Being inundated at work and coming off of a pretty annoying head cold, giving you a quick glimpse into my life with the crazies was the best I could come up with for a post. Please don’t stop reading just because of one (or several) cop out posts, okay? Thanks.
Adam: “Those kids at the park are stangerly, right Tabitha?”
Tabitha: “No, Adam, they’re not stang-erly, they’re stan-ger-ly.”
Adam: “No, no, no!”
No longer able to resist interjecting, I asked what they were arguing about.
Adam: “We’re talking about the kids who were stangerly, mama.”
Tabitha: “No, we’re not! We’re talking about kids who are stan-ger-ly.”
Me: “What does stangerly mean?”
Adam: “Stangerly means that the kids, um, um, they are being stangey…”
Tabitha interrupting: “NO IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT!” IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT!
Adam (in a sing-song, mocking tone): “YES IT DOES! YES IT DOES!”
Hands are raised. Injuries are mutually inflicted. My own wails of frustration and demands for order are drowned out by exaggerated cries of pain over allegedly permanent scars. I laid down the law.
After a few minutes of quiet time for each of them and a real conversation about keeping hands & feet to ourselves, the endless debate picks up right where it left off.
Tabitha: “Mommy, stangerly means that the other kids are being clevical.”
Adam: “Nuh,uh! Mommy, that’s not what stangerly means. There’s no such word as clev-a-gickly”
Unable to take it any longer, I bust up the argument.
“I have news for you both. There are no such words as stangerly or cleva….whatever. Those are nonsense words. If you are looking for a real word to describe the kids at the park, I’m happy to help you with that – they’re called hoodlums. We’ll learn more about hoodlums later, and about how to avoid becoming one of them. In the meantime, there will be no more talking until you’re 25, understand?”
Adam & Tabitha respond in unison with nodding heads and a robotic, “Yes, mama.”
“Now go read a book or change the subject to something you and Tabitha can agree on…like how mean a mommy I am.”
After a few minutes of quiet chatter coming from the playroom, I looked over to see them politely cooperating on building a new train track on the floor. Amazing how all that bickering in one moment could lead to such cooperation the next. Amazing, but not surprising. Somehow I always knew that uniting them against their mom was a smart move – at least for another 15 minutes or so.