOP IT! Anne, stop screaming! And stop yelling 'stop it!'"

Which I, you know, yelled into the living room. Always setting a good example.

*one minute elapses*

*another argument breaks out*

"Anne, Mom told you to STOP SAYING STOP IT!!"

This time Mike intervenes, and the TV goes off. As he turns to come back into the kitchen, I can see Anne's mutinous face in the background, looking like something straight out of The Exorcist. I expected pea soup to shoot out of her orifices at any moment.

*angry whispering commences in the background*

"Stop getting me in trouble!"

"Stop it, HENRY!"

Chardonnay, wherefore art thou? I don't know if it's their ages or what (9 and 4, for the record) but the arguing and general back sassing of the other person has been excruciating lately. Anybody out there with any words of parenting wisdom or commiseration? :)


  1. As a mother of a 9-yo Henry who also loves Denial and fighting with his younger sister, boy oh boy do you have my sympathy. If I ever find the perfect solution, I'll share it with you. In the meantime, I'll join you in a glass of vino (though make mine a Pinot), and hope for a relatively calm and quiet summer.

  2. Jenn, I myself sometimes veer from my Chardonnay path to a nice, dry Pinot Grigio on a warm summer night. ;-)Or, if you meant Pinot Noir and thus you're a red drinker, that works for me too. :0 Yes, oh yes, this is a painful stage. We have talked about driving to Maine to visit my sister (which is a 10 hour drive for us) and each time, my husband and I look at each other and say:

    "But the children. 10 hours. Car."

    That could be bad. VERY bad. ;-) But we persevere, and let's virtually toast each other the next time there are children screaming in the background.

  3. I remember this age one of the issues is that my mom ALWAYS got in the middle. We never got to finish our fights or have a good old hash-out, of course we were a bit closer in age, but it was often frustrating for us. (4 in 4 years) We loved to go in the woods and tell each other how stupid and annoying the other was. Within earshot of my mom, however, hours of silly arguments would be reduced to minutes of upped ante agony.

    Rather than try to change the aggressor's behavior, one thing my parents did was change the object's behavior. There will be annoying people their entire lives. From my older brother, I learned how to deal with people who tell long, involved tales and exaggerate. From my middle brother I learned how to handle people who are provoke for fun, from my youngest I learned how to deal with people who retreat into a shell. And I think from me, my brothers learned how to deal with someone who had way too many impractical ideas. I think what they did also broke the cycle of attention for bad behavior.

  4. Hi Emma! Thank you for sharing your experience, how interesting! I have 2 sisters, and we are very spaced apart in age, so I had the same experience as my own kids. With my daughter, she's 4, and SO stubborn, trying to reason with her about how she could react better doesn't usually go well, lol! But I totally agree with you that there are things to be learned here, and that can prove very useful for children throughout their lives. *I* could not react so much and let them work it out themselves more. Great suggestion, thank you!


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